Robert Muir and Des Scott are living their passion for thoroughbreds in style. They race with the best, all over the world. They breed with the best, all over the world. South Africa, Australia, USA, South America, Europe. And now they’re selling to the best as well.
At the Keeneland Sale last Thursday, a bay yearling colt by Gr1 producing sire Empire Maker sparked a spirited bidding duel. In one corner US champion trainer Todd Fletcher, opposing him another grey legend, Bob Baffert.
“When you get two men of such caliber getting down to it for your colt”, says Muir, “you know he must be something special”. Then adds, a litte tongue-in-cheek perhaps: “ It fuels dreams of seeing more of him when the big races like the Kentucky Derby and Breeder’s Cup are run”.
According to the sale’s report in TDN, trainer Todd Pletcher and his owner James Scatuorchio walked into the Keeneland sales pavilion just before hip
1149 entered the ring and stayed just long enough to secure the Empire Maker colt with a final bid of $370,000. The yearling is out of Muir’s mare Perfect
Solution (Seeking the Gold), a daughter of multiple GI winner Dispute (Danzig), whose scalps include the Kentucky Oaks. “He’s a classically bred, two-turn horse. He’s the kind of horse we were looking for”, Pletcher said after the purchase. “He’s well-balanced, athletic and he looks like he can get the trip. I like Empire Maker, because he gives you the potential to get a Classic horse. I thought he was an exceptional individual.”
At $370.000, the yearling colt was the third-highest-priced yearling during Thursday’s session. “I guess it’s on par with what I expected”, Pletcher reflected. “There usually are a lot of people onto the yearlings that check all the boxes”.
Robert Muir has more reason to smile. He still owns a full sister to the yearling, while their dam is in currently foal to Indygo Shiner, whose dam is a full sister to Empire Maker’s legendary dam Toussaud. A son of A.P. Indy, Indygo Shiner shuttled to Argentina in his first two seasons, getting the winners of the Derby and Oaks there in the same year. Such background augers well.
Long may the Muir & Scott dreams continue.