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Dance Card Honored as 2023 KY Broodmare of the Year

The mare's son, Cody's Wish, was named the 2023 Kentucky-bred Horse of the Year.

Dance Card trains ahead of the 2013 Breeders' Cup

Dance Card trains ahead of the 2013 Breeders' Cup

Chad B. Harmon

Dance Card, the dam of 2023 Horse of the Year Cody's Wish , was named the Kentucky Broodmare of the Year at the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders awards ceremony April 10 in Lexington.

A 15-year-old daughter of Tapit , Dance Card was acquired by Godolphin for $750,000 through agent John Ferguson at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and campaigned under the Godolphin colors, Dance Card captured four of seven starts and bankrolled $502,200. Her finest victory came during her 3-year-old year when she romped by four lengths in the 2012 Gazelle Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct Racetrack. Returning to training the following year, she finished a narrow third behind Groupie Doll and Judy the Beauty in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1).

Dance Card has produced six foals of racing age, three of whom have been winners. The best of her progeny have been Cody's Wish and multiple graded stakes winner Endorsed  (Medaglia d'Oro ). Cody's Wish, bred and raced by Godolphin, was awarded as the 2023 KTA/KTOB Horse of the Year on the berth of his sensational 5-year-old season in which he collected grade 1 wins in the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1), Metropolitan Handicap (G1), and a repeat score in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1). The son of Curlin  retired with earnings of $3.1 million and currently stands at the Godolphin operation's United States stud entity, Darley America, in Lexington.

Cody's Wish with Junior Alvarado wins the Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita in Arcadia, CA on November 4, 2023.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Cody's Wish (outside) wins his second straight Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita Park

Endorsed also played a role in Dance Card's award, taking home two graded stakes races during the 2023 Gulfstream Park Championship Meet in the Fred W. Hooper Stakes (G3) and Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (G2) for trainer Mike Maker. Retired after making 36 starts on the track racing for Godolphin, he took up stallion duties in Maryland for the 2024 breeding season at the Northview Stallion Station.

Dance Card's youngest offspring to date are an unraced juvenile filly by Street Sense  and a yearling Gun Runner  filly. She was bred back to Curlin for 2024.

Godolphin enjoyed a banner night at Wednesday's ceremony, collecting the 2023 P.A.B. Widener Trophy for KTOB Breeder of the Year and the KTDF Owner of the Year awards. In addition to Dance Card and Cody's Wish, the operation's homebred Pretty Mischievous was crowned KTA/KTOB champion 3-year-old filly. The daughter of Into Mischief  streaked to three grade 1 wins in 2023, including a historic victory in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

The following horses were honored as 2023 Kentucky-bred champions and their breeders:

  • Broodmare of the Year: Dance Card (Owner: Godolphin)
  • Horse of the Year, Older Dirt Male: Cody's Wish (Godolphin)
  • 2-year-old male: Fierceness (Repole Stable)
  • 2-year-old filly: Just F Y I (George Krikorian)
  • 3-year-old male: Arcangelo (Don Alberto Corporation)
  • 3-year-old filly: Pretty Mischievous (Godolphin)
  • Older dirt female/female sprinter: Goodnight Olive (Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings)
  • Male turf horse: Up to the Mark (Ramspring Farm)
  • Female turf horse: War Like Goddess (Calumet Farm)
  • Male sprinter: Elite Power (Alpha Delta Stables)
  • Racing abroad: Lemon Pop (Mr. & Mrs. Oliver S. Tait)
  • Steeplechase horse: Snap Decision (Phipps Stable)

Three merit awards will be presented to individuals for their contributions to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Industry.

  • P.A.B. Widener Trophy for KTOB Breeder of the Year: Godolphin
  • Charles W. Engelhard Award acknowledges a member of the media for outstanding coverage of the Thoroughbred industry: Chris McGrath
  • William T. Young Humanitarian Award distinguishes a person or organization in the Thoroughbred industry “who recognizes and promotes the human endeavor": Frederick J. Seitz

Also to receive awards are the top Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund money earners in 2023 in five separate categories.

  • KTDF Sire of the Year: Into Mischief (Spendthrift Farm)
  • KTDF Earner of the Year: Ancient Rome (Owner: Mrs. Fitri Hay)
  • KTDF Owner of the Year: Godolphin
  • KTDF Trainer of the Year: Brad Cox
  • KTDF Breeder of the Year: Calumet Farm

Recipients of the 2023 KTOB Kentucky-bred champion awards were voted on by the full membership of KTA/KTOB while the KTDF category leaders were tabulated using purse money won at Kentucky racetracks in 2023. KTOB merit award recipients were voted on by the KTA/KTOB board of directors.