March 28th, 2024

Dubai World Cup Highlights Global Influence of Claiborne Female Families

Ushba Tesoro and Lord North Among 100 Graded or Group Stakes Winners – Including Two Dozen G1s – From Claiborne Families in 2023

Story by B. Jason Brooks

The Dubai World Cup on Saturday, March 30 at Meydan Race Course in the United Arab Emirates shines a light on international racing at its highest levels, attracting elite horses from around the world for purses totaling more than $30 million on the one-day race card.  In 2023, two particular elite Dubai winners brought added attention to Claiborne female families in what would foreshadow an impressive year of top-level wins across the globe.

Japanese-bred Ushba Tesoro – representing the Bayou branch of the Claiborne family of blue-hen mare Bourtai – won the US $12 million Dubai World Cup, his second career group 1 win that ranked him as one of the top racehorses in the world.  (See “Ushba Tesoro Highlights the Dynamic Claiborne Family of Bayou” on the Claiborne Farm blog for more.)  Also on the 2023 Dubai World Cup card, Irish-bred Lord North – from the Moccasin branch of imported British-bred Claiborne foundation mare Rough Shod II – became the first three-time winner of the US$6 million, grade 1 Dubai Turf.

Ushba Tesoro wins the 2023 G1 Dubai World Cup. Credit: Dubai Racing Club.

Both Ushba Tesoro and Lord North are back in Dubai seeking repeats of their stellar wins.  Ushba Tesoro seeks to become only the second two-time Dubai World Cup winner and Lord North seeks to become the only four-time winner the same race on the Dubai World Cup card.  Wins from this duo could give a nice boost to another year of international success for horses representing Claiborne female families.

This global influence is further exemplified by an elite 8 horses from Claiborne female families appearing on the final 2023 Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings (here).  In addition to the aforementioned Dubai winners Ushba Tesoro, by his native sire Orfevre, and Lord North, by Irish-bred sire Dubawi, the elite winners and their Claiborne families include: Japanese-bred Panthalassa, by his native sire Lord Kanaloa, winner of the world’s richest race in the US$20 million Saudi Cup.  He is from the Delta branch of Claiborne foundation mare Bourtai; Japanese-bred Champagne Color, by her native sire Duramente, winner of the NHK Mile Cup in Tokyo.  He is from the Bobbles branch of imported British-bred Bobolink; Irish-bred Romantic Warrior, by British-bred sire Acclamation, winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong.  He is from the Fabulous Native branch of Alyne Que; Elite Power, by Curin, winner of the A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga and the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.  He is from the Eolee branch of War Song, one of the oldest Hancock-bred families; Gina Romantica, by Into Mischief, winner of the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland.  She is from the Blandish branch of imported Irish-bred Winsome Way; and, Slow Down Andy, by Nyquist, winner of the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita.  He is from the Merry Maid branch of Mermaid.

Elite Power. Credit: Coady Photography via The Bloodhorse

Across the world in 2023, an ultra-impressive 100 graded or group stakes races were won by horses representing Claiborne female families.  (See more details in the 2023 mid-year update “Claiborne Female Families’ Successful First Half of 2023” on the Claiborne blog.)  All 100 of them, including 24 grade or group 1s, occurred in “top-tier” Part I countries or races, as identified by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.

Of the 100 graded or group stakes wins for horses from Claiborne families, more than two-thirds (or 68) of them occurred in Northern Hemisphere countries or races, including 37 in the United States, 1 in Canada, 9 in Great Britain, 6 in France, 3 in Ireland, 5 in Japan, 3 in Hong Kong, and 2 each in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.  Adding to these remarkable results, 17 of these wins were elite grade or group 1s.  The other 32 wins, including 7 group 1s, occurred in Southern Hemisphere countries or races, including 12 in Australia, 1 in New Zealand, 7 in Brazil, 4 in Argentina, 2 in Peru, 1 in Uruguay, and 5 in South Africa.

Claiborne Farm


As listed below, this global success was accomplished by 75 different horses representing the families of 40 different Claiborne families.  Nearly a third, or 24, of these horses have Claiborne-bred mares within their first five dams, including 5 of these with Claiborne mares among their first three dams.

Seven Claiborne families were represented by 3 or more individual horses winning graded or group stakes races in 2023.  The foundation mares and their graded- or group-winning descendants from across the world include the following:

Elite horses from Claiborne female families will likely continue having a significant impact on the international stage, including this Saturday in Dubai.  With the farm’s rich history dating back well over a century, the global influence of Claiborne female families remains substantial, including among some of Kentucky farm’s newer, more recent families.  This is a testament to the generations of Hancocks and the entire Claiborne Farm team over the years who have been responsible for “breeding the best to the best.”

2023 Graded & Group Stakes Winners (Sires) – Claiborne Female Families

DEMARCHELIER (GB) Duo Win in Florida
Keeneland MSW Win for CATHOLIC BOY’s Faith Understood
WAR FRONT Son Successful in Appleton Stakes