Empire Maker Wood Memorial Shoe
This winning Wood Memorial Stakes shoe pair was worn by the famed Empire Maker, the regally bred son of Unbridled out of the blue hen mare Toussaud at Juddmonte Farms. So highly regarded by farm staff, Empire Maker inspired future wagers for his Kentucky Derby aspirations. As a most impressive 3 year old in the spring of 2003, the Bobby Frankel-trained colt was a promising contender on the Triple Crown trail, showing his potential in a commanding performance in the March 15 Florida Derby, where he won by nearly 10 lengths. As the odds-on favorite in the April 12 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Park, Empire Maker did not disappoint, besting the second-place finisher Funny Cide by a half length.As Derby Week approached, Empire Maker suffered a bruised foot and was forced to miss some training time, a setback that likely cost him the Run for the Roses as he finished second to Funny Cide by 1 3/4 lengths. The two would meet again at Belmont Park with Funny Cide vying for the Triple Crown with the first two jewels secured. But Empire Maker, healed and fresh, proved to be the spoiler winning the Belmont Stakes as his popular rival Funny Cide finished third. Empire Maker retired to stud duty after his 3-year-old season with finishes in the money for all of his eight starts. In the breeding shed he continued his success as the sire of Preakness winner Pioneerof the Nile, thus making him the paternal grandsire of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Empire Maker, one of America's leading stallions, died in January 2020 at Gainesway Farm.The dual winning shoes are mounted on a 9x12" rectangular walnut plaque with brass halter tag nameplate and emanate from his farrier Ray Amato. A letter of authenticity accompanies the shoes stating the same.
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