01/18/2010 1:00AM

Juddmonte earns fifth breeding Eclipse


Khalid Abdullah's homebreeding operation Juddmonte Farms has earned its fifth Eclipse Award as leading North American breeder.

Juddmonte was also named leading breeder in 1995, 2001, 2002, and 2003. The farm also has won two Eclipse Awards as leading owner, in 1992 and 2003, and was a finalist this year but finished behind Godolphin Racing for that award.

This year, the international breeding empire campaigned outstanding runners like Grade 1 winners Midships, Ventura, Midday, and Champs Elysees, and Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed Jibboom. Juddmonte-breds won six Grade 1 races and four other graded stakes last year, more than any other breeder, and easily outpaced their rivals in graded stakes earnings with $6,672,998.

Despite starting relatively few times - 300 - Juddmonte-breds earned more than $8 million last year, making the farm North America's second-ranked breeder by earnings.

Juddmonte suffered a great loss when its Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel died of lymphoma in November at age 68. Ventura's win in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes, the last race of her career and her third Grade 1 victory this year, came just 12 days after Frankel's death.

Abdullah, the retired head of the Saudi Arabian Mawared conglomerate, owns nine farms in the United States, England, and Ireland. In the U.S., the 2,500-acre Juddmonte Farms stands 2003 Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, Aptitude, First Defence, and Mizzen Mast, all Grade 1-winning homebreds. It also was the home for Juddmonte's two North American Broodmares of the Year, now deceased: Slightly Dangerous (1979) and Toussaud (2002).