Stallion Feature: Pioneerof the Nile Roots Run Deep
Stallion Feature; Pioneerof the Nile Roots Run Deep: When a stallion’s fee doubles, something must be so good about them that the breeders believe in the horse. This is exactly what happened when Pioneerof the Nile’s stud fee was doubled from $30,000 to $60,000 from 2014 to 2015. The top-class stallion by the great Empire Maker stands at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Kentucky, alongside other top stallions such as Distorted Humor and Tiznow.
As a young colt, Pioneerof the Nile broke his maiden going 1-1/16 miles on the turf. He quickly transferred his winning ways to the traditional dirt surface when he won the Grade I CashCall Futurity over future Kentucky Derby favorite I Want Revenge.
Age three was when Pioneerof the Nile really blossomed. The colt won his season debut in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes over quality colts Papa Clem and I Want Revenge. A month later, the colt entered the San Felipe as the favorite and won the race comfortably over Jeranimo, a future Grade I miler. Carrying his three-race win streak into the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, Pioneerof the Nile entered the race as the favorite to once again face competition such as Chocolate Candy and Mr. Hot Stuff. Mr. Hot Stuff later went on to become a Grade I steeplechase winner.
The Kentucky Derby turned out to be a mud bog on the May morning in 2009. Pioneerof the Nile was 6/1 at post time, quite astonishing considering he was riding a four-race win streak into the Run for the Roses. Pioneerof the Nile had a near perfect trip but was second best as he was defeated by 50/1 shot Mine That Bird by 6¼ lengths.
Pioneerof the Nile and Mine That Bird met again two weeks later in the Preakness Stakes, but this time Mine That Bird was second and Pioneerof the Nile was a distant eleventh. The colt was found to have a soft tissue injury in his left front, causing the connections to make a difficult decision. Pioneerof the Nile was retired to stud at Vinery for the 2010 breeding season for a fee of $20,000 before being moved to WinStar Farm in Versailles, Kentucky, for the 2013 breeding season.
Pedigree has a lot to say about the future of a stallion, and Pioneerof the Nile definitely was bred for success in the breeding shed as well as on the racetrack. A son of Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, Pioneerof the Nile is out of the Lord At War (ARG) mare Star of Goshen, a stakes winner at seven furlongs. Lord At War won multiple graded stakes, including the San Antonio Handicap and Santa Anita Derby, both Grade I events.
Pioneerof the Nile has been well supported and has been sent quality mares year after year. His most successful son is the now retired Cairo Prince, winner of the 2014 Holy Bull Stakes and Nashua Stakes. Pioneerof the Nile also has good runners in Jojo Warrior (Grade II Summertime Oaks), Social Inclusion (3rd in 2014 Preakness), and American Pharoah (Grade I FrontRunner and Grade I Del Mar Futurity).
Pioneerof the Nile was the #1 Second-Crop Sire of 2014 and is currently the #1 Third-Crop Sire of 2015 with seven stakes winners, six graded stakes winners, sixteen stakes horses, and twelve graded stakes horses. In three crops, Pioneerof the Nile already has one champion in American Pharoah, 2014 Champion 2-Year-Old Male.
When it comes to covering distances, Pioneerof the Nile offspring seem to be a bit distance challenged. While he has Conquest Top Gun (winner at 9F), Jojo Warrior (winner at 8.5F), and American Pharoah (winner at 8.5F), the average winning distance of his offspring is 7.36F according to the Stallion Register. Can Pioneerof the Nile sire top quality horses that can be competitive at the longest classic distances? Possibly, but he has yet to prove so. With American Pharoah running in the Rebel Stakes in hopes of earning Kentucky Derby points, only time will tell if Pioneerof the Nile can throw classic horses.