|Damsire||El Gran Senor|
|Trainer||Robert J. Frankel|
|Empire Maker is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Toussaud by Unbridled. He was born around 2000 in the United States, and was bred by Juddmonte Farms.|
American Classic Race wins:|
Belmont Stakes (2003)
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
|Last updated on August 23, 2007|
Empire Maker (foaled April 27, 2000 in Kentucky) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse. Owned and bred by Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, he was sired by champion Unbridled, winner of the 1990 Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic. Empire Maker's dam, Toussaud, was the daughter of British champion and Classic Race winner El Gran Senor, who in turn was a son of the great Northern Dancer. Toussaud was a multiple stakes winner in England and a Blue Hen broodmare who would produce five Grade I winners from five different stallions.
At age two, Empire Maker made two starts, winning his maiden debut in October 2002 at Belmont Park then taking third in the Remsen Stakes, some 5½ lengths back of the winner. As a three-year-old, he would make six starts, winning three and finishing second three times.
In February 2003, Empire Maker began his three-year-old season with a second-place finish in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park in California. For his next start, trainer Bobby Frankel put blinkers on the colt in an effort to make him concentrate and he responded with a win in the important Grade I Florida Derby. He followed this up with another important win in the Grade I Wood Memorial Stakes. These two performances resulted in Empire Maker being made the solid betting favorite in the 2003 Kentucky Derby.
2003 Triple Crown
Under his regular rider, the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame jockey, Jerry Bailey, Empire Maker ran second in the Kentucky Derby to Funny Cide whom he had beaten by a diminishing head in the Wood Memorial. His handlers then chose to rest the colt and did not run him in the second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown series, which is a common racing tactic when a horse does not win the first leg. Funny Cide won the Preakness Stakes by a huge margin and headed to New York's Belmont Park favored to become the first Triple Crown champion in twenty-five years.
Heavy rains left the racetrack at Belmont Park officially rated as sloppy for the 2003 running of the Belmont Stakes. In an attempt to control the pace, Funny Cide's handlers changed his racing tactics and he took the lead early. Empire Maker was running a length back to the outside when at the mile mark, jockey Jerry Bailey made his move. Although Funny Cide fought back, the fact that for some reason he was ridden close to the rail in the deepest slop was too much for him and he was passed in the homestretch by Illinois Derby winner Ten Most Wanted. The fresh Empire Maker won by the race with Ten Most Wanted a strong second and Funny Cide finishing third, more than five lengths back.
In what would be Empire Maker's final race, as a 3-10 favorite he ran second by half a length in the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Empire Maker was retired to stand at stud beginning in 2004 at his owner's Juddmonte Farms in Lexington, Kentucky.