Friday, June 5, 2009

Whatever Sheikh Mo wants, Sheikh Mo gets

Shiekh Mohammed's Darley Stable has, according to The Blood-Horse, laid out whatever pocket money was required and has purchased Medaglia D'Oro, the leading second-crop sire in North America and the sire of the streaking Rachel Alexandra, winner of the Kentucky Oaks and the Preakness Stakes, and Payton D'Oro, who won the Black Eyed Susan-G2 in Rachel's absence.

Medaglia D'Oro has been moved from Kentucky's Stonewall Farms, where he stood in 2009 for $40,000, to Darley's Jonabell location near Lexington, Ky. There he'll join an elite roster that includes the likes of Elusive Quality and Holy Bull, and recent, brilliant race performers like champion juvenile and Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, champion Bernardini and the talented Hard Spun.

In a game where most of the top players are wealthy beyond most persons' comprehension, it's always interesting to me when Shiekh Mohammed shows he has the deepest pockets of all. When Sheikh Mo wants something, he buys it. It is said that every man has his price, and whatever that price might be, Darley can probably afford to pay it.

But Darley also seems to have the better interests of racing at heart. Darley's Flying Start program trains young horsepeople to work in the industry through a dozen paid, global internship positions. The stable maintains a site called Darley KIDS, with games and puzzles to attract young fans, plus foal news and other features. Wouldn't it be great it everyone involved with racing were devoted to promoting the sport to all ages?

Kids to the Cup was established in the U.S. about 10 years ago. It offered scholarships, field trips to the track, Members of the Month, and other features intended to attract race fans ages 8 to 16. But the initiative, for whatever reason, dried up and blew away. Check out the names among the apparently defunct group's leadership and ask yourself why people with those kinds of connections can't maintain the funding, or personal commitment, or whatever KTTC was lacking, to keep such an effort going.

I suspect some folks are jealous of Sheikh Mohammed and Darley. And certainly he and Darley are not above all criticism. But the man loves racing, believes in it, and pours his heart and his seemingly boundless money into it.

And racing worldwide is better because of Sheikh Mohammed.


  1. Glenn, check out my blog and the quite appropriate work photo! Also, check the cubicle for my latest addition - a gift from Dylan.

    Thank you so much for finding the picture for my graduation ad - from what I understand, it was not an easy task...and it was time-consuming.

    I hope you have great plans for the weekend!

  2. I publish only because I care.

    I must teach you to talk horses. :-)


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