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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Keeper Hill, winner of the 1998 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), delivered her first foal Thursday morning. The foal, a colt by Gone West was delivered at Dr. John and Alice Chandler's Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington.
The Juddmonte Farms juggernaut of owner/breeder Prince Khalid Abdullah and prominently represented by trainer Bobby Frankel and jockey Jerry Bailey is in position to add to its large collection of Eclipse Awards when the annual black-tie dinner is held Jan. 26 at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla.
Can it really be just a year ago that the top price for an incoming stallion was only $40,000? That the second-highest price was $30,000? Well, now the top price for a newcomer is back up to six figures, $100,000 to be exact, and the next highest is $50,000.
Voting is underway at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Web site, www.ntra.com, for the fifth annual "NTRA Moment of the Year." Voters can choose from among 10 images, drawn from the year's racing through the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Grade II winner Decarchy, a half-brother to Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker, has been purchased by Dennis Narlinger and Magali Farms from Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms for stallion duty at Magali near Santa Ynez, Calif.
Empire Maker, whose Belmont Stakes (gr. I) win ended the Triple Crown threat of Funny Cide, has been retired from racing and will stand for a fee of $100,000 live foal at Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms near Lexington.
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker will not run in Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) due to a foot bruise suffered Wednesday morning. Trainer Bobby Frankel said the Belmont (gr. I) winner will be shipped back to California.
Mineshaft, impressive winner of the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) in his last start, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 Monday morning in preparation for Saturday's Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Although he has a first call to ride Godolphin's Moon Ballad in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Sept. 27, Jerry Bailey will be aboard Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Empire Maker if the colt turns in a another good work this weekend.
Dan Borislow, owner of Toccet, said the son of Awesome Again is scheduled to fly to Santa Anita tomorrow, where he will prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on Oct. 4.
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker, winner of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), showed he is over the cough that disrupted his training schedule by working 6 furlongs in 1:11 2/5 Monday morning with jockey Edgar Prado aboard.
Although trainer Bobby Frankel has not ruled out the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) for Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker, he said he's thinking seriously of running the colt in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) or the Meadowlands Cup (gr. II).
After two months of hype, the much-anticipated rematch between Funny Cide and Empire Maker in Saturday's Travers (gr. I) fell through. With his Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner still feeling the effects of an illness contracted after the Haskell Invitational Aug. 3, trainer Barclay Tagg declared Funny Cide out of the $1 million race Friday morning.
Triple Crown race winners Funny Cide and Empire Maker remain on the "if" list for Saturday's Travers (gr. I). If this happens, they will go to the post for the $1 million race. It that happens, they won't.
A field of eight passed the entry box Wednesday morning for the $1 million Travers Stakes. How many will run is another story. The big news was Funny Cide entering after two weeks of "doubtfuls" and "highly unlikelys," from trainer Barclay Tagg.