Though retired from racing, Blame still is winning for New Orleans-born trainer Al Stall Jr. Prevailing in an epic stretch run with Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic a year ago at Churchill Downs, Blame provided Stall the most significant victory of his career. Blame earned the Eclipse Award for champion older horse of 2010, becoming the first champion trained by Stall.
The horse earned plenty of money, too. His purse earnings last year, more than $4 million, propelled the year’s earnings by Stall’s starters to more than $6 million. The season was by far the most lucrative in Stall’s 21-year career.
Horse owners were taking notice of Stall’s patient handling of Blame throughout the season. Owners who hadn’t met Stall called to ask if he would take horses for them.
In his office on the Churchill Downs backstretch is a board listing the names of horses in the barn. “Two-year-old, 2-year-old, 2-year-old, 2-year-old …,’’ Stall said, pointing down the list.