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Maker, the son of a trainer, grew up in the suburbs of Detroit attending races at Hazel Park and Detroit Race Course. At the young age of 13, Maker was already involved in the Thoroughbred industry as a horse owner. He was an assistant for Hall of Fame trainer D Wayne Lukas and worked with Kentucky Derby winner Charismatic. Maker opened his own stable in 2003 & has trained top horses including: Eclipse Award winner, Hansen, Derby Kitten and Stately Victor.
Joel Rosario enrolled in jockey school for six months in his native Dominican Republic and by the age of fourteen had his jockey’s license. He won his first Breeders’ Cup race in 2009 with Dancing in Silks. In 2013 he won The Kentucky Derby aboard Orb, won the Dubai World Cup aboard Animal Kingdom and set a Keeneland spring-meeting record with 38 winning rides. He made his first Kentucky Derby appearance in 2010 aboard Make Music for Me, finishing fourth. He other top mounts have included: Creative Cause, Acclimation, Blind Luck, Harmonious, Dakota Phone, Dubawi Heights, Twirling Candy and Zazu.
Starlight Racing & Skychai Racing, LLC
Starlight Racing was founded by Jack and Laurie Wolf and was represented early on by millionaire earner and Kentucky Debry starter Harlan's Holiday. As a leading partnership in racing they have also campaigned back to back Eclipse Award champion and Kentucky Oaks winner Ashado. They have been in business for over ten years and in 2004 were joined in the current partnership by Barbara and Donald Lucarelli. Jim Shircliff and Harvey Diamond of Skychai Racing, entered the horse business together nearly 20 years ago. Skychai Racing LLC’s founder and racing manager is Harvey Diamond, M.D. Diamond has loved horse racing since he was a child, when his father would get him out of school to attend the races. Diamond purchased his first horse in 1984; he is a physician, owner and president of Occupational Physician Services, P.S.C.
General a Rod should not only handle the Derby's 1 1/4 miles; if his pedigree is any guide, he is eligible to improve over the longer trip.
His sire, Roman Ruler, is a son of 2000 Kentucky Derby star Fusaichi Pegasus. A classy juvenile who bolted home in the 2004 Best Pal and Norfolk (now known as the FrontRunner), Roman Ruler added the Dwyer and Haskell Invitational to his resume at three.
Although Roman Ruler was a well-beaten third in his only 1 1/4-mile try in the 2005 Travers, he has sired several Grade/Group 1 winners at classic distances. His son Ruler on Ice famously upset the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes in 2011, while his daughter Caldine, a two-time champion in Argentina, captured a 1 1/4-mile fillies' classic there. Fragotero, Proud Ruler and Romana Ruler have likewise garnered top-level events at 1 1/4 miles or beyond in Argentina. Aside from Ruler on Ice, his other U.S. progeny include reigning Frizette heroine Artemis Agrotera and Grade 2-winning millionaire Rule.
General a Rod's dam, Dynamite Eyes, is by the stamina-laden Dynaformer. Nevertheless, she spent nearly all of her career sprinting, and earned her lone win via disqualification of a rival.
Dynaformer was a solid racehorse, winning the 1988 Jersey Derby and Discovery Handicap, but became a superior sire on a global scale. A beautifully-bred son of Epsom Derby winner Roberto, Dynaformer sired 2006 Kentucky Derby legend Barbaro; 2010 Melbourne Cup hero Americain, a champion in both Europe and Australia; dual English classic heroine Blue Bunting; 2007 St Leger winner Lucarno; European champion filly Rainbow View; and such U.S. stars as three-time steeplechase champ McDynamo, Perfect Drift and Point of Entry.
Dynamite Eyes is out of Buckeye Search, winner of the one-mile Bourbonette in 1997. Unplaced next time out in the Kentucky Oaks, she rebounded with runner-up efforts in the Black-Eyed Susan and Dogwood. Her best offspring is Angel on Watch, who placed in a pair of stakes at Woodbine.
General a Rod hails from a deep family responsible for 1969 Kentucky Derby and Preakness star Majestic Prince, as well as Real Quiet, who likewise won the first two jewels of the Triple Crown before just failing in the 1998 Belmont.
Further back, this maternal line has also produced 1950 Santa Anita Derby winner Your Host (sire of Hall of Famer Kelso) and the outstanding sires Graustark and His Majesty.
His Majesty also happens to be the broodmare sire of Dynaformer. As a result, General a Rod's dam actually has a distant duplication of her noted ancestress, *Boudoir II.
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