In 2010, Claiborne Farm was celebrating 100 years of breeding, raising, and racing Thoroughbred horses. It was somehow fitting that at the end of that special year, a homebred colt with strong ties to the farm’s rich history would bring home racing’s biggest prize.
The colt was named Blame, a son of successful Claiborne stallion Arch out of Liable, a stakes-placed daughter of Seeking the Gold, another star on the Claiborne stallion roster. In fact, there are eight stallions in Blame’s four-cross pedigree that distinguished themselves while at Claiborne Farm. They include Princequillo, Buckpasser, Nijinsky II, Danzig and Mr. Prospector. Blame’s powerful female family has also had a close association with Claiborne for over 60 years. His third dam is the aptly-named Special, a daughter of Forli (another Claiborne stallion), and she is the dam of Champion and major sire Nureyev and the granddam of the dominant Sadler’s Wells.
Blame broke his maiden in his second start in the fall of his juvenile year. He made six starts at three, won four races, including the Clark H.-G2, Fayette S.-G2 and the Curlin S., and placed in the other two. At four, he quickly positioned himself as one of the best horses in training with wins in the Donald Schaefer S.-G3 and Stephen Foster H.-G1. He punctuated those performances with a victory over the highly-regarded Quality Road in Saratoga’s historic Whitney H.-G1.
The stage for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1 was set: reigning superstar Zenyatta vs. the top older male in training – and the race more than lived up to its billing. Undefeated Zenyatta made her signature late charge, but Blame burst clear of the field inside the eighth pole and had plenty left. Zenyatta gobbled up ground, Blame dug in, and at the wire, in spite of Zenyatta’s gallant effort, Blame prevailed.
Blame was retired after that race with nine wins and four placings from 14 starts and earnings of $4.36 million. He ran a remarkable nine consecutive 100+ Beyer Speed Figures, including two 111 in the Whitney-G1 and Breeders’ Cup Classic-G1. Unanimously voted the Eclipse Award as Champion Older Male in 2010, Blame returned to his birthplace to begin his career at stud. His outstanding first foals arrived in 2012.