Mares in Japan Part 3: American Royalty, with Kate Hunter

Journalist Kate Hunter continues her visit with mares in Japan.

Like any big breeding operation, the Yoshida brothers are looking for mares who have performed at the highest level and impressively so. Turf has always been the most important surface in Japan, but they know, better than most, that a dirt horse can rule the turf. Case and point: Sunday Silence. So top level dirt mares are not excluded when the Yoshida brothers go shopping.

These American mares were treated with the utmost love and kindness while I was there. There were always 3 or 4 people working consistently throughout the day at each of the dozens of broodmare barns owned by the Yoshidas. Few of the 15 horses I saw were kept in the same barn. Combined the brothers have over 1300 broodmares, but each barn of 10 to 20 broodmares was pristine with handlers that cooed at and loved all over them.

Stardom Bound (2006, Tapit x My White Corvette, Tarr Road) was 2008 Eclipse Award Champion 2 Year Old Filly after scoring three G1 wins that year including the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. She won two more G1s during her career and was bought privately by Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm in 2010 while in foal to Big Brown, and produced a colt last year. She gave birth to a King Kamehameha colt this spring before being bred to Deep Impact. Unfortunately she is not in foal this year. Her sale price was never disclosed to the public and when I asked what it was, my response was a big smile and a shake of the head. I guess we will never know!

 

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 Ginger Punch (2003, Awesome Again (CAN) x Nappelon (CAN), Bole Revenue (CAN)) who won five G1 races including the 2007 Breeders' Cup Distaff, which led to her being named the 2007 Eclipse Award Champion Older Female. Northern Farm bought her for $1.6 million at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale while in foal to Bernardini. The resulting foal, was the filly Ginger Mist, who raced for the first time on September 17th. Her second foal is a Zenno Rob Roy filly and her 2011 foal is a Manhattan Cafe filly. She is currently in foal to Deep Impact. You can be sure I'll visit her next year too. I was a big fan and really want to see a little Ginger Impact!



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 Azeri (1998, Jade Robbery x Zodiac Miss (AUS), Ahonoora (GB)) is known by all in the US as the 2002 Horse of the Year, a rare honor for a female. She was an Eclipse Award Champion Older Female for three consecutive years from 2002 to 2004. She produced 3 foals in the US before being bought by Northern Farm at the 2009 Keeneland November sale for $2.25 million while in foal to Distorted Humor. Her Distorted Humor filly is preparing for her debut later this year and is rumored, she still isn't registered, to be named Amelie. Azeri has a 2011 Zenno Rob Roy colt that sold for 84 million yen (over $1 million) at the 2012 JRHA Select Sale. She was not bred in 2012 because she foaled in May. They put her under light therapy and gave her the year off. She was bred to Deep Impact this season and has been confirmed in foal. That is another baby I absolutely want to see next spring! I was allowed to give her a good scratch and made sure to tell her it was from all of her fans back in the US.

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