Empire Maker’s Eight Rings earned TDN ‘Rising Star’ status after running away to a 6 1/4th- length victory under jockey Drayden Van Dyke in a salty Maiden Special Weight at Del Mar this Sunday. Out of the Pure Prize mare Purely Hot, Eight Rings is from Empire Maker’s first crop of 2-year-olds since returning to America.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Eight Rings went off as the heavy 3-5 favorite in a field of six well-regarded juveniles, cruising home in the 5 ½ furlong test in 1:03.68. It was an eye-popping debut for the bay son of Empire Maker, who has been highly touted since he was purchased at the Keeneland September yearling sale for $520,000.
Eight Rings is owned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Fred Hertrich III, John Fielding and Ben Goldberg and Elliott Friman’s Golconda Stables. SF Racing and Starlight Racing are best known as co-owners of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. As Empire Maker is the grandsire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Eight Rings has the foundation to excel in classic races in his future.
Empire Maker stands at Gainesway for $85,000.