Empire Maker

Fasig-Tipton October Sale Concludes

LEXINGTON, KY - The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearlings Sale--and the yearling sales season--concluded Thursday in Lexington with the market continuing to show resilience despite a plethora of worldwide uncertainties. Through four sessions, 961 yearlings grossed $32,743,700. The average of $34,073 was down 10.2% from last year's sale-record mark of $37,955. The median of $15,000 rose 15.4% from the 2019 figure of $13,000. With 265 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 21.6%. It was 24.5% a year ago. "All in all, I think it has to be considered a...

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Classy Empire Maker Colt Becomes Latest Rising Star for Avengers and Baffert

Classier (Empire Maker) became the latest flashy colt unveiled by Bob Baffert and the stallion-making conglomerate nicknamed The Avengers as he streaked home an impressive winner at Santa Anita Saturday worthy of a 'TDN Rising Star' nod. Having tuned up for this with a head-turning six-furlong work from the gate on Monday (6f, 1:12.40, 1/3, XBTV Video), the bay was let go at generous 7-2 odds as two foes with experience took more attention. Off a bit sluggishly from his rail draw, Classier quickly recovered to take command and zip...

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Empire Maker Filly Comes Out Running for Shug

2nd-Belmont, $80,000, Msw, 10-18, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.84, ft, 3 1/2 lengths. CAFE SOCIETY (f, 2, Empire Maker--Full Tap, by Tapit), let go at 10-1 from a 7-2 morning line for a barn that doesn't win with many firsters and doesn't train many 2-year-old sale grads, proved best of a promising-looking group Sunday at Big Sandy. Away alertly to press favored second timer Exact (Competitive Edge) through a :22.67 opening quarter, the bay challenged for the lead through a :46.08 half. She put away that foe by midstretch, and ran...

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Sunday’s Racing Insights: Well-Bred Juveniles Debuting All Over

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 2nd-BEL, $80K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6f, post time: 12:55 p.m. ET Several well-bred firsters will look to run down the likes of morning line favorite Exact (Competitive Edge), who was second over track and trip Sept. 18. Allen Stable and Shug McGaughey unveil Cafe Society (Empire Maker), a $135,000 KEESEP yearling turned $475,000 OBSAPR 2-year-old off a :10 flat breeze. Dam Full Tap (Tapit) was carrying Cafe Society when she brought $375,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale. The three-time winner, who was third in...

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June 18 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency WELL-RELATED FILLY DEBUTS IN 'EMPIRE' STATE 1st-BEL, $64K, Msw, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:15p.m. Gainesway's LOVE ON THE RUN (Empire Maker) makes her career bow in this spot for Bill Mott. Hammering for $425,000 at KEENOV, the bay is a half-sister to two-time Grade I winner Belle Gallantey (After Market). Bass Stables' Thankful (American Pharoah) makes her second start and first on dirt here for trainer Todd Pletcher. She finished ninth on her May 14 debut on the grass at Gulfstream after brushing the gates and...

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This Side Up: Sparkling Rings Required For Bachelor Engagement

Even Richard Wagner would have struggled to make anything of this particular "ring cycle". In four starts, Eight Rings (Empire Maker) has so far abruptly alternated the full works--strings, horns, kettle drums--with a timid clink of the triangle. As such, he certainly can't afford to break the cycle when surfacing for the first time since his Breeders' Cup bust in the Bachelor S. at Oaklawn Saturday. Dropping in grade and distance, in fact, he needs to produce the dominant sophomore performance of a day that also features a new stakes...

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Eight Rings Returns in Bachelor S.

Grade I-winning 'TDN Rising Star' Eight Rings (Empire Maker) makes his seasonal bow Saturday in Oaklawn's Bachelor S. An impressive debut winner at Del Mar Aug. 4, the $520,000 KEESEP buy ducked in sharply at the start of the GI Del Mar Futurity S. Sept. 2, bumping his neighbor and losing his rider. The dark bay returned with a decisive score in the GI American Pharoah S. at Santa Anita Sept. 27 and could only manage sixth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile in Arcadia when last seen Nov. 1....

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Feb. 28 Insights: Pricey Pharoah Debuts Against FL Breds

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 5th-GP, $44K, Msw, (S), 3yo, 1m, 3:03p.m. WinStar Farm and China Horse Club's $600,000 KEESEP purchase FREEDOM FORCE (American Pharoah) makes his career bow against fellow Florida-breds in this spot. The chestnut is a half-brother to MGISW millionaire Iotapa (Afleet Alex) and SW & GSP Saintly Joan (Northern Afleet). The Rodolphe Brisset trainee enters off a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 flat (1/8) at Palm Meadows Feb. 19. Todd Pletcher saddles another intriguing runner in this test in Mathis homebred Roman Empire (Empire Maker). Off...

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An Empire That Will Survive Its Maker’s Loss

Mahmoud is interred in the same soil. So, too, are Broomstick and his son Whisk Broom II--both born in the first years of the last century; Tom Fool, Vaguely Noble, Blushing Groom; the great matriarch La Troienne. Stop The Music, the horse who owed his Champagne S. success to the disqualification of Secretariat, lasted to 35 before he had to be euthanized in 2005. And let's not forget The Axe, gray son of gray Mahmoud: the sire of Foggy Note, fourth of nine gray dams behind the farm's modern colossus...

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Empire Maker Dies

Empire Maker (Unbridled--Toussaud, by El Gran Senor), who gave Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms its lone American Classic winner in the 2003 GI Belmont S. before going on to be a sire of sires and grandsire of two Kentucky Derby winners--including a Triple Crown winner--passed away Saturday, Jan. 18 at Gainesway Farm in Lexington. He was 20 years old and succumbed to a rare disease that compromised his immune system. "The passing of Empire Maker will leave a tremendous void not only in the breeding industry as we know it, but...

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Gainesway Open House This Week

Gainesway Farm will be open to visitors this week for inspections of its 2020 roster of stallions. Open House hours will be held from Monday, Jan. 13 through Friday, Jan. 17 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visit www.gainesway.com for more information.

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Empire Maker Colt First Winner, First ‘Rising Star’ for Powerful Partnership

The powerful ownership group involved with juvenile colt Eight Rings (Empire Maker) celebrated their first win as a team Sunday as the buzzed-about Bob Baffert trainee blitzed Del Mar maiden company to become a no-brainer 'TDN Rising Star'. A $520,000 Keeneland September yearling, the dark bay prepped for this with a bullet five-furlong drill from the gate in 1:00 flat here July 25 in company with unraced Garth (Into Mischief--Country Star) (Click for XBTV Video) and was crushed down to 3-5 favoritism despite the presence of several other well-bred and...

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