August 4th, 2023

Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale Features 25 Yearlings from Claiborne Families

Recent Elite Wins for Horses from Claiborne Families Brings Extra Attention to Yearlings at the Saratoga Sale


By B. Jason Brooks


While the 50th anniversary of Secretariat winning the Triple Crown has recently shined a light on Claiborne Farm’s preeminent status as home to some of the world’s greatest stallions – with Secretariat and his sire Bold Ruler both standing there – success this year on the track has also brought attention to the farm’s rich history in producing great female families.

The Chosen Vron. Credit: Benoit Photo

Just this past Saturday (July 29th), two of the preeminent grade 1 races were won by horses from Claiborne female families, with 5-year-old Curlin colt Elite Power winning the Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga and 5-year-old Vronsky gelding The Chosen Vron winning the Bing Crosby at Del Mar.  Both elite sprinters are from female families tracing back to Claiborne foundation mares, with Juddmonte’s globally-ranked Elite Power from the Eolee branch of War Song – one of the oldest families bred by the Hancock family – and the Chosen Vron hailing from the Marguerite branch of British imported mare Fairy Ray.  Additionally, grade 1 success came this year for 4-year-old Uncle Mo filly A Mo Reay in the Beholder Mile in at Santa Anita in March.  The 4-year-old Uncle Mo filly’s tail-female line traces back to Claiborne mare Gradation.  These top wins are part of a total of 23 graded stakes victories so far this year the U.S. for horses from Claiborne families (as recently highlighted on the Claiborne Farm blog here).

A Mo Reay. Credit: The Bloodhorse

On the international stage, an additional 10 group 1 races have been won by horses from Claiborne families, with four of these by globally-ranked horses appearing on the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings (here).  These multiple group 1-winning global elites include the following: Irish-bred Romantic Warrior, by British stallion Acclamation, a three-time group 1 winner whose most recent victory came in the group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup in April at Sha Tin in Hong Kong.  The 5-year-old gelding’s Claiborne family is the Fabulous Native branch of Raise a Native mare Alyne Que; Japanese-bred Ushba Tesoro, by his native stallion Orfevre, winner of the $12 million grade 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan in March.  The 6-year-old horse’s Claiborne family is the Bayou branch of Hill Prince mare Bourtai; HH Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed’s Irish-bred Lord North, by Irish-bred stallion Dubawi, winner of the $6 million group 1 Dubai Turf for a third consecutive time at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates in March.  The 6-year-old gelding’s Claiborne family is the Moccasin branch of the imported British mare Rough Shod II, by French stallion Gold Bridge; and, another Japanese-bred, Panthalassa, by his native sire Lord Kanaloa, winner of the world’s richest race in February, the $20 million, group 1 Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Saudi Arabia.  The 6-year-old horse is from the Shore branch of the above-mentioned Claiborne foundation mare Bourtai.

Panthalassa wins the 2023 G1 Saudi Cup. Credit: The Bloodhorse | Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/Erika Rasmussen

When adding the list’s globally-ranked U.S.-bred Elite Power, a full quarter of the top 20-ranked horses in the world hail from Claiborne families. That’s impressive global influence!

Given this recent success in the U.S. and top-tier countries internationally, it is no surprise that the well-regarded Claiborne families bred over more than a century at the Hancock family’s Paris, Kentucky farm are set to play a prominent role at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale.  With 25 of the sale’s 216 yearlings (after removing the “outs”) from Claiborne families, that is an impressive 12 percent of all consignments be offered at the select sale.

Sired by top stallions – including Gun Runner, Into Mischief, Medaglia d’Oro, Quality Road, Tapit, and Uncle Mo, among others – these 8 colts and 17 fillies from Claiborne families are sure to do well in the sales ring and eventually continue the success of their winning families on the track.

A total of 17 Claiborne families are represented among the yearlings in the sale, with the most prominent of these including three from the family of Claiborne foundation mare Bourtai, two each from the families of imported British mares Knight’s Daughter and Sunstep, and one each from the families of imported British mares Peroration, Rough Shod, and Fairy Ray.  (For more on the recent success of Claiborne families, visit the Claiborne Farm blog here.)

“Bull” and Waddell Hancock

Claiborne’s Arthur “Bull” Hancock, Jr. is often quoted as having said that “the family is stronger than the individual,” which is where great female families play a key role.  In addition to success on the track, strong female families give colts a better chance of potentially becoming good sires and mares eventually becoming stakes producers.

Below is a full list of the 25 yearlings from Claiborne families or individual Claiborne mares being offered at the Saratoga Sale.


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