Thursday, June 28, 2012

Putting Some Perspective On I'll Have Another Going to Japan

Last week it was announced that Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner I'll Have Another is going to Japan for his stud career. While the news was predictably followed with dismay, there were also many hateful comments such as "He'll just suffer the same fate Ferdinand did" among others (to learn about Ferdinand's story, click here) so I did a little research on some of the top stallions in Japan and how many are directly connected to the United States.

(Thanks to Tachyon from Thoroughbred Champions for the list)
9. Victoire Pisa(USA) (Neo Universe) (Shadai) 3,500,000 (43,750)- raced outside the US
11. Empire Maker(USA) (Unbridled) (JBBA) 3,000,000 (37,500)- Won Belmont, Wood, Florida Derby
12. Kurofune(USA) (French Deputy) (Shadai) 3,000,000 (37,500)- not raced in US
13. Conduit(IRE) (Dalakhani) (Big Red Farm) 3,000,000 (37,500)- Won BC Turf twice
16. Johannesburg(USA) (Hennessy) (JBBA) 3,000,000 (37,500)- Raced mostly in Europe but won BC Juvie
19. Symboli Kris S(USA) (Kris S) (Shadai) 2,500,000 (31,250)- not raced in US
 
As you can see from the above list, out of the top 21 stallions in terms of stud fees, five are U.S.-breds and one more made history here with his two Breeders' Cup wins. 

In addition, the best stallion in Japanese history, Sunday Silence was a U.S. bred and won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, the Breeders' Cup Classic, etc. My first post on this blog also showed even more Triple Crown race winners that have spent time in Japan.

It should also be noted that a buy-back clause to bring stallions back from international destinations should they no longer be wanted is also a normal procedure these days. The horse will also be checked on at least annually by Three Chimneys staff (farm where I'll Have Another's sire Flower Alley stands) when they visit their office in the country and check on other horses over there, such as Silver Charm.

Yes, losing another good horse to Japan isn't ideal for fans who wanted to visit the horse but it's almost guaranteed that I'll Have Another will get more quality mares there than he would here. It is also extremely doubtful the colt will end up in a slaughter house if he is unsuccessful.

Japan has MANY United States stakes winners and even Eclipse winners in their country now. While they can't be monitored as closely by fans as they could in the United States, there is little doubt that I'll Have Another will not suffer at the hands of the country. 

If fans want something to complain about when it comes to the Derby winner, they would be much better off pointing their anger somewhere else, because after looking at "Big Red Farm's" website, I'll Have Another will be living in a luxury that most humans can only dream of.

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