Empire Maker

Queen Goddess Takes The Pegasus F&M Turf

Lightly raced Queen Goddess (Empire Maker) rewarded her connections' faith to successfully invade from California and annex Saturday's GIII Pegasus F/M Turf. Originally campaigned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and her breeder, Geoff Nixon's TOLO Thoroughbreds, after RNA'ing for $285,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling, the Michael McCarthy trainee made the grade in the rained-off GI American Oaks two Decembers ago and added the GIII Santa Ana S. on the Arcadia lawn last March. She was second in May's 1 1/2-mile GIII Santa Barbara S., but hadn't been back on the...

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Sunday Insights: Well-Bred Group Of Maiden Fillies Tackle The Turf

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 9th-SA, $67K, Msw, 3yo, f, 6 1/2fT, 7:29 p.m. Debuting Sunday out of the Richard Mandella barn, Ruby Nell (Bolt d'Oro) put in a quick breeze at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale to be a $1.2 million pick up for Spendthrift Farm. A daughter of last year's leading first-crop sire, Ruby Nell is out of a half-sister to MSW & GSP Concealed Identity (Smarty Jones) who went on to produce SW & GSP Peach of a Gal (Curlin). Quick on the main track, she's posted a...

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CDI Argues Court Win By Baffert Would Harm Other Derby Qualifiers

The gaming corporation that controls the GI Kentucky Derby fired the latest legal salvo in trainer Bob Baffert's ongoing attempt to reverse the second year of a two-year ban the company imposed in 2021 because of a spate of drug positives in Grade I races, urging a federal judge not to grant an injunction that would lift the ban in time for the May 6 Derby. "Baffert refuses to accept responsibility for his wrongful actions..." Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) wrote in a brief opposing Baffert's motion for a preliminary injunction...

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Mandaloun Picks Up Torch for Juddmonte USA

Representing a Juddmonte pedigree through and through, Mandaloun (Into Mischief - Brooch, by Empire Maker) carried Prince Khalid bin Abdullah's esteemed green, pink and white silks at the highest level of the sport during his racing career. A 'TDN Rising Star' on debut and the promoted 2021 Kentucky Derby winner, the homebred has returned to his birthplace at Juddmonte's American division to begin his stud career. "For Juddmonte to bring in a horse like Mandaloun is very special," said Aaron West, who joined Juddmonte USA this fall as Nominations Manager....

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Saturday Insights: Baffert Unveils $2.3M Arabian Knight, The Return Of Messier, And More On Breeders' Cup Undercard

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency                               1st-KEE, $150K, Msw, 2yo, 7f, 10:30 a.m. After working an eighth of a mile in a blazing :9 4/5, ARABIAN KNIGHT (Uncle Mo) achieved a final bid of a sale-topping $2.3 million from Zedan Racing Stables at this year's OBS April Sale after fetching $250,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale. The first foal out of a half-sister to MGSP Kinsley Kisses (Congrats), the bay posted a trio of speedy works...

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July 31 Insights: Half to Mo Donegal Debuts at the Spa

by Christie DeBernardis & Patrycja Szpyra Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 6th-SAR, $105K, Msw, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f, 3:49 p.m. EDT GI Belmont S. winner Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo) may be missing his appearance at the Spa this summer, but his little sister PRANK (Into Mischief) will be stepping up to the post for the first time Sunday. Out of a daughter of GISW Island Sand (Tabasco Cat), the $500,000 KEESEP buy also hails from the Todd Pletcher barn. Steve Asmussen unveils Courtlandt Farm's High Class (Into Mischief), purchased for...

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Thursday Racing Insights: Mopotism Full-Brother Debuts at Keeneland

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 5th-KEE, $100K, MSW, 3yo/up, 6 1/2f, 3:08 p.m. Trainer Chad Brown brings NABOKOV (Uncle Mo) to Keeneland on Thursday for his career debut. The chestnut son of Peppy Rafaela (Bernardini) is a full-brother to GSW & MGSP Mopotism who earned over $876k in her career. Purchased for $775,000 by Peter Brant from the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Nabokov has been working consistently in preparation for his debut including four-furlongs in :49 2/5 Mar. 26 (12/63) and a more recent four-furlongs on the track at...

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Messier Fires Bullet in First Work for Yakteen

Top GI Kentucky Derby contender Messier (Empire Maker), recently transferred from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to his former assistant Tim Yakteen, breezed six furlongs Sunday for a start in the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Apr. 9 in a bullet 1:11.40, fastest by nearly three seconds of five recorded works at the distance. "He worked lights out," Yakteen said of Messier. "We had Johnny [Velazquez] work him and he'll ride him in the Santa Anita Derby. He gave us a thumbs up. The horse looked great, although he...

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Messier First to Spread Sam-Son Legacy

Here we are, then, in what Oliver Hardy could only call "another nice mess." But let's disentangle this flourishing sapling Messier (Empire Maker) from the tentacles that may restrain him from a timely bloom on the first Saturday in May, and take a moment to celebrate not only the storied nursery that cultivated his family but also the alert grafting that now involves another farm in his future success. For this horticultural analogy permits only one classification of the spectacular GIII Robert S. Lewis S. winner--as a young maple. Messier...

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Messier Bounces Back and Blows Them Away in Bob Lewis

Messier gave trainer Bob Baffert and jockey John Velazquez their second dominant graded winner of the afternoon when he flew home an unchallenged victor of the GIII Robert B. Lewis S. at Santa Anita Sunday. Shedding the blinkers after getting outkicked in the Dec. 11 GII Los Alamitos Futurity last time out, the 3-5 favorite tugged his way to the fore with little encouragement from Velazquez. Second choice Sir London (Malibu Moon) chased the pace with longshot Cabo Spirit latched on the top two while racing three deep. Sir London...

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Expensive Empire Maker Filly Makes Most of Belated Debut

4th-Tampa Bay Downs, $25,000, Msw, 1-26, 4yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:12.62, sy, 7 3/4 lengths. NETTE NETTE (f, 4, Empire Maker--Vaulcluse {SW}, by A.P. Indy), a $950,000 Keeneland September graduate, made the trip up from South Florida and splashed home to debut as a much-the-best winner. Away in mid-division as the even-money pick, the a half-sister to Lukes Alley (Flower Alley), Ch. Older Horse-Can, GISW-US, MGSW-Can, $795,122; and to once-beaten 'TDN Rising Star' Arrifana (Curlin), SW & GSP, $230,400, tugged Pablo Morales to the front after the completion of a quarter-mile....

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Pricey Empire Maker Filly Debuts for Shug

January 26 Insights: Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 4th-TAM, $28K, Msw, 4yo/up, f/m, 6f, 1:45 p.m. Allen Stable's went to $950,000 to acquire NETTE NETTE (Empire Maker) at KEESEP and she makes her career bow in this spot for Shug McGaughey. Out of SW Vaulcluse (A.P. Indy), the dark bay is a half to Canadian champion and Grade I winner Lukes Alley (Flower Alley) and SW & GSP Arrifana (Curlin). TJCIS PPs

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