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Ok, Orfevre, you’re becoming my horse to win the Arc this year. Japan’s Triple Crown winner/Horse of the Year shipped to historic Longchamp in France and won its Prix Foy (FR-II) in rail-riding fashion.

Ok, Orfevre, you’re becoming my horse to win the Arc this year. Japan’s Triple Crown winner/Horse of the Year shipped to historic Longchamp in France and won its Prix Foy (FR-II) in rail-riding fashion.

I’ll Have Another bids America goodbye one more time at Betfair Hollywood Park before shipping to Japan. (Photo by Benoit Photo)

I’ll Have Another bids America goodbye one more time at Betfair Hollywood Park before shipping to Japan. (Photo by Benoit Photo)

私は別のものがあるでしょう

That’s what “I’ll Have Another" is in Japanese. Or roughly, because I used Google Translate and you know how that goes.

It’s been a good few years since the Far East snapped up one of our Triple Crown winners, and while I’m saddened to see our Cookie Monster set sail for a new land, I have to wonder what impacted this sale. No doubt, there have been offers in the past for other Triple Crown leg champs, so what was the big sell point? Was it the [likely] possibility that I’ll Have Another’s value at stud would be abysmal? Was it the soundness issue that threatened? Let’s look at past winners bought by Japan:

  • Empire Maker - The heavy favorite for the 2003 Kentucky Derby came in second to Funny Cide after some hoof issues likely plagued his trip. He roared back to win the Belmont Stakes in the slop before shuttling to Japan in 2010 to begin a powerful career at stud, siring winners such as In Lingerie, It’s Tricky, Royal Delta, Bodemeister, Grace Hall, and Pioneerof the Nile. Big mistake, U.S.
  • War Emblem - The almost-Triple Crown winner of 2002, while War Emblem has a short progeny list due to lack of interest in breeding, he already has a few millionaires to his credit and shows all signs of a great influence on the Japan industry. He likely would not have been as sought-after in the States, but nonetheless, had some intriguing potential in his pedigree.
  • Sunday Silence - The black almost-Triple Crown winner of 1989 is no doubt one of Japan’s most influential foundation sires period, with more than a decade topping the national sire list and multi-generational winners spanning the globe. His conqueror Easy Goer, who stayed in the States, was also successful but not even close to this degree. I mourn that hit.

I don’t personally think I’ll Have Another will have as large an impact as these past Triple Crown leg winners; if anything, I would compare him to other sales made by Japan with Roses in May and Conduit— nice horses, but nothing awe-inspiring seen in their long-term influence. The purchase by Japan was completed largely for financial reasons, as no one farm in Kentucky was willing to make a decent offer on I’ll Have Another in comparision to Big Red Farm in Hokkaido.

Our loss, their gain I guess. It’s all just a disappointing end to a disappointing Triple Crown run.

Three-year-old Ofevre, the first horse in six years to take Japan’s Triple Crown, blitzed the field of older horses in the Arima Kinen (JPN-I), including super mare Buena Vista. His connections now feel ready to take on the world after winning four G1 races in Japan this year, with a goal of making the Dubai World Cup in March.

Three-year-old Ofevre, the first horse in six years to take Japan’s Triple Crown, blitzed the field of older horses in the Arima Kinen (JPN-I), including super mare Buena Vista. His connections now feel ready to take on the world after winning four G1 races in Japan this year, with a goal of making the Dubai World Cup in March.

Workforce Retiring to Japan

Winner of the 2010 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (FR-I), Workforce is kissing the European grass goodbye for a less hectic life in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Royally bred and sure to land a high stud fee once he’s settled in for 2012, the son of King’s Best romped by a record 7 lengths in the prestigious Epsom Derby (IRE-I) in course record time for owner Juddmonte Farms. Finishing seven starts out of nine in the top two, he will stand at Shadai Farm in Japan.

I wonder if Workforce has the ability to be as big an influence in Japan as American horses like Sunday Silence and Silver Charm? Japan has some excellent horses standing there already, but this is one announcement their horse industry is bound to celebrate.

Silver Charm

Silver Charm

Yukichan (Kurofune x Shirayukihime, by Sunday Silence) is one of the rare white Thoroughbreds in existence. She’s a successful racehorse in her native Japan.

Yukichan (Kurofune x Shirayukihime, by Sunday Silence) is one of the rare white Thoroughbreds in existence. She’s a successful racehorse in her native Japan.

Filly Clinches Huge Queen’s Plate Win

  • The first filly in ten years conquered the huge field of 19 to take the $1 million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Race Course. Inglorious passed tiring favorite Check Your Soul and others four-wide coming down the home lane, a tremendous cause for celebration. The filly toppled the field by 2 1/2 lengths over 1 1/4 mile on the Polytrack surface.
  • Watch for Misty for Me this fall, as the filly took the “win and you’re in” Pretty Polly Stakes (I) in Ireland by a clear-cut 6 lengths. The Pretty Polly is the mare’s sixth Group 1 win, hoping to keep improving in time for Breeders’ Cup Mare & Filly Turf (II) race.
  • Also in Ireland, the Irish Derby (I) fell to Treasure Beach, who rated behind the pace early before edging stablemate Seville in the final 100 yards to win by 3/4 length. Treasure Beach will now aim for slightly shorter distances than his victory in the 12-furlong Derby.
  • In Japan, a victorious underdog will now continue on to the Breeders’ Cup in November. Earnestly nabbed his first grade I event in the Takarazuka Kinen (Jpn-I), overtaking super-mare Buena Vista turning for home to win by 1 1/2 lengths. By winning, Earnestly has automatically earned his trip to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (II) this year.
Japanese racehorse Casino Drive (Mineshaft x Better Than Honour, by Deputy Minister) peeks over a fence.

Japanese racehorse Casino Drive (Mineshaft x Better Than Honour, by Deputy Minister) peeks over a fence.

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