Pioneerof the Nile Continues to Shine
Three weeks after a very game performance in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), Midnight Storm easily won his first main track graded stakes in Sunday’s $100,000 Native Diver S. (G3) at Del Mar.
The 5-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile now has six graded wins to his credit, with three coming in 2016, his best campaign to date. With $1,341,110 in earnings thus far, Midnight Storm is one of three millionaires, along with American Pharoah and Classic Empire, for Pioneerof the Nile.
The Native Diver, originally scheduled for the turf, posed no problem for the classy Midnight Storm, who overwhelmed his foes with a front-running, 7 3/4-length victory under Mike Smith. He covered the 1 1/8-miles in 1:51.59 under a track rated “good” which yielded slow times the entire day.
“(The main track win is) important for two reasons,” said Phil D’Amato, who trains Midnight Storm for the partnership of Alex Venneri and the Little Red Feather Racing syndicate. “As a stallion, it helps that he has graded stakes wins on turf and dirt, and down the road, it gives us more opportunities for next year.”
D’Amato’s commented that the plan was to keep Midnight Storm in training in 2017.
Midnight Storm’s record now stands at 9-3-1 in 20 starts, with graded wins in the Shoemaker Mile (G1), Del Mar Derby (G2), Seabiscuit H. (G2), Eddie Read S. (G2) and Del Mar Mile H. (G2) prior to Sunday’s victory.
A year after producing Horse of the Year American Pharoah, Pioneerof the Nile continues to sire top-class horses, such as Grade 1 winner Midnight Storm, at a rate greater than any other stallion of his generation.
Multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Pioneerof the Nile forged an impressive record on the track, and is now establishing an even more impressive record at stud. The most accomplished son of Empire Maker, he is out of a multiple Graded stakes producer, and from the family of In Reality. Far and away America’s leading third crop stallion of 2015, his success has continued in 2016, topping the fourth crop sire list in several categories, including black type and graded stakes winners. In 2015, he sired Horse of the Year, 3-year-old Male Champion, Triple Crown champion and Breeders’ Cup Classic [G1] winner American Pharoah.
The leading money-winning son of Empire Maker and heir to the Classic Fappiano sire line, Pioneerof the Nile won four consecutive Graded stakes, including the $750,000 CashCall Futurity [G1] and $750,000 Santa Anita Derby [G1]. Runner-up in the Kentucky Derby [G1] in his first start on dirt, he excelled over all three surfaces – dirt, turf, and all-weather.
Pioneerof the Nile has been an outstanding commercial success. His 2015 2YOs in Training averaged $203,000, while his Keeneland January yearlings averaged $99,250. At least 85 of his sales progeny have now brought $100,000 or higher.
“The standout is WinStar’s Pioneerof the Nile, with a 4.24 A-Runner Index (8.48% of runners). Historically, sires which score 4.00 are the truly elite ‘World Top 12’ sires.”–Bill Oppenheim