11/12/2010 7:15PM

Empire Maker sold to Japanese breeders

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Empire Maker, with Jerry Bailey up, wins the 2003 Belmont Stakes.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Juddmonte Farms has sold its homebred Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker privately to Japanese interests, according to an announcement sent out Friday evening by the farm's advertising agent, Lance Bell.

The one-line announcement said only that Empire Make, a 10-year-old Unbridled horse, has been sold to the JBBA, the Japanese Bloodstock Breeders' Association.

Empire Maker won the 2003 Belmont, ending popular gelding Funny Cide's Triple Crown bid. He had been considered favorite for the Kentucky Derby after winning the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial but finished second behind Funny Cide. He skipped the Preakness and returned to winning form at the Belmont.

Empire Maker also was second in the 2003 Jim Dandy and third in the 2002 Remsen. He won half of his eight lifetime starts and had three seconds and one third-place finish during his racing career, for earnings of $1,985,800.

Empire Maker is a son of the great broodmare Toussaud, a Grade 1 winner and Broodmare of the Year who also produced Grade or Group 1 winners Chester House, Honest Lady, and Chiselling.

At stud, Empire Maker sired Grade 1 winner and 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile and other Grade 1 winners Mushka, Acoma, Country Star, Icon Project, and other Grade 1 performers. He is the sire of nine graded winners.

On Friday, Empire Maker's lifetime progeny earnings stood at more than $15.3 million.