The dream did indeed come true for the owners and connections of Always Dreaming in the 143rd Kentucky Derby. As the appropriately-named 3-year-old powered to a decisive 2¾-length triumph May 6 at Churchill Downs, it was a career-defining achievement for a colt whose preeminent classic sire line keeps finding roses.
With the final entries taken and post positions drawn for the 143rd Kentucky Derby, five contenders for the May 6 Churchill Downs classic have ties to Gainesway stallions.
Gainesway’s repatriated stallion Empire Maker continues to leave his mark on his former home of Japan, where the sire picked up a trio of 3-year-old maiden winners March 4 in consecutive races at Hanshin Racecourse.
Christmas Day racing in Japan presented Gainesway’s repatriated stallion Empire Maker with a new stakes winner as 3-year-old colt Namura Arashi took the Ako Tokubetsu for 3-year-olds and older over 10 furlongs of Hanshin’s dirt course.
Gainesway announced its 2017 stud fees Nov. 10, with leading sire Tapit again headlining the roster and standing for an industry-leading fee of $300,000.
Empire Maker, sire of multiple champion Royal Delta and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah’s sire Pioneerof the Nile, has been repatriated from Japan and will stand the 2016 breeding season at Antony Beck’s Gainesway in Lexington. The 15-year-old stallion, who was sold to Japanese interests in 2010, will stand at Gainesway in an equal partnership with the Solari family’s Don Alberto Corporation.