Daijin, a stakes winner who produced a pair of stakes winners, died following complications from foaling Feb. 8 at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms near Lexington.
Daijin was a full sister to Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner and multiple grade I winner Touch Gold. Both were bred by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm, Star Stable, and Holtsinger, Inc. In addition, she was a half sister to Canadian champion With Approval.
Daijin (Deputy Minister--Passing Mood, by Buckpasser) produced two stakes winners from the cover of champion A.P. Indy. Handpainted, bred by Hill ‘n’ Dale and N.E.T.P., won the Ontario Debutante Stakes and My Dear Stakes in 2002, and two years later took the Goddess Stakes and Pan Zareta Handicap. Serenading, bred by Hill ‘n’ Dale, was named Canada’s champion older mare in 2009 after winning the Falls City Handicap (gr. II) and the Maple Leaf Stakes. She earned $538,754. Serenading produced her first foal last week, a Street Cry colt. Both Serenading and Handpainted raced for Hill ‘n’ Dale owner John Sikura and his brother, Glenn.
“Daijin was a tremendous mare,” said John Sikura. “You always care about all your horses, but every once in a while you get one that’s different, that you get a really deep emotional attachment to and she becomes part of the family. Daijin is a real loss. She brings back a lot of memories, and she will be buried here at the farm.”
Daijin is also the dam of Speed Succeeds, the dam of Brilliant Speed, a promising 3-year-old colt who this year has run second in both the Dania Beach and Hallandale Beach stakes at Gulfstream Park. Speed Succeeds, Handpainted, and Serenading are all part of Hill ‘n’ Dale’s broodmare band.
After producing Serenading in 2004, Daijin had a severe hemorrhage and was unbreedable for three seasons. After undergoing a cervical repair in 2007, she got in foal the next two seasons but lost those foals early on. This year she carried to term.
“We felt it was a risk to have a natural foaling,” said Sikura, “so the foal was delivered by C-section. “The Zensational colt came out well, but the mare had problems post-surgery with severe colic, and we didn’t want her to suffer.”
Daijin won the Selene Stakes and the Star Shoot Stakes in 1995, the same year she ran third in the Test Stakes (gr. I).