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A Numerical Look at North American Racing in 2015

From American Pharoah’s exciting season to the 2-year-olds building hopes that this year will see another Triple Crown, 2015 had something for all racing fans.

Relive some of the best moments of 2015 with the 2015 Inside the Numbers Year in Review for fun facts about the past 12 months.

1- Triple Crown winner. American Pharoah romped through the races by a combined 13 ½ lengths, with his closest finish coming in the Kentucky Derby to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. The colt also became the first Grand Slam winner when easily winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic by 6 ½ lengths in late October at Keeneland.

2 – The number of Breeders’ Cup winners Chad Brown, Mark Casse, Aidan O’Brien and Todd Pletcher each had at Keeneland, leading all trainers at this year’s event. Overall nine different trainers won races during the two-day event.

7 – The number of graded stakes American Pharoah won in 2015. Six of those were Grade 1 races and his only loss was a second in the Travers Stakes. It was the most of any horse in North America with six other horses winning four graded stakes each to take the runner-up position.

9 - The number of winners from the early 2016 Kentucky Derby prep races. Only Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and probable 2-year-old male champion Nyquist has won more than one Kentucky Derby points race this fall.

10 – Breeders’ Cup winners who are returning to racing in 2016. Only three of the 13 victors have been announced as retiring this year.

10 – The number of graded stakes starts made by Mr. Z to lead the “North American graded stakes starts” list. The 3-year-old’s best finish in graded stakes company was a second in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby, but he did win an ungraded stakes, the Ohio Derby.

11 – Ken and Sarah Ramsey won 11 graded stakes races in 2015, the most of any owner. This is their third consecutive year at the top of the list after winning 17 graded stakes in 2013 and 10 in 2014. Zayat Stables was second in the rankings with nine graded stakes wins.

12 – Most wins by any horse U.S.-based horse in 2015. Tribal Custom made 19 starts in 2015, winning 12 of them and hitting the board in three others for season earnings of $89,204. Her last start of the year was a Starter Allowance at Turfway Park, which she won by eight lengths at odds of 3.00-to-1.

14 – Number of horses on the top 20 North America earnings list who are, as of now, planning on coming back in 2016. All 14 were Grade 1 winners in 2015 with five winning Breeders’ Cup races.

28 – The most starts made by any U.S.-raced horse with Firm Believer and Ben Jacob taking the title. Firm Believer won two of his starts and hit the board nine other times for $59,358 in earnings and Ben Jacob won one start and finished on-the-board five other times for 2015 earnings of $32,180. Fifteen horses made 25 or more starts in 2015.

47 – Number of graded stakes races Todd Pletcher won in 2015 to lead all trainers in graded stakes wins. Included in that total were 15 Grade 1 victories, two of which came in Kentucky Derby prep races (Materality in the Florida Derby and Carpe Diem in the Blue Grass Stakes) and two of which came in the Breeders’ Cup (Liam’s Map in the Dirt Mile and Stopchargingmaria in the Distaff).

46 – Number of graded stakes races Javier Castellano won in 2015, the most of any jockey in the United States. He ended the reign of John Velazquez, who led the category for six straight years and won 31 graded stakes this year to finish second in the category.

110 – The number of Grade 1 races run in the United States in 2015. In 2016, the number of Grade 1 races will be 109 with the Fourstardave earning Grade 1 status and two Grade 1 races being downgraded to Grade 2.

217 – The number of races Midwest Thoroughbreds won to lead owners by wins, earning $5,419,762 in purses. Of the 217 wins, five were stakes victories with the highlight win of their year coming in the Arlington Million with The Pizza Man.

344 – The number of races Javier Castellano won in 2015 to lead all North American jockeys. His overall earnings for the year were $28,120,767 with 23 percent of his horses winning and 55 percent hitting the board.

420– Number of races trainer Karl Broberg won in 2015 for earnings of $6,290,492. He had a win rate of 30 percent and his horses hit the board 62 percent of the time. This is the second consecutive year he’s led the category. He finished second in 2013.

463 – Graded stakes races in 2015, eight more than were graded in 2014. In 2016, there will be 464 graded stakes races.

634 – Total number of graded and ungraded stakes races with a purse of $75,000 or more run in 2015.

22,000 – Number of registered Thoroughbred foals The Jockey Club projected would be born in North America in 2015, the same number of foals it projected would be born in 2014. It projects that 22,500 foals will be born in 2016. The Jockey Club also announced earlier this year that in 2017 it will become mandatory for foals to be microchipped.

$1,036,100 – Average earnings per start of American Pharoah in 2015. He retired with $8,650,300 in career earnings for $786,391 per start.

$3,200,000 – The price a weanling filly by War Front and out of Take Charge Lady sold for at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, a record price for a weanling sold at public auction in North America. The half-sister (same mother, different father) to champion Will Take Charge, Grade 1 winner Take Charge Indy and Charming, who is the dam (mother) of Take Charge Brandi, was bought by Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm.

$3,670,354– The amount of money earned by Uncle Mo’s first crop to lock in the Leading First-Crop Sire title by earnings (according to the Blood-Horse Leading Sires list), over $2.5 million more than runner-up Twirling Candy. Uncle Mo, whose Nyquist won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and is likely to be named champion 2-year-old like his sire, also led the winners, repeat winners, stakes winners and graded stakes winners category.

$18,307,469 – The cumulative earnings of all of Tapit’s foals in 2015 (according to the Blood-Horse Leading Sires list), shattering the record he set last year of $16,813,536. His leading runners were Grade 1 winners Frosted and Tonalist, with those two combining for $3,607,200 of his earnings. Tapit improved nearly all of his numbers this year with 172 winners up from 156 last year, 23 stakes wins in 2015, 16 graded stakes winners and five Grade 1 winners. His stud fee is staying steady at $300,000 in 2016, the highest of any stallion in North America.

$41,648,184 – The cumulative earnings of the 25 horses who made $1-million or more in 2015 in North America. A farther 15 made at least $750,000 with 89 horses earning $500,000 or more in North America in 2015.

- from by Melissa Bauer-Herzog


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