Stallions Deep Impact, Galileo, and Tapit ruled 2016

In a year of international synergy in the ever-more-global Thoroughbred bloodstock industry, three stallions dominated their corners of the globe: Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact, the world’s leading sire due to staggering purses in his home country; the ineffable Galileo in Europe; and Tapit, who keeps setting the bar higher for himself in North America.

Asmussen shows vulnerable side during Hall of Fame induction

Alternate title: 
Hall of Fame: Asmussen shows softer side
Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Steve Asmussen, posing with his family at the ceremony, was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Steve Asmussen often exhibits a hardened exterior, never truly revealing what he’s thinking, to the point where sometimes it’s not easy to tell if he won or lost a race.

On Friday, however, Asmussen showed an emotional side rarely seen publicly as he was formally inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Asmussen got choked up sitting in the front row as Julie, his wife of 19 years, introduced him. Later, when talking about his parents, Keith and Marilyn, Steve Asmussen had to stop.

Hovdey: Close to perfection, always magnificent

Barbara D. Livingston
Zenyatta is being inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame based on victories such as the 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic over males.

Zenyatta was born on April 1 – no kidding – and she made her racing debut on Thanksgiving. You’re welcome.

After such delightful coincidences of the calendar, anything was possible. So, why not 19 straight wins and nearly a 20th, three championship seasons and Horse of the Year, international fame and adoration, and a place on the Hall of Fame wall in Saratoga Springs in her first year of eligibility?

Dominguez enters Hall of Fame as part of elite class

Barbara D. Livingston
Ramon Dominguez rode 4,985 winners in a 17-year career from 1996 to 2013.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – For the first time since his forced retirement in 2013, Ramon Dominguez has spent a large amount of time at the racetrack this summer at Saratoga.

His apprehension has been replaced by the realization that the track still has the comforts of home.

Rachel Alexandra vs. Zenyatta: The debate rages on

Chocolate or vanilla? Ford or Chevy? Mantle or Mays? The Beatles or the Stones? These are topics that can be debated for hours, and of course there is no right or wrong answer; it’s mostly just a matter of personal preference. For horse racing fans in recent years, there’s a topic that has joined that list: Who was better, Rachel Alexandra or Zenyatta?

Sparkman: She's Not Here from pattern that produced Zenyatta

Benoit & Associates
She's Not Here wins the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap for the second straight year.

Breeders love to repeat successful patterns.

This is totally understandable, both from a commercial and logical viewpoint. The long history of nicks in Thoroughbred racing has convinced breeders and buyers alike that horses bred on the same pattern as great racers of a previous generation are more likely to be good horses themselves. Genetic logic is far less certain, but in the commercial realm, it is perception that matters.

Zenyatta in foal to Medaglia d'Oro

Alternate title: 
Barbara D. Livingston
Zenyatta was the 2010 Horse of the Year.

Zenyatta, the 2010 Horse of the Year, was confirmed by her connections on Thursday to be in foal to Medaglia d’Oro for 2017.

The foal will be the fifth for the newly elected Hall of Famer, who is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and resides at Lane’s End in Versailles, Ky. The mating was initially announced in May.

It is the first time Zenyatta was paired with Medaglia d’Oro, who stands at Darley’s U.S. base in Lexington, Ky., for an advertised fee of $150,000. Zenyatta is a daughter of the late Street Cry, who was also on the Darley roster.

Zenyatta bred to Medaglia d’Oro

Barbara D. Livingston
Zenyatta was the 2010 Horse of the Year.

Zenyatta, the 2010 Horse of the Year and newly elected Hall of Famer, was bred to Medaglia d’Oro for the 2017 foaling season.

The mating was announced Monday on the official Zenyatta website, which added that the mare would be checked in 15 days to determine whether she was in foal.

It marked the fifth trip to the breeding shed for Zenyatta, a 12-year-old daughter of Street Cry, and her second trip to a stallion at Darley’s Jonabell Farm. The late Street Cry also stood at Darley’s U.S. base.

Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra top 2016 Hall of Fame class

Alternate title: 
Hall of Fame: Zenyatta, Rachel top 2016 class
Barbara D. Livingston
Zenyatta in 2009 became the only female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic. She was elected to the Hall of Fame, along with Rachel Alexandra, trainer Steve Asmussen, and jockey Ramon Dominguez.

Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta never met on the racetrack, but their Hall of Fame plaques will be alongside one another on Aug. 12, when those two outstanding female racehorses as well as jockey Ramon Dominguez and trainer Steve Asmussen are inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Asmussen, Dominguez elected to Hall of Fame

Barbara D. Livingston
Zenyatta became the only female horse to win the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2009.

The outstanding female racehorses Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, both of whom were named Horse of the Year during their careers, along with jockey Ramon Dominguez and trainer Steve Asmussen – who prepared Rachel Alexandra for her celebrated victories over males in the Preakness, Haskell, and Woodward – make up the 2016 induction class to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, it was announced Monday.

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