Prior to the Florida Derby Empire Maker had
just a maiden victory to his credit. But trainer Bobby Frankel and owner
Juddmont Farms had a much bigger plan.From April 2000 when the son of Unbridled hit the ground to Empire
Maker?s measured ? length score in the Wood
Memorial.That plan has been
unfolding just as it was designed.
Adding binkers for the Florida Derby, Empire Maker proved he belonged and
much more. Quickly becoming the Kentucky Derby favorite the blue blooded
colt lived up to his expectation.Next stop New York....
Over a muddy ovalin Queens,
Empire Maker proved the Wood Memorial to be the perfect
tune-up for the 129th Kentucky Derby 3rd.Under almost no urging from jockey Jerry Bailey Empire Maker
powered to victory over the eventual Derby winner Funny Cide. . After the race Jerry Bailey said ?. I knew if he
handled the track going into the first turn, that the track wouldn't wear
him out."'Next Stop
Churchill Down?s Kentucky.
Well the plan unfolded perfectly until the tuesday before the derby.
Empire Maker suffered a foot bruise and a second place finish in the
derby. Great things are still to come from the son of
Unbridled. Bobby Frankel well, he will have to wait to try and get his first
triple crown victory.
Bobby Frankel was to wait no longer for his first triple crown victory
when EMPIRE MAKER played spoiler in the 2003 Belmont Stakes. Empire
Maker defeated Funny Cide by 5 lengths, ending his hope to become the
first triple crown winner in 25 years, and Ten Most Wanted by 3/4's of a
length. Empire Maker left no question as to who was the best
horse, on June 7th. As the more then 101,000 rain soaked fans exited
Belmont Park, with a silent dose of the reality of sport, Empire Maker was
the champion of the day. O' yea and as Funny Cide was exiting
the track, his eye was fixed on Empire Maker as to say "See you in
Empire Maker was not to meet the Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide in
Saratoga, but rather he would face Strong Hope, in The Jim Dandy, in what
was to be his final career start. Sitting out the early part of the
race, Empire Maker would come with a strong run on the outside to
finish second by a neck. Empire Maker had a brief but brilliant
career there would have been to telling just how good this colt would have
been at 4.