Empire Maker stakes claim as Derby factor
March 16, 2003
HALLANDALE BEACH -- Bobby Frankel has his real Kentucky Derby horse now.
The Hall of Fame trainer boasted that Empire Maker was the best 3-year-old in his barn, and the bay colt delivered with a record romp Saturday in the Florida Derby.
With a powerful kick in the stretch, Empire Maker barreled past favored Trust N Luck and won the richest Derby prep race by 93/4 lengths, the largest margin of victory in the $1-million event's 52 years.
"He ran like we trained him," Frankel said. "I don't usually say this, but I envisioned this race the night before being run exactly the way it was."
Midway Cat went down on the far turn and was euthanized minutes after shattering his right front leg. Jockey Jorge Chavez was thrown to the ground and taken to Hollywood Regional Hospital, where a spokesman said X-rays showed Chavez had no fractures.
Though lightly raced, Empire Maker is likely to top most Kentucky Derby contender lists. Frankel planned to analyze Saturday's race before deciding whether Empire Maker would run next in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April12 or just train up to the Derby.
Empire Maker, the second favorite at 2-1, covered 11/8 miles in 1:49.05 to win for the second time in four starts for Juddmonte Farms, owned by Saudi prince Khalid Abdullah.
Trust N Luck, the even-money favorite off his Fountain of Youth Stakes win Feb.15, was second by a half length over Indy Dancer.
Empire Maker, a son of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, paid $6.20, $2.80 and $2.40. Trust N Luck paid $2.40 and $2.10; Indy Dancer returned $3.20.
ELSEWHERE: Champion Lodge beat Special Matter by six lengths on rain-soaked turf in the $250,000 San Luis Rey Stakes at Santa Anita. ... Affirmed Success beat Peeping Tom by a length in the $109,100 Toboggan Handicap at Aqueduct.
Back to Sports
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111
Gary Shelton: You're invited
Hubert Mizell: Underachievers should note Bob Knight's gesture
From the Times sports desk
NFL Europe copes with possible war
Jags defense gets a lift with Douglas
Rant...BaseballA's prepared to let Tejada walkPals try to cheer McGraw
The Florida fourNHL Slapshots: Think before you speakHull into top five; Wings win
College basketballCentral Florida loses in Atlantic Sun finalBig East: Third time isthe charm for PittsburghPAC-10: Ducks win first championshipC-USA: MVP Whitehead carries LouisvilleSEC: Wildcats give Tigersbad case of the bluesSEC: Mississippi State douses LSU's fireBig 12: Missouri's motivation outlasts KUBig Ten: Freshman's lone point lifts OSUACC: Wolfpack performance clearly not HodgepodgeACC: Duke makes easy work of Tar Heels
Empire Maker stakes claim as Derby factorKentucky's a long way off for Tampa Bay contender
Construction delays hurt Pan-Am GamesStormOrlando's backup QB brings title experienceNBAMcGrady's 34 helpstop hot HornetsMotorsportsExperimental car has green powerKalitta gets third straight top spotEx-NBA player a big man on trackTeam Joest wins Sebring
Love takes Honda Classic leadPrepsA few runs will do for LionsA leader, teacher, championCougar's desire overcomes all
Daily fishing reportUrban fishing ponds face budget cutbacks
RaysMom's extravagance paid off in full
Piniella wants losing to sting
LaMar is eager to deal
BucsKing plans to return as Buc backup
QBs learn system in classroom
LightningPlayoffs get nearer after rally
Extra fun on return home
From the wire
From the state sports wire Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
Brown anxious to face old team for first time
Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts