Jess Jackson of Stonestreet Farm and Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables announced Aug. 2 that Eskendereya, the favorite for this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) before being withdrawn due to injury, will stand at Taylor Made Stallions in Nicholasville, Ky., beginning in 2011.
The son of Giant's Causeway – Aldebaran Light, by Seattle Slew was purchased by Zayat for $250,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale,.
Eskendereya, which is Arabic for the city Alexandria, was bred in Kentucky by Sanford R. Robertson. He retired with four victories from six starts, with one second, for earnings of $725,700. His retirement and sale of majority interest to Jackson were announced the week following the Derby.
"Eskendereya was widely considered to be the best of his generation. He has the highest Beyer speed rating (109) and best Rag (Ragozin) number for a three year old colt," Jackson said in a statement. "Eskenderya has a royal pedigree and beautiful conformation. His pedigree contains many of the top sires of the past 50 years and is noteworthy for quality, depth and stamina. His female pedigree, top and bottom, is a 6x6x6x6 to Almahmoud, one of the greatest progenitors of standing sires in America. We are pleased that the Taylor family will partner with us in his stud career."
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Eskendereya stamped himself as the pre-Derby favorite after winning the Wood Memorial Stakes b(gr. I) by 9-3/4 lengths and the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) by 8-1/2 lengths, the largest winning margin for that race since Spectacular Bid.
"The entire Taylor Made Team is extremely excited to partner with the Jacksons, the Stonestreet team, and Mr. Ahmed Zayat for the opportunity to stand such a special horse," Duncan Taylor, president of Taylor Made Stallions, said in the release. "After witnessing Eskendereya’s incredible performances in the Wood Memorial and Fountain of Youth, we truly believe he is the most talented racehorse to go to stud in years. He possesses a rare blend of speed, stamina and pedigree that you rarely find in today’s thoroughbred. In looking at his pedigree, which traces directly back to the female family of Northern Dancer and Halo, you will find numerous breed shaping stallions and foundation mares in virtually every position throughout his pedigree."
With Zayat retaining some breeding interest in Eskendereya, the purchase price paid by Jackson was never announced.
However, documents filed in connection with the Chapter 11 bankrutcy case of Zayat Stables, shed some light on the financial considerations of the deal.
Zayat's projected income statements for May 2010 showed $7.5 million from the sale of horses and the restricted cash from horse sales to be $8.3 million. In other filings previous to the sale of Eskendereya, Zayat projected the restricted cash from horse sales to be $1 million. All told, Zayat has projected $16.8 million in 2010 from horse sales, including Eskendereya, with sales figures of $15.2 million, $10 million, $11 million, and $11 million annually from 2011-2014.