Eight Rings, a grade 1-winning son of Empire Maker, will enter stud next year in California as the property of a partnership managed by Adrian Gonzalez's Checkmate Thoroughbreds. Stud fee and standing farm details will be announced at a later date.
Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Taylor Made Sales Agency sold Eight Rings as a yearling for $520,000 to SF Bloodstock and Starlight West at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. At 2, he won his racing debut by 6 1/4 lengths at Del Mar with trainer Bob Baffert and went on to win the American Pharaoh Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park by six lengths over Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1) winner Nucky and eventual grade 1 winners American Theorem and Storm The Court.
Eight Rings raced until he was 5, was runner-up in the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1), and placed in three other graded stakes. He retired with 3-1-3 record from 14 starts and $474,451 in earnings.
Out of Pure Prize graded stakes winner Purely Hot, Eight Rings is bred on the same Empire Maker/Storm Cat cross as Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh and Eclipse champion Classic Empire.
"Eight Rings is a sensational stallion prospect for California breeders," Gonzalez said. "He's beautifully bred and even more impressive physically. He's robust and powerful and exudes class. It is a rare opportunity to launch a stallion with this genetic makeup that is a grade 1 winner at 2 in California."