The week leading up to the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Ahmed Zayat, owner of Pioneerof the Nile, was hit in the head by bird droppings. The owner saw it as a positive and believed his colt had a good chance in the Derby; little did he know what was to come.
There is no denying that Ahmed Zayat started a firestorm of controversy when he went on HRTV and TVG to announce and then take back his intentions of trying to keep Rachel Alexandra out of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). The predicted fallout occurred, but it is now time to cut him some slack.
After being besieged with unfavorable comments regarding his earlier decision to enter enough horses to prevent Rachel Alexandra from running in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Ahmed Zayat, owner of Pioneerof the Nile, said on TVG that he has decided to reconsider and will not enter any other horses.
Sickly foal, which was a $290,000 yearling sale buy-back, has grown up to become a Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender.
Pioneerof the Nile didn't turn in the fastest five-furlong work April 27 at Churchill Downs, but that wasn't the goal for his trainer, Bob Baffert. The 3-year-old son of Empire Maker cruised through five furlongs in 1:01 and impressed onlookers with his long, free-flowing stride in his final breeze before the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I).
A lack of pace changed the game plan for odds-on choice Pioneerof the Nile, but jockey Garrett Gomez improvised, enabling the son of Empire Maker to hold off Chocolate Candy for a one-length win in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on a picture-perfect day in Arcadia, Calif.
CashCall Futurity (gr. I) winner Pioneerof the Nile remains on target for his 3-year-old debut on Feb. 7 after turning in a bullet five-furlong drill of :57 3/5 over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride track Jan. 11.
Heavily favored Pioneerof the Nile, who took over the stall of Midshipman when the Breeder's Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner departed trainer Bob Baffert's barn for Dubai this fall, proved he earned it when he narrowly held off I Want Revenge in an exhilarating renewal of the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park Dec. 20.
Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables' J Be K has been retired from racing and will enter stud in 2009 at the Beck family's Gainesway Farm near Lexington. His 2009 fee will be $10,000.
Day two of the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale Nov. 4 closed with downturns in gross, average, and median.
Trainer Patrick Biancone went to $1.8 million to acquire grade III winner Baroness Thatcher during the late portion of day two of the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale Nov. 4 at the Central Kentucky auction house.
Grade II winner Mushka was purchased by Elizabeth Moran's Brushwood Stable for $2.4 million to keep the second session of the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale rolling along Nov. 4 at the Central Kentucky auction house.
Adena Springs' Frank Stronach went to $1.25 million to acquire grade I winner Lady Joanne in foal to Mr. Greeley to kick start the second session of the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale Nov. 4 at the Central Kentucky auction house.
The Keeneland November breeding stock sale traditionally has been a market primarily for broodmares and weanlings, but a growing segment of the auction in recent years has been horses in training.
J Be K is out of the Oct. 25 Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita, according to Sobhy Sonbol, racing manager for Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables.
Following his business plan, Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables will offer more than 70 horses, including grade III winner Baroness Thatcher, during the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, which begins Nov. 3. Eaton Sales will consign the horses, which will include racing, broodmare, and stallion prospects, as well as a few weanlings.
Zayat Stables has 90 horses cataloged in Eaton Sales' consignment for the Keeneland November breeding stock sale. They include 2007 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) winner Baroness Thatcher and Premium Wine, who scored in the 2007 Gallant Bob Handicap at Philadelphia Park and finished third in the 2008 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct.
Ahmed Zayat sent two runners to the Derby who wound up chasing Big Brown home. For the Preakness, Zayat Stables' will send out Riley Tucker, a son of Harlan's Holiday who has earned a shot.
Zayat Stables' Massive Drama, third in two graded stakes in California this year, will detour off the traditional Triple Crown trail to take on a tough group of older Southern Hemisphere-breds in the $2-million UAE Derby (UAE-II) on the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) program.
Triple Crown nominee wins his division of Darley OBS Championship Stakes.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The only master that should count is the horse and his safety.
The agreement by Irish-based Coolmore Stud to purchase the breeding rights in unbeaten 3-year-old E Z Warrior from Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables has fallen through.
Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables has reached an agreement in principle to sell the breeding rights in undefeated 3-year-old E Z Warrior to John Magnier and partners' Irish-based Coolmore Stud.
Washington breeder Theiline (Ty) Scheumann has returned La Brea Stakes (gr. I) winner Downthedustyroad to trainer Bob Baffert's Santa Anita barn after buying her for $1.5 million at the Keeneland January mixed sale.
Hill 'n' Dale Farm owner John Sikura said Wednesday Eclipse Award finalist and grade I winner Point Ashley will be bred to leading sire Storm Cat.
The final bid for Chief Officer at the Keeneland January horses of all ages auction Wednesday was $750,000, but it came from someone working for her owner, Egyptian entrepreneur Ahmed Zayat.
Keeneland's January horses of all ages sale, which begins Monday in Lexington, will be bigger than ever before. The auction's total of 2,933 lots exceeds by 425 the former January record of 2,508, set last year.
Relative newcomer Ahmed Zayat went to $1.6 million for an Empire Maker filly Wednesday night to top the 86th annual Fasig-Tipton selected yearling sale in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The historic sale, now with a two-day run, had yet another solid performance with the average virtually mirroring last year's figure and the gross increasing significantly.
Lake Island was the star during the third session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.
A record-breaking 625,000 guineas Green Desert colt out of Park Hill Stakes (Eng-III) winner Alexander Three D (Ire) (Pennekamp) provided the icing on the cake in Newmarket Thursday night at the concluding installment of a fantastic renewal of Tattersalls' Breeze-Up Sale.
Barretts' March select sale of 2-year-olds in training had three strikes against it, but didn't go down swinging Tuesday in Southern California.
A striking, nearly black Exploit colt sold for $1.2 million Tuesday to Egyptian brewing mogul Ahmed Zayat early during the Barretts March select juvenile auction.
Tuesday's eighth session of the Keeneland September sale brought the auction house past the halfway point of its 14-day yearling showcase. Buttressed by continued high buyer demand, market strength was again on display with increases in all categories when compared to the same session last year.
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile auction ended its sizzling two-day run Tuesday at Timonium with all-time highs for gross revenue, average price, and median price. In addition, the hot market generated a high price for a horse of $450,000, which equaled the Maryland-based sale's record.
Ivywood Angel, a racy-looking Unbridled's Song filly with a big white blaze, equaled the record for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training when she brought $450,000 Tuesday during the auction's second session at Timonium, Md.
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