05/04/2015 10:19AM

American Pharoah's Derby win boosts profile of young sire Pioneerof the Nile

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Nikki Sherman
American Pharoah, a son of Pioneerof the Nile, wins the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Every win counts when trying to prove out a young stallion, but some wins count for a bit more.

Pioneerof the Nile received arguably the biggest resume boost an emerging sire can get on Saturday when his son American Pharoah pulled away from Firing Line to win the Kentucky Derby by a length.

American Pharoah’s victory was especially redeeming for owner/breeder Ahmed Zayat, who watched his homebred Pioneerof the Nile run second to Mine That Bird in the 2009 Derby.

“Pioneerof the Nile is a hell of a stallion,” Zayat said after the Derby. “What is absolutely pleasing is that he was a homebred of mine. How spoiled and lucky can you get? He was the first horse I ever bred and he became a Grade 1 winner. This particular sire has been very kind to us.”

American Pharoah hails from the second crop of Pioneerof the Nile, who stands at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., for an advertised fee of $60,000. The 9-year-old son of Empire Maker was well-received by breeders when he retired to WinStar for the 2010 breeding season, covering 130 mares in his first book.

In addition to being the Pioneerof the Nile’s first North American classic winner, American Pharoah was also his first Grade 1 winner and his first champion. Both of those accolades came during a 2014 campaign that included wins in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner Stakes.

Other top runners by Pioneerof the Nile include Grade 2 winner Cairo Prince, who entered stud in 2015, as well as Grade 2 winners Jojo Warrior and Midnight Storm, and Grade 3 winner Vinceremos. Social Inclusion, third in the 2014 Preakness Stakes, was also a member of the sire’s first crop.

Pioneerof the Nile won 5 of 10 starts during his own racing career for earnings of $1,634,200. Trained by Bob Baffert, who also conditions American Pharoah, Pioneerof the Nile’s marquee victories included the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity and Santa Anita Derby, as well as the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis and San Felipe Stakes.

Bred in Kentucky by Zayat Stables, Pioneerof the Nile is out of the stakes-winning Lord At War mare Star of Goshen, whose three winners from five foals to race also include multiple Grade 2-placed Forefathers, who stands at Red River Farms in Louisiana. He is from the family of Grade 2 winner Powis Castle.