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The Egyptian city of Alexandria was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a magnificent 450-foot tall Lighthouse that surely awed all who saw it. It’s fitting then that Eskendereya, Arabic for Alexandria, is named in honor of that city of great history, wonder and legend. The striking chestnut son of Giant’s Causeway made us all wonder how great his legend could be with smashing performances in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and the Wood Memorial (G1). 

Those scintillating races are just the beginning of the story though. Look at Eskendereya’s pedigree. Look at the names and you’ll see the greatest of the greats of the Thoroughbred breed. And behind each of those names you’ll find the most legendary owners and breeders the game has seen.  

Look at the sire line. No modern stallion has had a greater impact on the Thoroughbred breed and business than Eskendereya’s great-great grandsire, Northern Dancer. Windfields Farm’s 1964 Kentucky Derby winner has sired some of the most exceptional runners and stallions - ever: Nijinsky II, England’s last Triple Crown winner and a Champion Sire, Sadler’s Wells, a 14-time Champion Sire, Danzig, Nureyev, Lyphard, etc., etc, etc.

Northern Dancer ushered in the glory days of the commercial breeding market in North America as well. The elite players of the day, Robert Sangster and his partners Vincent O’Brien and John Magnier pitted their bankrolls and acumen against all comers to secure Northern Dancer blood. Their bidding battles with Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai and his brothers still echo at sales pavilions around the world. It was that Coolmore team of Sangster, O’Brien and Magnier who managed the stallion career of another Northern Dancer son, European 2yo Champion Storm Bird.  

Storm Bird would sire many top runners, including Preakness (G1) winner Summer Squall and European Sprint Champion Bluebird. And then there was his son Storm Cat, who fell a nose short of earning Champion laurels of his own in the second Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). He would instead find his greatness at stud with the help of a great man, the visionary William T. Young.  

Eskendereya’s sire, Giant’s Causeway, was Storm Cat’s very best runner and yet another Coolmore success. Purchased by the Irish team in utero from the Taylor Made consignment at the 1996 Keeneland November sale, he was appropriately nicknamed "The Iron Horse,” following six Group 1 victories in Europe from 7 to 10 ½ furlongs. Giant's Causeway became part of Breeders’ Cup lore, with his spine-tingling stretch dual with Tiznow in the 2000 Classic. Giant’s Causeway is also Storm Cat’s best son at stud. Now a four-time Champion Sire in North America (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), he is also renowned as a sire of sires, with top sons on both sides of the Atlantic (Shamardal, Footstepsinthesand, First Samurai).

Giant’s Causeway’s dam Mariah’s Storm is one of the few fillies to conquer the great Hall of Fame runner Serena’s Song. She is by the Blushing Groom son Rahy, the sire of over 80 stakes winners and Champions on both sides of the Atlantic. Her dam, Immense, is by Roberto, one of the magnificent runners and stallions produced by John Galbraith’s famed Darby Dan Farm. At the races, Roberto won the Epsom Darby and used course record speed to hand Brigadier Gerard his first career defeat. At stud Roberto etched his name in the books with Grade/Group 1 or Classic winners in six countries and 17% stakes winners from foals.

But that’s just the top side of Eskendereya’s pedigree.

Look at Eskendereya’s dam, Aldebaran Light. She’s also the dam of Balmont, a Group 1 winner as a juvenile in England.

Look at Eskendereya’s damsire, Seattle Slew. He was beyond legendary, deepening the legacy of not only the Triple Crown (as its only unbeaten winner) but also of the iconic Spendthrift Farm. He became Champion Sire at Leslie Comb’s Bluegrass institution in 1984 and his influence remains as strong as ever today. Just look at the pedigrees of the nine in-the-money runners in this year’s Triple Crown series.  

Look at Eskendereya’s second dam, Altair, who also produced a pair of stakes runners including Blazonry who ‘closed like a supersonic train’ to take the Grade 2 Laz Barrera Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Look at Altair’s sire Alydar. He was the last great stallion at the greatest of America’s breeding farms, Calumet. From his famed white-paneled paddock he sired two winners of the Kentucky Derby (G1), two Horse of the Year, and numerous other Champions and Grade/Group 1 winners.  

Look at Queen Sucree, Eskendereya’s fourth dam. The daughter of two greats, Federico Tesio’s perfect Ribot and Cosmah, she spent her whole second career at John Gaines’ Gainesway Farm. All of 12 of her foals were raised under the guidance of the incomparable Joe Taylor. Ten of those foals would find the winner’s circle and four of them were stakes winners, including the winner of the 100th Kentucky Derby.  

Queen Sucree is a sister to Halo a two-time leading sire in North America who’s sons have had an immeasurable international impact on the breed. Dual Classic winner and Horse of the Year Sunday Silence became legend in Japan while standing at the Yoshida family’s Shadai Stallion Station. He was the leading sire in Japan for 12 consecutive years. In North America, Halo’s son Saint Ballado rose from Florida obscurity to major Kentucky sire at Taylor Made to Champion Sire in 2005.

Queen Sucree’s second dam is none other than Almahmoud, the dam of Northern Dancer. Many breeders have had success using the Northern Dancer sire line back with this female family. But none greater than Juddmonte Farm, who bred the unbelievable sire Danehill using a son of Northern Dancer over a great granddaughter of Almahmoud. Danehill is truly one of the wonders of the thoroughbred breed, siring over 2,000 foals and over 350 stakes winners. That works out to roughly 17% stakes winners from foals, an unheard of figure in the modern big book era.

And so it’s fitting that Eskendereya will stand under the Stonestreet banner. Just look what Stonestreet has accomplished in an impossibly small window of time: racing’s all-time leading money winner in Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, who did what no other 3yo filly has ever done or ever will do again. Those two modern-day legends combined to win earn three straight Horse of the Year titles. The only other owner to accomplish that feat with more than one runner: 1940’s vintage Calumet Farm.  

Just look. And wonder. And dream. Just as the ancients must have done when gazing upon that towering Lighthouse at Alexandria so long ago, we can look upon Eskendereya. And be awed. Awed at what is before us and awed by what the future must hold.