Kentucky Derby Winner Nyquist Named Horse of the Year
For the second year in a row, the Kentucky Derby has resulted in a Horse of the Year winner. Nyquist, who also took first in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes, was dominant this year on the racetrack and is now receiving accolades for his efforts.
Owner J. Paul Reddam became emotional when discussing Nyquist's accomplishments, saying "He just ran such an amazing race today - he's been so consistent all year." Trainer Doug O'Neill was similarly proud of his horse, attributing Nyquist's success to "his tenacity, his will to win." The 3-year-old colt proved himself both physically and mentally capable of winning some of the most prestigious races in America.
Nyquist's name was drawn from that of a former Detroit Red Wings player, Gustav Nyquist. The hockey player was gracious about having his name attached to such a successful racehorse, tweeting "So pumped my namesake Nyquist won horse of the year! Congrats to everyone involved!"
While it is still too early to tell what kind of career Nyquist will have as a stud, there is no doubt that he has already cemented himself as one of the greatest racehorses in American history.
Breeders' Cup Classic Runner-Up California Chrome to Retire
After a heartbreaking runner-up finish at the Breeders' Cup Classic, California Chrome has announced his retirement. "I'm not sure I've ever been as proud or as emotional as I am today," said assistant trainer Alan Sherman. "He just couldn't quite get there today."
The now-6-year-old horse had an illustrious career, winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2014 and becoming the first California-bred horse to win the Triple Crown. He also won the Dubai World Cup this year.
California Chrome was syndicated for $6.8 million in 2016 and will now stand at stud at Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, Kentucky. "We are excited to have him here," said Taylor Made owner and CEO Paul Ramsey. "He's going to be a great sire."
Eclipse Awards: Gun Runner Biggest Winner, Arrogate 3-Year-Old Male Champion
The Eclipse Awards were handed out February 25, 2018 and while Arrogate was named Champion 3-year-old Male, Gun Runner was the biggest winner of the night.
Gun Runner was named Horse of the Year, beating Arrogate and seven other champions. He also won the award for champion older male horse.
This is Gun Runner's third season on the racetrack. In that time he has amassed five victories, including three Grade 1 races. He has earnings of over $8 million.
In contrast, Arrogate had a disappointing end to his season after winning the world's richest race, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational. He finished fourth in his last two races - the Dubai World Cup and the San Diego Handicap.
However, Arrogate's record still stands as one of the best ever for a 3-year-old male. In his short career he has won nine of 11 races, earning over $17 million in prize money.
Keeneland November Sale: Bob Baffert Sells Pair of Horses for $7 Million
The Keeneland November sale featured a strong lineup of buyers and sellers, including Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Baffert sold a pair of horses for $7 million, including the $5 million sales-topping mare American Pharoah.
Baffert has been training horses since 1978, winning over 4,000 races and 14 Triple Crown events. He was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2010 and is one of the most successful trainers in history.
Despite his impressive record, Baffert is always looking for ways to improve his operation. "You're always trying to get better," he said in an interview withBloodHorse.com. "You're always looking for that horse that can make a big difference."
With that goal in mind, Baffert has been selling more and more horses at auction in recent years. The results have been impressive, with several of his horses bringing top prices.
The biggest sale so far came at the 2016 Keeneland November sale, when Baffert auctioned off six horses for over $10 million. Included in that group was American Pharoah, who brought the highest price of the sale at $5 million.
Baffert isn't just interested in making money on his horses; he also wants to find good homes for them. "I want to sell them to people that are going to take care of them and love them," he said.
With the 2017 Keeneland November sale now in the books, it's safe to say that Bob Baffert is still one of the most successful trainers in racing history. Thanks to his continued success at the auction block, we can expect to see even more high-priced horses from him in the years ahead.
Reddam Racing's I'm a Chatterbox Tops $4 Million in Earnings
Reddam Racing's I'm a Chatterbox, who was bred in California by the late Allen Paulson, continued his ridiculous success on the racetrack by winning the Grade 1 $800,000 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on Saturday. The 5-year-old mare is now 13-for-16 lifetime and has earnings of $4,047,200.
Bred by the late Allen Paulson, I'm a Chatterbox is out of multiple graded stakes winner Desert Stormer, by Stormy Atlantic. She was sold for $525,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale to Reddam Racing.
I'm a Chatterbox was coming off a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap less than three weeks ago at Oaklawn Park. She also won her 2017 debut at Santa Anita Park and captured the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes last February.
Reddam Racing's I'm a Chatterbox is just one of many high-earning horses for Doug O'Neill and his Reddam Racing stable. Doug O'Neill – Trainer of I'm A Chatterbox: "She ran incredible today. Down the backside she just had more horse than everybody. We thought she ran great in the Apple Blossom; we couldn't be happier with her today. Mike Smith did an unbelievable job; he always does with this filly. We look forward to whatever race pops up next for her."