August 31, 1962 |
|Major racing wins, honours and awards|
|Major racing wins|
|Won the Grade I Arkansas Derby (2012) Wood Memorial Stakes (2010)
Fountain of Youth Stakes (2010)
Pilgrim Stakes (2009)
Triple Bend Invitational Handicap (2009)
Bing Crosby Handicap (2009)
Pat O'Brien Handicap (2009)
CashCall Futurity (2008)
Robert B. Lewis Stakes (2009)
San Felipe Stakes (2009)
Santa Anita Derby (2009)
|Pioneerof the Nile, Eskendereya, Zensational, Nehro, Z Fortune, Z Humor, Bodemeister, Paynter,|
Ahmed Zayat was born on August 31, 1962, in Cairo, Egypt. At the age of 18, he moved from Egypt to the United States. He got his Master's degrees in business and public health from Boston University. He currently lives in Teaneck, New Jersey with his wife Joanne and his four children, Ashley, Justin, Benjamin and Emma, and has residences in New York, Egypt and London. He currently serves as the CEO of Zayat Stables, LLC, a thoroughbred horse racing company with stables all over the country.
Early career 
Ahmed is an entrepreneur known for turning companies around. Ahmed headed Al Ahram Beverages, which was a privatized Egyptian beverage company. He later led its sale to Heineken International for about $280,000,000.00 In addition to the beverage industry, he is involved in other industries, as well as the largest shareholder in the largest manufacturer of glass containers in Egypt, Misr Glass Manufacturing.
Thoroughbred horse racing 
Ahmed was introduced to race horses in his early teens while competing in national show jumping events in his native Egypt. He has been passionate about horses and the sport of horse racing ever since. Few experienced the highs and lows of the sport of horse racing the way Ahmed Zayat has in 2010. Zayat campaigned Eskendereya, runaway winner of the Wood Memorial (G1) and the horse considered by many to be the heavy favorite for the Kentucky Derby. On the Sunday prior to the Derby, Eskendereya was withdrawn from the race and subsequently retired to stud duty due to a soft tissue injury in his left front leg. Zayat Stables has continued to prosper in 2010, ranking as the fourth-leading owner by money won in North America through October 1. Zayat has had 11 Breeders' Cup starters to date and plans to have four runners in 2010, led by two promising juveniles Jaycito and AZ Warrior. Jaycito enters the Breeders' Cup Juvenile off a win in the Norfolk Stakes (G1), while AZ Warrior came into the Juvenile Fillies off a victory in the Frizette Stakes (G1). His other Breeders' Cup hopefuls are Filly and Mare Sprint contender Rightly So, winner of the Ballerina Handicap (G1) and Riley Tucker, runner-up in the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) in his final prep before the Sprint. Leading the stable in 2009 was Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Pioneerof the Nile, trained by Bob Baffert, who finished second in the 2009 Kentucky Derby and 11th in the Preakness Stakes (G1), but was later retired with a leg injury. Other top runners included Thorn's Song, Eaton's Gift, and West Virginia Derby winner Soul Warrior. Formed in 2005, Zayat Stables LLC has quickly became a major force on the racetrack and in the sales ring. Scored immediate success with Grade 1 winners Point Ashley and Downthedustyroad plus others stakes winners Massive Drama, High Again, Got the Last Laugh, Marcavelly, Belgravia, Forefathers, EZ Warrior, Baroness Thatcher, Maimonides and J Be K. Ahmed was the nation’s leading owner in 2008 as his stable racked up nearly $6,900,000.00 in earnings and 116 victories. His first appearance at the Breeders' Cup was in 2006; he had five starters in 2007, with a best finish from Baroness Thatcher, fourth in the Filly & Mare Sprint, and two in 2008.
Breeding/Racing Operation 
Zayat Stables has approximately 200 horses, most of which are in training spread among such trainers as Todd Pletcher, Bob Baffert, Steve Asmussen, Tony Dutrow, Mike Mitchell, Reade Baker, and Scott Lake. They were the seventh leading buyer at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, having spent $2,655,000 for 14 yearlings. The original focus of Zayat's operation was to develop racing and breeding prospects, with long-range plans to acquire companies involved in equine health research and product development as well as the possibility of racetrack ownership. Despite the bankruptcy troubles, Zayat maintains the focus of his operation has not changed. “While Chapter 11 was a necessary step to take, Zayat Stables has emerged stronger and we are excited about building on our many recent successes in the racing industry,” he said. “I look forward to carrying out our reorganization plan, and continuing to develop some of the best horses in the country.” Ahmed made splashy, big-ticket purchases starting in 2005, including Maimonides, a $4.6 million Keeneland September yearling, by the late Vindication, who is a half-brother to Grade 1 winners El Corredor and Roman Ruler. In addition, Ahmed purchased the sale topper at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale, a filly by Empire Maker, for $1,600,000, named Mushka. Zayat Stables keeps about 20 broodmares in Kentucky.
2011 Kentucky Derby 
On Saturday, May 7, 2011, Zayat had a horse in the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby. The horse, Nehro, was originally at the 19 post, but since one of the favorites, Uncle Mo, dropped out a few days before the race, Nehro moved to post 18. He opened 6-1 odds and had 8-1 final odds, only behind Dialed In (4-1 open; 5-1 final). Nehro finished in second place, behind Animal Kingdom, who came up on the outside, passing 3 horses in the last stretch, to win by 2 lengths. Animal Kingdom was ridden by 3⁄4John R. Velazquez, who was originally supposed to ride the favorite, Uncle Mo. Cory Nakatani was the jockey for Nehro.
- Drape, Joe. "As a Derby Favorite Soars, His Owner Stumbles", The New York Times, February 26, 2010. Accessed May 9, 2011. "'They lied to me and put me close to financial ruin,' said Zayat, who lives in Teaneck, N.J. 'I’m trying to reorganize until the market corrects itself, and they are trying to put me out of business. But I’m not going to go away.'"
- "Uncle Mo scratched from the Kentucky Derby", Miami Herald, May 6, 2011, webpage: MH63