Multiple Grade I winner Empire Maker, grandsire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, will be repatriated to the United States from Japan to stand at Gainesway Farm as the property of an equal partnership consisting of Don Alberto Corporation and Gainesway Farm.
Empire Maker was originally sold to Japan Bloodhorse Breeders Association in November 2010 after beginning his stud career at Juddmonte, which bred and campaigned the son of Unbridled. The 15-year-old stallion has continued to have his offspring become a success on this side of the ocean, however.
In 2012, Empire Maker had more than $10 million in progeny earnings on the North American General Sire list, represented with 13 stakes winners, 3 of them Grade I winners including millionaire Bodemeister, the leading freshman sales sire in 2015.
“We are building an international organization whose goal is to be truly world class. What better way to expand our base than to partner with Gainesway on three time Grade I winner Empire Maker who was the leading North American Sire in 2012 by worldwide earnings,” said Don Alberto Corporation’s principal, Carlos Heller.
Liliana Solari, honorary President of Bethia, the parent company of Don Alberto Corporation, added “this move clearly carries forward the vision of my father, the founding horseman of the family, who always encouraged us to seek out the best of everything.”
Empire Maker hails from one of Juddmonte’s elite female families. He is out of the late blue hen mare Toussaud, who produced four individual Grade I winners and was named Broodmare of the Year in 2002.
“Empire Maker’s pedigree is clearly one of the best in the world and his influence as a sire is enormous. This horse is especially meaningful as we launched the career of his sire, Unbridled, here at Gainesway,” said Antony Beck, president of Gainesway, which also stands North America’s leading sire, Tapit.
Empire Maker retired to stud in 2004, and sired five graded winners among his 10 stakes winners, including four Grade I winners, in his first crop of 93 foals. His second crop in 2008 produced Grade I-winning millionaire Pioneerof the Nile, sire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
The Leading third crop sire in 2009, Empire Maker counts three-time Eclipse Award winner Royal Delta among his top progeny along with Grade I winners Mushka, Acoma, Emollient and Grace Hall.