Golden year for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin as Dubai racing stable sweep five Eclipse Awards

Dubai-based stable voted Outstanding Owner Award for an unparalleled seventh time since the Awards began in 1971

By Leslie Wilson Jr.

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Cody’s Wish and Junior Alvarado winning the G1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs.Photo by Mathea Kelley / Racingfotos.com
Cody’s Wish and Junior Alvarado winning the G1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs.Photo by Mathea Kelley / Racingfotos.com

Published: Sun 4 Feb 2024, 11:02 AM

Godolphin, the Dubai-based and owned racing stable, enjoyed a magical night in Florida when they swept five prestigious trophies at the 53rd Annual Eclipse Awards, an event that has honoured and recognized excellence in thoroughbred horse racing since 1971.

The undeniable highlight of Godolphin quintet of accolades at the ceremony was a first Horse of the Year title which went to the Bill Mott-trained Cody’s Wish, a sensational winning of the Churchill Downs Stakes and Met Mile in addition to a successful defence of his Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile crown.

Cody’s Wish, a son of the outstanding Kentucky stallion Tapit, also picked up the coveted award for Champion Older Dirt Mile.

Godolphin was created by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in 1992.

“To have Cody’s Wish become Horse of the Year is obviously a proud moment not only for the organization, but also our founder, Sheikh Mohammed. We’ve had some very nice horses in training before who didn’t quite earn the honor, like Bernardini,” said Godolphin USA’s director of bloodstock Michael Banahan said on America's Best Racing.

The Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year and Older Male, Cody’s Wish, is accepted by the Dorman Family (Kelly, Leslie, and Kylie) and Godolphin Connection. - Photo NTRA,
The Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year and Older Male, Cody’s Wish, is accepted by the Dorman Family (Kelly, Leslie, and Kylie) and Godolphin Connection. - Photo NTRA,

“So we knew how difficult it is to be Horse of the Year, making it an absolute honor to be involved with an organization that could breed and race a champion like Cody’s Wish.

“It was an unbelievable year all around for Godolphin on the racetrack, but what was special was sharing the journey with Cody Dorman and his family,: Banahan added.

"The opportunity the horse gave them to do something they had never done before was heartwarming, and the way the horse racing industry, racetracks, and fans embraced them was incredible."

Among other Award winners was Pretty Mischievous, the first Godolphin winner of the Kentucky Oaks, who was voted Champion Three-Year-Old Filly.

Godolphin also picked up the Outstanding Owner Award for a fourth consecutive year, and seventh time overall, thanks to winning prize money over $17m and amassing 12 G1 victories.

All 12 wins were achieved by Godolphin homebreds.

Previously the Boys in Blue have won the honour in 2022, 2021, 2020, 2012 and 2009.

Godolphin has won over 5,000 races worldwide and innumerable awards since its inception. The stable’s most successful years numerically are 2015 (650 wins), 2017 (607 wins), 2016 (597 wins), and 2014 (361 wins).

Godolphin's accolades

Champion Older Dirt Male: Cody’s Wish

Trainer: Bill Mott

Champion 3-year-old Filly: Pretty Mischievous

Trainer: Brendan Walsh

Outstanding Owner: Godolphin

2023 wins: 86. 2023. Earnings: $17,270,223

Outstanding Breeder: Godolphin

2023 wins: 175. Earnings: $20,907,146

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