Classic winner War Emblem to stand 2003 season in Japan.

Classic winner War Emblem to stand 2003 season in Japan.

Barbara D. Livingston

War Emblem Headed to Japan to Stand at Stud in 2003

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem will head to Japan to begin stud duties in 2003 at the Shadai Stallion Station, the powerhouse operation run by the Yoshida family. Shadai recently lost three major stallions in Sunday Silence, El Condor Pasa, and End Sweep.

Katsumi Yoshida said Wednesday a deal had been struck putting a value of between $17- and $18-million on the son of Our Emblem, who was bred by Russell Reineman and purchased earlier this year for $900,000 by the late Ahmed Salman of The Thoroughbred Corp.

"We need a good horse to replace the ones we lost," Yoshida said. "This is a very good horse. He runs the same as Sunday Silence and has the same kind of body."

Yoshida estimated a stud fee of ¥8-million (about $66,000). He said 16-year-old Sunday Silence was insured for ¥3 billion (about $25-million).

Richard Mulhall, president of The Thoroughbred Corp., confirmed the deal and said War Emblem would have just one more race in the U.S. in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington Park Oct. 26. Mulhall did not rule out the possibility of a final career start for War Emblem in the Japan Cup Dirt, a $2-million race run over nine furlongs at Nakayama racecourse on Nov. 23. "That race has not been discussed yet," he said.

Three different groups from Japan were interested in purchasing War Emblem, Mulhall said, along with stud farms in the U.S. He said the sale price did not include any escalation clauses in the event of a Breeders' Cup Classic victory or Horse of the Year title.

War Emblem will become the first Derby winner since Sunday Silence to enter stud outside the U.S. without first standing at an American farm.

Among other Derby winners who eventually went to stud in Japan were Ferdinand, Kauai King, and Chateaugay.