|SANTA ANITA DERBY|
Won at 3SANTA ANITA DERBY
(gr. I , 9f , defeating Chocolate Candy, Mr. Hot Stuff, Take the Points, Feisty Suances, Unbridled Roman, Gallant Son ).
Pioneerof the Nile is right on course to take part in this yearÕs Triple Crown events after defeating Chocolate Candy by a length in the April 4 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). With his victory the 3-year-old Empire Maker colt surpassed $1 million in earnings.
Racing as a homebred for Ahmed ZayatÕs Zayat Stables, Pioneerof the Nile has been victorious five times in eight starts. He has won four consecutive graded stakes, including the March 14 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), Feb. 7 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II), and Dec. 20 CashCall Futurity (gr. I). Bob Baffert, who has won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) three times, conditions Pioneerof the Nile.
ÒHeÕs learning how to run, but the thing is, heÕs very competitive,Ó said Baffert. ÒIÕll just keep him happy and healthy. HeÕs ready to go.Ó
Pioneerof the Nile holds the distinction of being the first stakes winner to represent Zayat as breeder. The entrepreneur formed his racing stable in 2005 and has had success with a number of graded stakes horses, including additional grade I winners Downthedustyroad and Thorn Song.
Zayat bought Pioneerof the NileÕs dam, the stakes-winning Lord At War mare Star of Goshen, privately from Gary and Betty BiszantzÕ Cobra Farm near Lexington while she was carrying the future grade I winner. The deal was brokered by Meg LevyÕs Bluewater Sales. Also included in the transaction was Star of GoshenÕs daughter Regala Di Trieste, who was later sold to Donarra Thoroughbreds.
Pioneerof the Nile is Star of GoshenÕs first stakes winner, but she has also been represented by Forefathers, a multiple grade II-placed son of Gone West. Forefathers was bought by Zayat for $680,000 at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale.
Star of Goshen has a juvenile Fusaichi Pegasus filly and was bred to Distorted Humor for 2008 but aborted the foal. The 15-year-old mare was sent back to Empire Maker for 2009.
Empire Maker is the sire of eight stakes winners including additional 2009 added-money winner Acoma (gr. III). The 9-year-old son of Unbridled stands at Juddmonte Farms near Lexington for $75,000.ÑA.H.D.
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