Blame (horse)

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Blame in July 2014 at Claiborne Farm.jpg
Blame in July 2014
GrandsireKris S.
DamsireSeeking the Gold
CountryUnited States
BreederClaiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider
OwnerClaiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider
TrainerAlbert Stall Jr.
Record13: 9-2-2
Major wins
Fayette Stakes (2009)
Curlin Stakes (2009)
Clark Handicap (2009)
William Donald Schaefer Handicap (2010)
Stephen Foster Handicap (2010)
Whitney Stakes (2010) Breeders' Cup wins:
Breeders' Cup Classic (2010)
American Champion Older Male Horse
NTRA "Moment of the Year" (2010)

Blame (foaled May 2, 2006) is a retired American champion Thoroughbred racehorse, a winner of nine races in 13 starts including the prestigious Breeders' Cup Classic.

Blame is a bay homebred stallion owned by Claiborne Farm in association with Adele B. Dilschneider. He was sired by Claiborne's Arch out of the Seeking the Gold mare Liable (the 2010 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year). He was trained during his racing career by Albert Stall Jr. and partnered with veteran jockey Garrett Gomez during his 2010 championship season.

He never finished out of the money in his racing career; along with his nine wins, he finished second twice and third twice. After being retired at the end of 2010, he was sent to stud at Claiborne Farm.[1]

Race Record[edit]


Blame made his racing debut as a two-year-old on September 13, 2008 with Lindey Wade[2] aboard at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky, where he ran third in a maiden special weight race.[3]

In his next start on October 17, with Jamie Theriot aboard, Blame broke his maiden, capturing his first win, a maiden special weight race over seven furlongs at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. Blame came from seven lengths back, making a five-wide move down the stretch to defeat Flying Warrior by a length, winning $31,225 of the $50,000 purse.[4]

His winnings for his two-race season totaled $33,425.[5]


Blame began 2009 by finishing third in an allowance race with Garrett Gomez again aboard on June 12 at Churchill Downs, three lengths behind winner Guam Typhoon.[6]

He followed that with a win in an allowance race on July 2 at Churchill Downs with Jamie Theriot again aboard. That was the first of five consecutive races with Theriot aboard Blame, in which Blame would capture four wins and one second.

Blame made his stakes debut on August 2 a winning one in the $79,750 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Blame was third until he made a rail move down the stretch to win by 3/4 of a length over Gone Astray, followed by Guam Typhoon, who had beaten Blame in an earlier race.[7]

Blame then started in the Grade II $750,000 Super Derby held at Louisiana Downs on September 19, finishing second behind Regal Ransom, who won by 1 1/4 lengths.[8]

He then notched his first graded stakes win in the 1 1/8 mile, Grade II $150,000 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland on October 31, coming from third place with a five-wide move to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Parading.[9]

Blame ended his 2009 racing year with another win, in the Grade II $460,600 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on November 27. He defeated Misremembered by a neck and multiple Grade I winner Einstein.[10]

His 2009 winnings totaled $583,322 in six starts, with four firsts, one second and one third.[5]


Garrett Gomez was aboard for all five of Blame's races in 2010. Blame made his 2010 debut a winning one on May 2 when he captured the 1 1/16 miles Grade III $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap at Pimlico Race Course on Preakness Stakes day. Blame defeated No Advantage by 1 1/2 lengths.[11]

On June 12, Blame won the $671,770 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, wearing down favored Battle Plan in the final strides to win by 3/4 of a length and score his first Grade I win.[12]

Following the Stephen Foster, Blame was pointed to the $750,000 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga for an anticipated showdown with Metropolitan Handicap and Donn Handicap winner Quality Road. On August 7, Blame defeated favored Quality Road by a head in a field that also included 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, Musket Man and Haynesfield.[13]

Blame's next race was October 2 in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park, in which winner Haynesfield set a moderate and uncontested pace. Blame ran second, four lengths back.[14]

In the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic on November 6 at Churchill Downs, Blame became the only horse to beat champion and fan favorite Zenyatta, holding off the previously 19-0 mare by a nose.[15] Along with Blame and Zenyatta, the field included 2010 Preakness Stakes winner Lookin At Lucky, Preakness runner-up First Dude, Haynesfield and Quality Road.[16] With much of the pre-race attention focused on Zenyatta, the race was watched by approximately 3.1 million TV viewers on ESPN, nearly triple the ratings of the previous year's race.[17]

