The annual Forbes “definitive ranking of the wealthiest Americans,” better known as The Forbes 400, includes at least seven individuals who particpate in horse racing in a major way.  Six of the seven are racehorse owners and the other owns two racetracks.

John Malone.  Age 77.  Net worth $7.5 billion.  Forbes rank:  #67/400.  Principal source of wealth is cable television.  Owns Bridlewood Farm in Florida and Ballylinch Stud in Ireland.

Daniel Gilbert.  Age 56.  Net worth $7.1 billion.  Forbes rank:  #71/400.  Principal source of wealth is mortgage loans.  Through his casino companies, he owns Turfway Park and Thistledown racetracks.

B. Wayne Hughes.  Age 85.  Net worth $2.9 billion.  Forbes rank:  #280/400.  Principal source of wealth is self-storage facilities.  Owns Spendthrift Farm.

Gayle Benson.  Age 71.  Net worth $2.9 billion.  Forbes rank:  #298/400.  Principal source of wealth is professional sports teams.  Widow of Tom Benson.  Horses run under the banner of GMB Racing.

Lee Bass.  Age 62.  Net worth $2.5 billion.  Forbes rank:  #328/400.  Principal sources of wealth are oil and investments.  Horses race in the name of Lee’s wife Ramona.

Brad Kelley.  Age 61.  Net worth $2.4 billion.  Forbes rank:  #344/400.  Principal source of wealth is tobacco.  Owns Calumet Farm.

Vincent Viola.  Age 62.  Net worth $2.4 billion.  Forbes rank:  #344/400.  Principal source of wealth is electronic trading.   Among other horses, owns part of 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.

Three of these billionaires own professional sports teams:  John Malone, Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball;  Daniel Gilbert, Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association; and Gayle Benson, New Orleans Saints of the National Football League and New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA.

Copyright © 2018 Horse Racing Business


Enable, with her record of dominance, is currently the best racehorse in the world.  She has won ten of eleven career starts, with her only loss being a third place finish in her second lifetime start, when she had just turned three.  Enable has won some of the most prestigious races in Europe, including the most coveted, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which she won in 2017 and again on October 7, 2018.  The filly ran against all comers, males and females.

The 4-year-old Enable is owned by Khalid Bin Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and trained by John Gosden.  She is inbred 2 x 3 to the sensational late stallion Sadler’s Wells (which means Sadler’s Wells appears in her pedigree in the second and third generations).  This is a heavy concentration of Northern Dancer breeding in that Sadler’s Wells was sired by Northern Dancer, the most potent sire of the mid-20th century.

Enable has now accomplished what eight previous winners of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe failed to do, which is to win that race and then a Breeders’ Cup race in the same year.  In the 2018 1 ½ mile Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs, she prevailed over the Coolmore-owned 3-year-old filly Magical in a stirring stretch duel that saw Enable launch a wicked come-from-behind stretch run.

Enable came to the Breeders’ Cup fresher than the other eight Arc winners because an injury postponed her first start of 2018 until September.  Her trainer indicated that she was not even one-hundred percent fit for the Arc.

Enable was Cartier Horse of the Year in Europe in 2017 and will surely repeat in 2018.  Her career earnings are the equivalent of $10,441,162 U. S. currency.  She has likely run her last race and her value as a broodmare is manifestly huge.

Copyright © 2018 Horse Racing Business


In the years since the Breeders’ Cup inaugural in 1984, there have been many exciting races.  Sorting out the best is certainly a matter of opinion.  Following are my personal six most memorable races, along with links to the race replays from YouTube.

No. 6:  1994 Juvenile Fillies

Stablemates Flanders and Serena Song battled for the entire 1 1/16 mile race for 2-year-old fillies.  Despite suffering a career-ending injury, Flanders prevailed by a nose.  Serena Song’s racing record put her in the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.

Race Replay Link

No. 5:  1991 Juvenile

Arazi arrived at Churchill Downs with a record of six consecutive Group wins in France.  His come-from-behind surge in the Juvenile devastated the other 2-year-old colts and electrified the crowd.  He returned for the 1992 Kentucky Derby but disappointed.  He again returned to Louisville for the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Mile but was not a factor and was retired from racing.  But for one race, the 1991 Juvenile, Arazi put on a scintillating performance for the ages.

Race Replay Link

No. 4:  2009 Classic

In 2008, Zenyatta won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff as a 4-year-old.  In 2009, she was entered in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and came from last to first to become the first (and still only) mare to win the race.  She also was the first horse to win two different Breeders’ Cup races.  She remained undefeated until she ran second in her last race before being retired, the 2010 Classic at Churchill Downs.

Race Replay Link

No. 3:  2000 Classic

The 3-year-old colts Tiznow and Giant’s Causeway fought one another down the stretch at Churchill Downs with Tiznow winning by a nose.  Giant’s Causeway had won five straight Group I turf races in Europe and he nearly overcame the disadvantages of travel from Europe to Kentucky, a 5-hour time differential, and unfamiliar dirt racing surface.

Race Replay Link

No. 2:  1988 Distaff

Winning Colors had become the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby in 1988.  She was in the Distaff at Churchill Downs against the undefeated 4-year-old Personal Ensign.  With 50 yards to go, Winning Colors looked to be the sure winner as Personal Ensign appeared to have little or no chance to catch her…but miraculously catch her she did, winning by the slimmest of margins.  Personal Ensign retired with a record of 13 wins from 13 starts and both she and Winning Colors are in the Hall of Fame.

Race Replay Link

No. 1:  1989 Classic

This nail-biter of a race was the classic of the classics.

Sunday Silence and Easy Goer had raced against each other three times prior to the 1989 Classic.  Sunday Silence beat favored Easy Goer in the Kentucky Derby and barely beat him again in arguably the best Preakness of all time.  Easy Goer got a measure of revenge in the Belmont by trouncing Sunday Silence.  In the 1989 Classic at Gulfstream Park, Sunday Silence held on to win by a neck over the fast-closing Easy Goer.  Both colts are in the Hall of Fame.

Race Replay Link

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