Kentucky Derby Runner Mr. Z Headed To Saudi Arabia After Keeneland November Sale - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Kentucky Derby Runner Mr. Z Headed To Saudi Arabia After Keeneland November Sale

Mr. Z gallops at Churchill Downs April 21, 2015

Mr. Z, a multiple Grade 1-placed stakes winner who ran in the 2015 Kentucky Derby, will continue his stallion career in Saudi Arabia after selling to FMQ Stables for $15,000 on Wednesday at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

The 11-year-old son of Malibu Moon previously stood at Calumet Farm in Lexington, Ky., where he entered stud in 2018.

From three crops of racing age, Mr. Z has sired 30 winners, and his runners have combined for earnings of more than $1.7 million. His progeny is led by Eminent Victor, a stakes winner and Grade 1-placed runner.

FMQ Stables, the nom de course of Faisal Mohammed Alqahtani, campaigns Saudi Crown, the winner of this year's Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby. Though the winning bid was placed online, Zach Madden of consignor Buckland Sales said the buyer had people looking at the stallion on the sales grounds leading up to his time in the ring.

“The guys that represent FMQ were there and were taking a bunch of videos of him in the back ring, so I knew they were probably live on the horse,” Madden said. “He's a really cool horse, and I wish him the best. We just had him in the barn for a few days, but he's a big, beautiful horse, and he caught everyone's eye in the back ring. It was sort of a spectacle back there.”

Mr. Z is the second former Calumet stallion to be purchased this year to stand in Saudi Arabia, after Grade 3 winner Optimizer sold to Youssef Mohammed Alturaif's YMT Farm for $35,000 at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. Mr. Z was himself part of the slate of Calumet offerings at that sale, finishing under his reserve with a final bid of $90,000.

Bred in Kentucky by Richard Maynard, Mr. Z initially raced for Zayat Stables and trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

After winning on debut as a juvenile at Churchill Downs, Mr. Z earned second-place finishes in the G3 Sanford Stakes and G2 Saratoga Special Stakes. He continued to chase an elusive graded stakes win in the second half 0f his 2-year-old campaign with a runner-up effort in the G1 Breeders' Futurity, a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park, another second in the G3 Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes, and a third to finish the year in the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity.

Support our journalism

If you appreciate our work, you can support us by subscribing to our Patreon stream. Learn more.

He continued to consistently be in the mix during the Kentucky Derby prep season of 2015, culminating in a third-place effort in the G1 Arkansas Derby behind fellow Zayat-owned runner American Pharoah. He finished behind that one again in the Kentucky Derby, where Mr. Z faced repeated traffic issues under jockey Ramon Vazquez and settled for 13th.

Between the Derby and the Preakness Stakes, Mr. Z was sold privately to Calumet Farm to race in the second leg of the Triple Crown, still under the Lukas shedrow. He finished fifth to American Pharoah in the Preakness, but after escaping the shadow of the eventual Triple Crown winner, Mr. Z earned his first stakes victory in the Ohio Derby.

That would be Mr. Z's final win, and after finishing second in the G2 Indiana Derby in the ensuing start, he never hit the board again. He finished his on-track career with two wins in 25 starts for earnings of $1,177,378.

Mr. Z is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Stormy Bear, whose four winners from seven foals to race also includes Ibn al Nafis, who is stakes-placed in the U.A.E., and stakes-placed Andean. He comes from the family of two-time Canadian Horse of the Year Chief Bearhart and Grade 1 winner Explosive Red.

Paulick Report Icon

Receive daily headlines, breaking news alerts, promotions, and much more!

Become An Insider

Support our journalism and access bonus content on our Patreon stream

Learn More