Blame was named Champion Older Male for 2010 in the Eclipse Award voting. He finished a close second to Zenyatta in the Eclipse voting for Horse of the Year, receiving 102 first-place votes to Zenyatta's 128. Blame received the majority of first-place votes cast by members of the Daily Racing Form, while Zenyatta fared best with voters of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.[18] He was racing's leading money-winner among North American thoroughbreds in 2010 with $3.75 million earned in only five starts, ahead of Lookin at Lucky ($2.06 million in seven starts) and Zenyatta ($1.83 million in six starts).[19]

After racing[edit]


After Blame's Breeders' Cup Classic win in 2010, he was retired from racing to stand at stud at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky with his stud fee set at $35,000.[20] Blame can be seen up close (along with his stable and stablemates) on by-appointment-only group walking tours of Claiborne Farm hosted by the farm's grooms.[21][22] His first foal was born on January 13, 2012 to stakes-winning Irish-bred Promptly, at Derry Meeting Farm in Cochranville, Pennsylvania.[23]

His first-in-foal mares brought up to $800,000 at the 2011 Keeneland November sale, and in 2012 he had a first-crop weanling sell for $320,000. In 2012 at the Keeneland November Sale, his progeny sold for a $136,154 average.[1] In 2012, Blame was bred to 104 mares.[24]


In August 2013, Blame led all first-crop sires at the Saratoga Select Yearling Sale with six yearlings sold for $1.36 million (a $226,667 average).

In 2013 at the annual Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Blame led first-crop sires by average as his 28 sires sold for an average of $194,357.[25] Fourteen of Blame's progeny sold for at least $200,000. The top bid was for a Blame colt was out of Alchemist, which sold for $550,000. Four other colts brought between $300,000 and $365,000, three fillies brought between $250,000 and $285,000, and four fillies and two colts each brought between $200,000 and $240,000.[26]

His stud fee for 2013 was $30,000,[27] and for the year he was bred to 108 mares.[24]


Blame's stud fee for 2014 remained $30,000.[27] Through March 11, 2014, Blame led all freshman 2-year-old sales sires for the year by average and by median ($300,000).[28] For the 2014 season, Blame was ranked 12th among all first-crop sires with $477,326 in earnings, with 28 runners and eight winners. His top earner was the filly Don't Blame Me with $80,750 in winnings.[29]


On November 12, 2014, it was announced that Blame's stud fee would be lowered to $20,000 for 2015.[30]


Claiborne Farm announced that Blame's stud fee for 2016 would be raised to $25,000. According to Daily Racing Form, "The 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and 9-year-old son of Arch’s first runners are 3-year-olds of 2015, led by Grade 2 winner March, Grade 3 winners Far From Over and Onus, stakes winners Redstart and Exaggerated, and Grade 1-placed Chide and Blameitonthelaw."[31]


In late 2016, Claiborne Farm announced that Blame's stud fee for 2017 would remain $25,000.


After the 2018 success of Blame's progeny, Claiborne Farm raised Blame's 2019 stud fee to $30,000, up from $12,500. [32]



Blame's first winner came on June 19, 2014 in the first race at Santa Anita Park, a maiden special-weight race for 2-year-old fillies. Two-year-old bay filly Caval, by Blame out of Sultana (a Storm Cat mare) trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, went off as an even-money favorite. With Elvis Trujillo aboard, Caval won the five-furlong race by 5 1/2 lengths in a near-track record time of :56.78, .05 seconds from the track record, winning $33,600.[33] Caval was bred in Kentucky by Tada Nobutaka and sold for $150,000 as a Keeneland September yearling.[34][35]

The week prior to Caval's win, on June 13 at Belmont Park, Blame It On Chris, a bay colt by Blame out of Bayou Bride,[36] posted a third-place finish in his first start, a five-furlong maiden special-weight race for 2-year-olds.[37] Three days after Caval's win, Blame filly Conquest Archangel out of Hot Attraction by Pulpit overcame a slow start to place second in a 4.5-furlong maiden special-weight race for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.[38] Conquest Archangel followed that with another second on July 20 at Del Mar racetrack.[39]

On July 13, two-year-old Blame filly Don't Blame Me finished second in her maiden race at Lincoln Race Course, just over a length behind the winner.[40] At the one-day Fasig-Tipton July Sale of Selected Yearlings, a colt from Blame's second crop brought a final bid of $410,000—the second highest-priced individual of the sale.

