Zayat Stables' Pioneerof the Nile, winner of four consecutive graded stakes and second in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has been retired due to a soft tissue injury to his left front leg.
Zayat Stables' homebred Pioneerof the Nile, second in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), breezed a half-mile in :47 3/5 at Churchill Downs May 11 as the Empire Maker colt prepped for the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I). The time was fourth-fastest of the morning among 48 horses working four furlongs.
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 full sister to Pioneerof the Nile, one of the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was foaled April 23.
Even as he prepares to ship Pioneerof the Nile to Churchill Downs April 14 for the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Bob Baffert says he's still trying to figure out what kind of running style the son of 2003 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker possesses.
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.
Odds-on choice Pioneerof the Nile got the test he needed in preparation for his big showdown with The Pamplemousse next month, turning back a challenge in the stretch to win the $200,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita March 14.
Triple Crown contender Pioneerof the Nile, overcoming traffic problems on the final turn, charged from the back of the pack to win the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) in the final strides over 17-1 shot Papa Clem at Santa Anita Feb. 7.
Bob Baffert, an old hand at getting horses ready for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), starts heading down the Triple Crown path once again when he saddles Pioneerof the Nile for the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita on Feb. 7.
Toussaud, 2002 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year, was euthanized Jan. 5 because of declining health.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Pioneerof the Nile, winner of the CashCall Futurity (gr. I), is one of three Empire Maker sons whose recent performances have helped grow their sire's reputation among breeders. The others are Daiwa Prevail (JPN) and Summer's Empire.
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.
Empire Maker, who stands at Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms near Lexington, has had his 2009 fee reduced from a previously announced fee of $100,000 to $75,000.
Empire Maker, 12th on this year's leading second-crop sires list by progeny earnings, will stand once again for $100,000 at Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
The sires with their first 3-year-olds racing in 2008 have seen some reshuffling among the leaders by progeny earnings, particularly compared with the rankings of this sire class as freshmen.
Helen Groves and Helen Alexander's homebred Acoma stayed close to the pace, corralled Tight Precision in mid-stretch and went on to win the Pin Oak Valley View (gr. IIIT) by a half-length on the Keeneland turf Oct. 17.
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.
An Indian Charlie filly topped the Sept. 16 session at the Keeneland September yearling sale, going for $250,000.
Although one of his offspring failed to sell for a record RNA price of $7.7 million, A.P. Indy did have the session-topper and emerged as the leading sire of yearlings sold during the first day of the Keeneland September yearling sale Sept. 8.
Europe's yearling sale season makes its traditional return Aug. 15 in the picturesque surroundings of Deauville on the Normandy coast of France. Arqana has cataloged 515 lots for its August yearling sale, which runs through Aug. 18.
Michael Matz is expecting a big improvement from Ready Set in his next tilt, the $300,000 Barbaro Stakes (gr. III) July 13 at Delaware Park. Six 3-year-olds have been entered in the 1 1/16-mile event on the main track.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
No one has to look very deep in Acoma's pedigree to see broodmare potential in spades. Helen Alexander's and Helen Groves' daughter of Empire Maker recently won the Dogwood Stakes (gr. III) is now bucking for broodmare prospect of the year honors.
Favored Roman Emperor charged to the lead on the turn, dueled with Da' Tara down the lane, then won the Barbaro Stakes for 3-year-olds May 17 at Pimlico.
Consignors are optimistic the day before the start of Keeneland's January sale.
The undefeated Giant Moon will try to keep his winning streak alive when he makes his open stakes debut in the $75,000 Count Fleet at Aqueduct Jan. 5.
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.
Toussaud, whose five grade/group winners include promising young sire Empire Maker, has been pensioned from her duties as a broodmare at Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms near Lexington.
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.
Lewis Lakin's Pure Clan, unbeaten in three career starts, will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles and aim for grade II status when she heads to the post against eight other 2-year-old fillies in the $250,000 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 24.
Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farm near Lexington announced its 2008 stud fees Nov. 1,with two remaining the same and one seeing an increase.
An Empire Maker colt was sold for $320,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearling sale, which began Oct. 22 with increases in average and median prices and a low buyback rate. Fasig-Tipton reported 297 yearlings sold for a gross of $5,286,000. The $17,801 average price rose 27.4%, the median increased 42.8% to $10,000, and the buyback fell to a palatable 18.1% from 30.9% compared with the opening session of 2006.
Despite difficult comparisons, the two-day consignor preferred sessions at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s fall mixed sale ended Oct. 9 in Central Florida with an increase in average price. Comparisons to 2006 were hard because last year there were three consignor preference sessions.
- By Ron Mitchell
The parallel lives of stallions Mineshaft and Empire Maker continue at the Keeneland September yearling sale, where they are the top second-crop sires, based on sale average.
- By Ron Mitchell
Senior staff writer Ron Mitchell identifies the top ten offerings on the first day of the 2007 Keeneland Yearling Sale.
Classic winner Empire Maker was represented by his first winner when his daughter Miss Red Delicious won June 18 by 13 1/2 lengths.
The Japan Racing Horse Association (JRHA) 's select foal and select yearling sales will be held July 9-11 at the Northern Horse Park on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
Champion Intercontinental produced her first foal, an Empire Maker filly, Feb. 13 at Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms near Lexington.
Empire Maker, whose first foals are yearlings, will stand for $100,000 in 2007, the same fee he commanded in his first three years.
While it was Sheikh Mohammed who drove the market during the two-day select sessions of Keeneland's September yearling sale Monday and Tuesday, it was powered by the sires of those yearlings. The leading sires from Book One are a heady mix of the old guard with a trio of young shooters making some interesting headway.
If you can believe the talk around Keeneland's sale grounds, Tuesday's second session of the September yearling sale is filled with horses that have top conformation as well as top pedigrees.
The 16th annual charity stallion season and art auction conducted by Thoroughbred Charities of America and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association on Dec. 3 at CandyLand Farm in Delaware and audiocast to Cross Gate Gallery in Lexington, Ky. raised $1.9 million.
In the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby two years ago, all the action swirled around Barn 43, where trainer Bobby Frankel gave daily press conferences that were only a chorus or two of "Hail to the Chief" short of presidential.
Bird Town, Marylou Whitney's champion 3-year-old filly of 2003, produced her first offspring, an Empire Maker colt.
Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss' multiple grade III winner Belleski has been retired, trainer John Sadler said, and has been sent to Mill Ridge Farm in Kentucky where she will be bred.
Juddmonte Farms' homebred grade I winner Empire Maker had one of his first foals born Jan. 23 at the Lexington, Ky. farm.
Empire Maker, last year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner who covered 111 mares this year at Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms near Lexington, will keep his $100,000 stud fee for 2005.
Grade I winner Chiselling, a half-brother to grade I winner Empire Maker, has been acquired by Andreas Jacobs and Scott Brothers in a partnership for stallion duty at Maine Chance Farms near Robertson in South Africa.
It's not easy playing the role of villain in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). They're the guys wearing the black hats, the party poopers, the evil-doers of the Triple Crown. In the last 35 years, there have been three Triple Crown winners, and 11 horses that fell short in the 1 1/2-mile "Test of a Champion."
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