Dual classic winner I’ll Have Another is getting some new company.
Big Red Farm, which purchased this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner this summer to stand at their Hokkaido-based operation in Japan, landed another attractive prospect Thursday when it purchased a son of Empire Maker for $1.1 million at the Keeneland September yearling sale.
After beginning his stud career at his birthplace Juddmonte Farm, Empire Maker was sold to the Japan Bloodstock Breeders Association in 2010. His athletic-looking bay son out of the multiple graded stakes winning mare Lu Ravi became the seventh horse to reach the seven-figure mark at this year’s September auction with Big Red’s Shigeyuki Okada outlasting representatives of WinStar Farm to claim him.
“It’s great for everyone at the farm,” said Peter O’Callaghan of Woods Edge Farm, which raised and consigned the Empire Maker colt. “He was always a nice horse. (Lu Ravi) is a lovely mare and we’ve had a great run with her the last couple of years from the lovely foals out of her. But he’s much the best she’s ever had. He’s exceptional in anyone’s eyes. Every breeder wants to strive to produce a horse like him. He was just it at every stage along the way.”
O’Callaghan added that the Empire Maker colt was the highest priced horse he had ever sold at public auction.
“You’re always surprised when you sell a horse who breaks the seven figure mark,” O’Callaghan said. “Anytime you reach those kind of levels you’re surprised and delighted. It’s great to have horses like him, a horse like him making it look easy.”
Bred by Nagako Fujita, the colt is a half brother to stakes winner Ravi’s Song. Lu Ravi, a daughter of A.P. Indy, herself comes from a dynamite female family as she is out of the Grade III winning mare At the Half and is a half sister to Half Queen, dam of champion Halfbridled.