Derby Winner War Emblem Has Another Fruitless Season at Stud

After five years of trying to coax Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem into performing regular breeding duties, Shadai Stallion Station officials might be reaching the limit of their patience with the horse they purchased for about $17 million as a stallion prospect.

Teruya Yoshida, who runs Japan's leading stud farm with his brothers Katsumi and Haruya, said Sunday that War Emblem covered no mares during the just completed breeding season. Thus, 2008 will mark the second consecutive year that there will be no foals born by the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, following his failure to get the one mare he covered in 2006 in foal.

When asked what might be done to remedy War Emblem's lack of desire to breed, Teruya Yoshida said:

"We don't have so much interest to improve him now. We have tried many things and we are tired of that.

"We have no plan for him," he added. Although Yoshida indicated previously that Shadai would consider offers from American farms that might want to attempt working with War Emblem, no agreements have been reached.

The nearly black son of Our Emblem is in good physical condition at age eight "but his mental condition is not so good," said Shadai spokesperson Eisuke Tokutake, referring to the stallion's lack of interest in mares.

Shadai has tried many tactics, including letting War Emblem choose a mate from a large group of in-season mares presented to him simultaneously, but most efforts have been to no avail. War Emblem remains in a stall at one of the Shadai stud barns where he is stabled near grade II winner and successful sire French Deputy.

With War Emblem's largest crop now of juvenile age, Yoshida said he is hoping that at least one of that group of 34 can win a major race. Nineteen colts and 15 fillies make up War Emblem's 2005 crop, including Buzz Rolling, a filly out of the Sunday Silence mare Fusaichi Mignon and the only two-year-old to win to date, and Danon Sea Gulls, a colt out of Australian group I winner Derobe, by Pompeii Court.

"We are expecting one or two to be good enough to be a stallion," Yoshida said.

War Emblem had sired only one other winner before Saturday, Clan Emblem, now three and a member of his first crop, which consisted of only four foals, all colts. Clan Emblem has recorded three wins, two seconds and a third from eight starts and has earned $285,619.

On Saturday, two other members of War Emblem's first crop achieved their first wins. Riichi Kondo's Admire Million won a nine-furlong maiden race on dirt at Hanshin Racecourse in his fifth career start while Tetsuhide Kunimoto's Shonan Raijin was victorious in a 1 ¼-mile maiden race on grass at Fukushima Racecourse after failing to hit the board in nine previous starts.

War Emblem's 2006 crop consists of five registered yearlings, four colts and a filly. Thus, according to the Japan Bloodstock Information System, the stallion has been able to sire a total of only 43 sons and daughters while at stud.

(Originally published at  

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Michele MacDonald

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