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Born in Garden City, Michigan on February 7, 1969.Father George was a trainer in Detroit. Michael bought his first horse at the age of 13 with money he earned from hot walking and delivering newspapers.Michael would work for his father as an assistant before opening his own stable, but later leaving to work for D. Wayne Lukas in 1993.In 1997 became Lukas’s top assistant of the Churchill Downs stable.Once again in 2003 Maker opened his public stable and found immediate success with Freefourinternet, who would win the 2004 Hawthorne Gold Cup and went on to run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.Maker has won training titles at Keeneland, Turfway, and Churchill Downs.Holds the record at Churchill Downs for most wins during the fall meet with 31.Won his first Breeders’ Cup in 2009 with Furthest Land in the Dirt Mile.In 2006 won the Lane’s End Stakes with With a City, who would have been the first starter for Maker in the Kentucky Derby, but the week of the derby With a City passed away from a mysterious illness.Top horses for Maker include: Forest Attack, Kera’s Kitten, Dean’s Kitten, Accredit, Almighty Silver, Double or Nothing, and Mr. Serious.
J. Armando Rodriguez
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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