As he prepares to return to Kentucky, review a selection of successful offspring by Empire Maker. View Slideshow
As he prepares to return to Kentucky, review a selection of successful offspring by Empire Maker.
Country Star, the second-best 2-year-old filly of 2007, has been retired from racing to become a broodmare.
Santa Teresita, with just a minor stakes win previously, pulled a big surprise when she bettered a top-notch field of older fillies and mares in the Valentine's Day $300,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 14.
A dozen older fillies and mares take a shot at grade I glory in a deeply contentious renewal of the $300,000 Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita Feb. 14.
Marty and Pam Wygod's homebred Life Is Sweet returned from a more than seven-month layoff to become a graded stakes winner in her 4-year-old debut, coming from off the pace to take the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths Jan. 18 on the Santa Anita Pro-Ride surface.
Two-time grade I winner Country Star looks to rebound from a disappointing sophomore campaign when she makes her 4-year-old debut in the $150,000 El Encino Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 18 at Santa Anita. A full field of a dozen 4-year-old fillies are entered in the 1 1/16-mile event on Pro-Ride.
Champion filly Indian Blessing, whose flashy three-race winning streak was ended by Ventura in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita two months ago, returns to the track for the $250,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) Dec. 27.
After being scratched at the gate of last Saturday's Gazelle Handicap, trainer Bobby Frankel is still trying to make Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (gr. I) with his 3-year-old Country Star.
With main rival Country Star scratched after throwing her jockey while in the starting gate, Godolphin's Music Note won the $237,500 Gazelle Stakes (gr. I) in little more than a walkover over three rivals at Belmont Park Sept. 13.
Godolphin Stable's Music Note, making her case for the 3-year-old filly championship in 2008, can add to her argument when she takes on a small field of four rivals in the $250,000 Gazelle Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Sept. 13.
Trainer Larry Jones took it as a sign of better things to come when his Eight Belles drew the outside 12 post for the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), but all was not lost for the Kentucky-born trainer when his Proud Spell drew post 8 in the 1 1/8-mile race for the lilies on the first Friday in May.
Country Star ships Wednesday; Leparoux aboard Absolutely Cindy; Rasierra supplements
Trainer Larry Jones said it is still up in the air whether his filly Eight Belles will challenge the boys in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) or if she will battle the fillies the day before in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Fox Hill Farms' Eight Belles, who made the $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park her fourth consecutive victory, emerged as a narrow favorite as the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager concluded April 6.
Two fillies headed for a showdown in Keeneland's Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 5, Brereton Jones' Proud Spell and Stonerside Stable's Country Star, stood as the top two choices in Pool 3 of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager as the four-day betting pool reached its halfway point.
A field of seven, headlined by graded stakes winners Country Star and Proud Spell, will take to the gate for the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 5 at Keeneland.
Brereton Jones' Proud Spell, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), and Stonerside Stable's Country Star, a two-time winner in grade I company, are the top choices for the third pool of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which begins four days of betting April 3.
A field of nine fillies is expected for the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 5 at Keeneland, and the race should help sort out who is the best filly heading into the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Indian Blessing's surprising slip from the ranks of the unbeaten in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 8 left Country Star and Proud Spell atop the betting in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which closed March 9.
Proud Spell's upset of previously unbeaten champion Indian Blessing in the Fair Grounds Oaks March 8 left Eight Belles and Pure Clan co-favored at odds of 5-1 with one day of betting remaining for Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
Unbeaten Indian Blessing, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2007 and the favorite for Saturday's Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), was a strong 3-1 favorite following the first of four days of betting on Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
Hal and Patti Earnhardt's unbeaten Indian Blessing, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2007, and winner of the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), tops a roster of 165 3-year-old fillies nominated to compete in the 134th running of the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Friday, May 2.
Unbeaten Indian Blessing, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2007, took over the role of narrow favorite in the first pool of the 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager after the Bob Baffert-trained filly's win in the $200,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9.
Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) winner Country Star, unbeaten 2-year-old filly champion Indian Blessing and the "all others" wagering interest were co-favored at odds of 7-2 at the midpoint of the four-day pool Feb. 8.
Unbeaten 2-year-old filly champion Indian Blessing and the impressive grade I winner Country Star head a strong roster of 3-year-old fillies listed as wagering interests in the first of three pools of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
Headed by Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner and Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old War Pass, 448 horses were nominated to the 2008 Triple Crown during the early nomination period for the three classics. That figure ranks second behind 2007's record 450 early nominations.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
If Empire Maker's career as a runner left his connections to speculate on what might have been trainer Bobby Frankel described him as the best he had trained, many lengths better than he was able to show his career as a stallion is rapidly beginning to shape as if to fulfill that unrealized potential through his offspring. One of his standouts is Country Star, who broker her maiden in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) on Oct. 5. Three weeks later, Country Star staked a claim to the juvenile filly championship with a track record-breaking win in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I).
Country Star, one of the leading 2-year-old fillies in the nation, is now two-for-two in grade I opportunities after a scintillating 2 3/4-length triumph in the $425,500 Hollywood Starlet Dec. 15.
Country Star and Set Play, both grade I winners on synthetic surfaces, lead a field of nine 2-year-old fillies entered for the $421,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) Dec. 15.
Country Star, possible finalist in the Eclipse balloting for leading 2-year-old filly, figures to be the favorite in the $250,000 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) Dec. 15.
West Point Thoroughbreds president Terry Finley said the leader board in the 2-year-old division can change every week. Because of the unpredictable nature of juveniles, he does not put too much stock in any one race.
The preps are over and the journey to Jersey begins. This past weekend's stakes orgy did not measure up to the stirring stretch battles and top-class performances we saw the previous week. While there were some big efforts and exciting finishes, it was not a good weekend for favorites, with several big-name stars and division leaders going down to defeat.
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