Hat Trick, a champion sprinter/miler in his native Japan and an international group I winner at a mile, will become the first son of Sunday Silence with such outstanding credentials to stand at stud in the United States.
Purchased by a partnership assembled by John T.L. Jones III, managing partner of Walmac Farm near Lexington, Ky., the 6-year-old out of grade II winner Tricky Code, by Lost Code, will stand in 2008 for $15,000.
“If you look at all the other sons of Sunday Silence, this is probably the most brilliant one in terms of speed,” said Jones. “In the commercial market, that is very important. It was obviously very, very sexy to us that he was a miler. I believe that milers do make the best sires.”
Bred by Haruya Yoshida’s Oiwake Farm and raced by U Carrot Farm, Hat Trick won the 2005 Mile Championship (Jpn-I) at Kyoto Racecourse in the blistering time of 1:32.10. Three weeks later, the nearly black horse captured the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) at Sha Tin.
Hat Trick raced through mid-April of this year, retiring with a record of eight wins in 21 starts and earnings of $3,122,708.
Jones flew to Japan at the end of May to inspect Hat Trick after being approached by South African bloodstock agent Robin Bruss and Team Valor International’s Barry Irwin about the availability of the horse. A deal was reached quickly, and Hat Trick arrived at Walmac at the end of June.
“He’s put on about 150 pounds and he looks great,” Jones said, adding that Hat Trick showed zeal for his new career when test bred, covering two mares in “about five seconds” each.
Others who joined in the Hat Trick partnership are Stonerside’s Bob McNair, Andrew Rosen of Star Crown Stable, John Stuart of Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, Jamie Lamonica of The Stallion Company, and bloodstock agent Omar Trevino.
Unlike many sons of Sunday Silence produced from Japanese mares, Hat Trick’s female family will be recognizable to American breeders. Tricky Code demonstrated top quality on dirt, placing in the 1993 Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) at 2 and winning the Santa Ynez Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. II) the following season. She also captured the Miesque Stakes on turf.
Standing a shade over 16.1 hands, Hat Trick “has an unbelievably strong withers and shoulder and a really good hip,” as well as possessing the fiery nature that Sunday Silence typically passed on to his offspring, Jones said.
A legend in Japan as a sire after earning North American Horse of the Year honors for winning the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) over rival Easy Goer, Sunday Silence has led all Japanese sires for 12 consecutive years. He remains firmly entrenched atop Japan’s general sire list in 2007, five years after his death, and is joined by five of his sons in the top 10 sires ranked by progeny earnings.