During the weekend of September 26–28, Blame had three winners—one on each day across the country—Don't Blame Me (Santa Anita on Friday), Honest (Monmouth on Saturday), and No Fault of Mine (Arlington on Sunday).[38]

For 2014, Blame was bred to 110 mares.[24]


On Feb. 7 a Blame colt, Far From Over, established himself as a Kentucky Derby contender with a dramatic win in the $250,000 Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. The colt stumbled out of the gate and spotted five other three-year-olds five lengths at the first call and 10-and-a-half lengths after half a mile.[41] He remained dead last for much of the race, still nine-and-a-half lengths back with 5/16th of a mile remaining. He then made a bold move under jockey Manuel Franco and flashed home with a decisive win over 1-2 favorite El Kabeir. It was Far From Over's second win in two starts.[42] However, five weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby, while prepping for the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, Far From Over suffered a hairline condylar fracture in his left hind leg that required surgery. It was reported that he could return for a fall 2015 campaign.[43] He raced only four more times in 2015-17, with one win and one second. He has not raced since 2017.[44]

On April 4, a second Blame colt, March, won a Grade 3 race, the Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct. March followed that up on June 6 with a win in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on the undercard of the Belmont Stakes.[45] Through March's first five races, he had three wins and one second for $237,500 in total winnings.[46]


As of Nov. 5, 2016, the highest-earning Blame progeny for a career was March with $606,800. For 2016, through Nov. 5 the top earner was Going For Broke at $291,200 followed by Queen Caroline with $258,463.[47]


Blame got his first classic winner and first Grade 1/Group 1 winner on June 18 when his daughter Senga captured the G1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), winning $639,854.[48]


As of 2018 Blame ranked second among all fifth-year sires, behind only Quality Road.[49]

Fault, a 4-year-old daughter of Blame, captured the $400,000 Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita on March 17, pulling away for a 6-and-a-half length win under jockey Geovanni Franco. The win was on a fast dirt track, and came on the heels of Fault winning the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes on turf at Santa Anita just a month earlier. Those two wins gave Fault a record of 5-3-2 in 15 races.[50] However, after suffering an injury, Fault was retired and in November was sold to Shadai Farm for $1.2 million.[51]

Marley's Freedom, a 4-year-old filly, captured the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga, her third straight graded stakes win.[52] Marley's Freedom went off as the odds-on favorite of the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs in November. She got out of the gate slow with jockey Mike Smith aboard and then was hung out wide, but came on strong at the end to finish 4th, less than a length behind the winner.[53]

Maraud, a 3-year-old Blame colt, also won a stakes race in March, the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes held at Gulfstream Park.[54] Maraud also won the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes in May at Churchill Downs.[55]

Blamed, a 3-year-old Blame filly, has five wins and a second in six lifetime starts, including three wins in 2018 at Sunland Park.[56]

Beyond Blame, a 3-year-old filly, won the Grade 3 Regret Stakes in June at Churchill Downs and the $200,000 Indiana Grand Stakes in September.[57]

Miss Kentucky, a 4-year-old filly, won the Grade 3 Winning Colors Stakes in May at Churchill Downs.[58]

Senga, who captured the G1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and the G3 Prix de la Grotte in 10 starts for $781,854 in earnings in 2017, died at the age of 4 in 2018. She had been in foal to Irish-born Galileo.[59]

Career race results[edit]

Finish Race Distance Jockey Time Grade Runner up Track
1st Breeders' Cup Classic 1 14 mi G. Gomez 2:02.28 I Zenyatta Churchill Downs
2nd Jockey Club Gold Cup 1 14 mi G. Gomez 2:02.48 I Haynesfield (1st) Belmont Park
1st Whitney Handicap 1 18 mi G. Gomez 1:48.88 I Quality Road Saratoga Race Track
1st Stephen Foster Handicap 1 18 m G. Gomez 1:49.37 I Battle Plan Churchill Downs
1st William Donald Schaefer Handicap 1 116 mi G. Gomez 1:43.40 II No Advantage Pimlico Race Track
1st Clark Handicap 1 18 mi J. Theriot 1:49.39 II Misremembered Churchill Downs
1st Fayette Stakes 1 18 mi J. Theriot 1:50.54 II Parading Keeneland Race Track
2nd Super Derby 1 18 mi J. Theriot 1:49.63 II Regal Ransom (1st) Louisiana Downs
1st Curlin Stakes 1 18 mi J. Theriot 1:49.00 None Gone Astray Belmont Park
1st Allowance 1 mi J. Theriot 1:36.41 None Blackberry Road Churchill Downs
3rd Allowance 7 fur G. Gomez 1:22.61 None Guam Typhoon (1st) Churchill Downs
1st Maiden 7 fur J. Theriot 1:26.27 None Flying Warrior Keeneland Race Track
3rd Maiden 6 12 fur L. Wade 1:17.16 None Beethoven (1st) Turfway Park


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