Which breeding farm produces the most successful racehorses?

July 9th, 2024

They say a good racehorse can come from anywhere, and that’s absolutely true. But some “anywheres” produce top-notch racehorses on a regular basis.

Horse racing is filled with the names of legendary breeders and breeding farms responsible for writing indelible pages in the sport’s history. For example, the 10 Kentucky Derby (G1) winners bred by Calumet Farm. Or the two Triple Crown winners bred by Belair Stud.

But who are the current leading breeders? It depends on the metrics you choose to analyze. Reviewing the North American data for thoroughbreds since 2020, the following breeders top a handful of key categories.

Leading breeder by earnings: Godolphin

International powerhouse Godolphin has enjoyed resounding success around the globe, and in recent years it's become the dominant force in North American racing. Godolphin led the continent in total purse earnings in 2021, 2022, and 2023, and as of this writing, it's leading the rankings for 2024. Every year from 2021 through 2023, Godolphin earned the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder.

In 2023, horses bred by Godolphin earned nearly $21 million in North America, making Godolphin the first breeder this millennium to see its horses earn more than $20 million in North American purse money.

An honorable mention goes to Calumet Farm, which topped the earnings chart in 2020 (when Godolphin was fourth) before finishing second in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Leading breeder by Grade 1 wins: Godolphin

Godolphin’s ascent to the top of the earnings charts has been powered by a bevy of North American Grade 1 wins. 

Godolphin-bred runners won 10 Grade 1 races in 2021, 12 in 2022, and 13 in 2023, topping the category each year. Those 35 Grade 1 wins included nine Breeders’ Cup wins courtesy of seven horses: Modern Games, Space Blues, Yibir, Mischief Magic, Cody’s Wish, Rebel’s Romance, and Master of The Seas.

In addition, Godolphin’s Essential Quality won the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and 2021 Belmont (G1) on his way to earning two Eclipse Awards. All told, five horses bred by Godolphin have combined to earn seven championship titles since 2020: Essential Quality (champion two-year-old male and champion three-year-old male), Yibir (champion turf male), Modern Games (champion turf male), Cody’s Wish (Horse of the Year and champion older dirt male), and Pretty Mischievous (champion three-year-old filly).

Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings also deserves a shoutout in this category. It ranked second by number of Grade 1 wins in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Two horses bred by Stonestreet combined to win four Eclipse Awards during that time frame: Malathaat (champion three-year-old filly and champion older dirt female) and Goodnight Olive (two-time champion female sprinter).

Leading breeders by wins: Calumet Farm

Thanks in part to the large number of horses it breeds each year, Calumet Farm regularly ranks as North America’s leading breeder by races won. It's topped that metric every year since 2019 and currently ranks atop the 2024 standings by a clear margin. In both 2022 and 2023, horses bred by Calumet Farm won more than 500 races.

Not infrequently, Calumet-breds shine at the highest levels of the sport. In 2023, Calumet-breds Far Bridge and War Like Goddess, respectively, won the Belmont Derby (G1) and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1). And in 2022, Calumet-bred Rich Strike sprung an 80-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Leading breeders of Triple Crown race winners: Grandview Equine and Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds

It’s difficult to breed multiple horses good enough to win Triple Crown races. But two breeders in the 2020s have already achieved this feat.

In 2023, the Kentucky Derby went to Mage, a son of Good Magic out of Puca bred by Grandview Equine. The following year, Mage’s full brother Dornoch—likewise bred by Grandview Equine—won the Belmont (G1).

In 2020, Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds reached the pinnacle of the sport when Authentic won the Kentucky Derby. Then in 2023, the breeder added a Preakness (G1) to its tally courtesy of National Treasure.

Breeder of Flightline: Summer Wind Equine

Undefeated 2022 Horse of the Year Flightline is widely considered the fastest North American racehorse so far in the 2020s. He was never challenged in six starts and dominated four Grade 1 races: the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Pacific Classic, Metropolitan H., and Malibu.

In terms of raw talent, Flightline ranks among the all-time great North American racehorses, a testament to the breeding practices of Summer Wind Equine. While a smaller operation than Godolphin and Calumet Farm, Summer Wind Equine deserves special acclaim for breeding Flightline.

In addition, Summer Wind Equine has also bred quality graded stakes winners like 2018 Startlet (G1) winner Chasing Yesterday, 2021 Triple Bend (G2) hero Magic On Tap, and 2023 Rebel (G2) winner and Kentucky Derby starter Confidence Game.


Godolphin is a dominant force at the highest levels of North American racing, while Calumet Farm churns out winners in astonishing numbers. The stats from the early 2020s suggest Godolphin and Calumet Farm are only growing in power and will continue to thrive for the foreseeable future.

But if you’re looking for an up-and-coming breeding operation with a bright future, Summer Wind Equine could be positioned to build upon the success of Flightline and rise to even greater heights for the remainder of the decade. Summer Wind Equine co-owned Flightline with several partners and may reap rewards if Flightline proves to be as successful a stallion as he was a racehorse.

Meanwhile, fans of the Triple Crown should pay special attention to horses bred by Grandview Equine and Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds. 

Several Peter Blum-bred horses competed on the 2023-24 Road to the Kentucky Derby, including San Felipe (G2) winner Imagination, and Blum was named 2020 National Breeder of the Year by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Another Triple Crown race winner could be right around their corner.

First Place by YearBreeder NameTotal StartsWin %WPS %
2024 (July 10)Godolphin54816%45%
2020Calumet Farm2,58013%38%
2019Calumet Farm2,38414%40%