Classic Empire

Classic Empire

Bay 2014 16.1 hh
Pioneerof The Nile – Sambuca Classica
Distance won over: 4½f. to 9f.

Brilliant Champion 2YO by Pioneerof The Nile


Fee for :

Champion 2YO by Pioneerof The Nile

Brilliant G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, G1 Breeders’ Futurity & G1 Arkansas Derby winner

A stallion’s pedigree

  • He is one of the most precocious horses from the Unbridled sire line
  • Bred on the same Pioneerof the Nile/Storm Cat cross as the all-time great American Pharoah

From the family of…

  • Harlan’s Holiday (71 SW’s including leading sire Into Mischief & Shanghai Bobby)
  • Boldnesian (Santa Anita Derby winner & grandsire of champion sire Seattle Slew)
  • Ride The Rails (Florida Derby runner-up & sire of the leading sire Candy Ride)

“Classic Empire was the unanimous choice for champion 2-year-old male.” Blood-Horse

When the voters nominated their 2016 Eclipse Award champions, Classic Empire took the 2YO male title with a landslide 248 votes out of a possible 248. It is fair to say that he dominated his generation from the moment he made a winning debut three days before the Kentucky Derby. From then on it was Graded stakes only and he remained unbeaten, except for the time he lost his rider in the Gr.1 Hopeful Stakes. Fast enough to take the Gr.3 Bashford Manor Stakes over six furlongs in early July, Classic Empire was much the best in the Gr.1 Breeders’ Futurity and he showed courage as well as class in repelling Not This Time’s challenge in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile earning a 102 Beyer Speed Figure. Despite this demanding juvenile campaign, Classic Empire trained on well, notably taking the Gr.1 Arkansas Derby and running a head second in the Gr.1 Preakness.

A $475,000 Keeneland September yearling, Classic Empire also has the pedigree of a potentially high-class stallion. He’s bred along similar lines to Triple Crown hero American Pharoah, as both were sired by Pioneerof The Nile from grand-daughters of Storm Cat. Like American Pharoah, Classic Empire enjoys the significant benefit of having a pedigree free of such as A.P. INDY, SEATTLE SLEW, DANZIG, SADLER’S WELLS, DEPUTY MINISTER, ROBERTO and HALO. His two lines to Mr Prospector will be no closer than the fifth and sixth generations of his foals’ pedigrees. Even STORM CAT will be back in the fourth generation and Fappiano in the fifth.

Empire Maker sired Gr.1 winners from mares by three different sons of SEATTLE SLEW, including Royal Delta from an A.P. INDY mare. Altogether he sired 8% black-type winners from daughters of A.P. INDY. Empire Maker’s son Bodemeister has sired the fast Gr.2 winner American Anthem from an A.P. INDY mare. Classic Empire must be a prime candidate for daughters of A.P. INDY and his sons. Daughters of TAPIT create 4×4 to the powerful classic influence UNBRIDLED. Daughters of BERNARDINI, broodmare sire of Pioneerof The Nile’s Gr.3 winner Dark Nile, should also help Classic Empire sire potential Triple Crown performers.

Empire Maker sired 16% black-type winners from daughters of SEEKING THE GOLD. There are numerous other options from this MR PROSPECTOR male line, including KINGMAMBO, CARSON CITY, SMART STRIKE, CURLIN, DISTORTED HUMOR, SPEIGHTSTOWN (4×4 to Storm Cat) and STREET CRY.

Mares by GIANT’S CAUSEWAY and other sons of Storm Cat create only 4×3 to STORM CAT. This is well worth trying, as Empire Maker sired Bodemeister and In Lingerie from daughters of STORM CAT.

Empire Maker sired a Gr.1 winner from a mare by DANZIG, plus Gr.2 winners from mares by Danzig’s sons BELONG TO ME and PINE BLUFF. This suggests Classic Empire could thrive with mares by other dirt performers by DANZIG, such as WAR FRONT, HARD SPUN and EXCHANGE RATE.

EL PRADO and his sons MEDAGLIA D’ORO and KITTEN’S JOY represent the SADLER’S WELLS line.

Empire Maker and Pioneerof The Nile have both sired black-type winners from a daughter of TOUCH GOLD. This suggests daughters of AWESOME AGAIN, DEHERE and GHOSTZAPPER, especially as Pioneerof The Nile has a Gr.3-winning juvenile with a dam by GHOSTZAPPER.

Pioneerof The Nile is shaping up with the HAIL TO REASON line, siring the Gr.3 winner Vinceremos from a MORE THAN READY mare and Preakness third Social Inclusion from a SAINT BALLADO mare.

HOLY BULL is the broodmare sire of Cairo Prince, another of Pioneerof The Nile’s best sons.



1st Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-Gr.1, 8½f, Santa Anita by a neck, beating Not This Time, Practical Joke and Lookin At Lee.
1st Breeders’ Futurity-Gr.1, 8½f, Keeneland by 3 lengths, beating Lookin at Lee and Wild Shot.
1st Bashford Manor Stakes-Gr.3, 6f, Churchill Downs, beating Recruiting Ready and Tip Tap Tapizar.
1st Maiden Special Weight, 4½f, Churchill Downs by 1½ lengths, on debut, beating Reverend John and Rapa Iti.


1st Arkansas Derby-Gr.1, 9f, Oaklawn Park by ½ length, beating Conquest Mo Money and Lookin at Lee.
2nd Preakness Stakes-Gr.1, 9½f, Pimlico, beaten a head by Cloud Computing.
3rd Holy Bull Stakes-Gr.2, 8½f, Gulfstream Park, to Irish War Cry and Gunnevera.
4th Kentucky Derby-Gr.1, 1¼m, Churchill Downs, to Always Dreaming, Lookin at Lee and Battle of Midway.