Pioneerof the Nile (dark brown, 2006, by Empire Maker x Star of Goshen, by Lord at War)
By the important young sire Empire Maker, this is a big colt with outstanding scope and bone. Pioneerof the Nile is cut from the typical cloth of the Unbridled tribe: big, scopy horses who stand over a lot of ground. Some of the Fappiano line, such as Defensive Play and to a much lesser extent Quiet American, sire stock that can be a shade coarse and plain.
However, Unbridled and the majority of his offspring were not like that. Perhaps due to the outstanding quality of his dam, Gana Facil (1981 ch m by Le Fabuleux x Charedi, by In Reality), Unbridled balanced his immense size with sufficient finesse to be a truly first-class racehorse and a tip-top sire.
One of Unbridled’s last premium sons at stud was Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, who is out of one of the best broodmares of the 20th century, Toussaud. The lovely and highly individual Toussaud (1989 b m El Gran Senor x Image of Reality, by In Reality) produced G1 winners Chester House (Arlington Million), Honest Lady (Santa Monica Handicap, 2nd Metropolitan H., BC Sprint), Chiselling (Secretariat Stakes), and Empire Maker (Belmont Stakes, Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, 2nd Kentucky Derby). The mare also produced G2 winner Decarchy (Kilroe Mile) from 10 foals.
Her last four foals, all fillies, were handled somewhat tenderly, as one might proceed with priceless Greek sculpture. With this kind of pedigree, Empire Maker was expected to do great things, and he has already established himself as the most classic son of Unbridled as a sire.
Pioneerof the Nile was from the second crop of Empire Maker, who has to date already sired 11 stakes winners, including G1 winners Country Star (Alcibiades, Hollywood Starlet), Mushka (Spinster), Icon Project (Personal Ensign), and Pioneerof the Nile (Hollywood Futurity, Santa Anita Derby). The latter franked the form of his West Coast dominance earlier this season with a good second to Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby.
Pioneerof the Nile is the second high-class performer out of the Lord at War mare Star of Goshen. The mare’s fourth foal, the Gone West colt Forefathers, had sold to Zayat Stables for $680,000 at the Saratoga select yearling sale in 2005, and the owner and his advisers were so enamored of their prospect that they went out and purchased his dam. Forefathers proved worthy of respect with multiple graded stakes placings, but the foal the mare was carrying at the time of purchase, and the first homebred for Zayat Stables, turned out to be Pioneerof the Nile.
A big colt standing 16.2 hands, Pioneerof the Nile showed his best form going a mile and longer, but he also came to hand well at 2, winning at the premium level late in his juvenile season.
He has tremendous length through the body, an outstanding length of rein (from head to shoulder) that balances his body length in motion, and a deep, well-angled shoulder. He stands on good, sound-looking feet, has well-defined tendons, and walks with a good, sweeping stride. This big horse had high racing class, and if mated carefully, he should be able to provide size and classic potential to his progeny.