Odds-on favorite Codino went into the Asahi Hai Futurity (Jpn-I) with expectations that he would conclude his first season with a victory and cement his standing as Japan’s top 2-year-old colt. In the Dec. 16 event, Codino did produce a solid effort, but the line fell a neck short of catching the upset 33-1 shot Logotype.
Codino, who had been undefeated previously, is a son of one of Japan’s most respected sires, the U.S.-conceived Tokyo Yushun—Japanese Derby (Jpn-I) victor King Kamehameha. By way of contrast, Logotype is from the second crop of Lohengrin, a horse who is a far less familiar name. Despite the disparity of their fame, Lohengrin does have one thing in common with King Kamehameha, as both were conceived overseas and imported in utero to Japan.
Out of the Prix de Diane Hermes—French Oaks and Prix Vermeille (both Fr-I) heroine Carling (by the Mill Reef horse Garde Royale), Lohengrin is by Singspiel (by the Sadler's Wells son In the Wings, out of champion older mare and Canadian Horse of the Year Glorious Song, a sister to Devil's Bag and Saint Ballado and also dam of both Rahy and the outstanding South African sire Rakeen).
Lohengrin might not have reached King Kamehameha’s classic-winning status, but he was a tough and durable runner. He broke his maiden at 2 and returned at 3 to take five of nine starts, gaining his first group black type with a third in the Takarazuka Kinen (Jpn-I). At 4, the chestnut kicked off his season with a place effort in a domestic grade III event, then captured the Nakayama Kinen and Yomiuri Milers’ Cup (the latter in a race record of 1:31.8), both grade II events in Japan, although not then recognized as such for the purposes of international cataloging standards.
Shipped to France, Lohengrin failed to fire in the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard—Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I), but gave a much better account of himself in the NetJets Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Fr-I) three weeks later. In that race the Shadai homebred led almost throughout, before conceding by a half length to the French Oaks victress Nebraska Tornado, with such luminaries as Bright Sky, Clodovil, and Refuse To Bend (all classic winners) and Soviet Song, Where Or When, Domedriver, and Reel Buddy (each successful in group or grade I company) behind. Returning to Japan, Lohengrin could only finish 13th of 18 in the Tenno Sho (Jpn-I)—the Autumn Emperor’s Cup—but he ended the year with a good third to Lucky Owners in the Hong Kong Mile (Jpn-I).
That demanding season may have taken something out of Lohengrin, as he failed to win in eight starts—all in Japan—as a 5-year-old, although he did take second in both the Yomiuri Milers’ Cup and Mainichi Okan (Jpn-II). The veteran’s 6-year-old season was rather strange, as four starts in which he failed to do better than fourteenth were interrupted by a second win in the Yomiuri Milers’ Cup. Lohegrin remained in training at 7 and 8. At 7 his best effort in nine starts was a third in the Mainichi Okan, but he kicked off the following year with a victory in the Nakayama Kinen before failing to make much impact in five subsequent starts over distances ranging from six to 11 furlongs.
Retired to Shadai Farm for the 2008 breeding season, Lohengrin was not represented by anything of particular note from his first crop. But in his second crop he has not only Logotype, but also Gottfried, who was two-for-two prior to finishing third to Logotype in the Asahi Hai.
Logotype is the first foal for his dam, the Sunday Silence mare Stereotype. She is a half sister to Japanese black-type winners En Dehors (by Brian's Time) and Grand Pas de Deux (by Sunday Silence’s son Fuji Kiseki)—the latter a black-type winner who produced Pas de Trois , successful in the Ibis Summer Dash and Keeneland Cup (both Jpn-III), to the cover of the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) hero Swept Overboad. Logotype’s second dam, Star Ballerina, who was another in utero import to Japan, was one of the better runners sired by Secretariat’s champion son Risen Star, taking the Kansai Telecasting Corporation Sho Rose Stakes, and earning several black-type places. Logotype’s third dam, Berliani, was a minor winner at 3 and 4 in the U.S., but was a well-bred mare, being a daughter of Nureyev and the Pucker Up Stakes (gr. III) winner Eleven Pleasures.
Lohengrin seemed best at around a mile, which was a little surprising given that both his sire and dam were group I winners at a mile and a half (although both were capable of good form over shorter courses). Logotype’s dam was placed at as far as 10 furlongs and is by a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, and his second dam won over 11 furlongs and is by a Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, so there is a good chance that he’ll be effective over longer distances than his sire.
Logotype is the first stakes winner from the 60 starters sired by Singspiel and his sons out of mares from the Sunday Silence line, but since Gottfried is bred on the same cross, it may turn out that Lohengrin—who has only six starters out of Sunday Silence mares—is going to be more effective with that strain. We shouldn’t overlook that Logotype’s third dam is by Nureyev, which means he has the closely related Sadler’s Wells and Nureyev 4x4 at the top and bottom of his pedigree. Singspiel sired eight stakes winners out of mares carrying Nureyev, six of them group or graded, but Logotype is the first group/grade I winner for the line with Nureyev in the dam.