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In a recent post, matings consultant and Enick guru Jack Werk noted both the impact of imported stallions in the Japanese breeding industry and the likelihood that breeders in Japan soon would be purchasing high-profile prospects for their studs in this economic environment.

Werk’s comments were both well reasoned and very timely. Just hours ago, Sid Fernando broke the news outside Japan that Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Conduit has been purchased to stand at stud in Japan next year. Read it here.

When the domestic breeding economy took a tumble about 20 years ago, the breeders in Japan were riding an economic boom and took advantage of the situation, scooping up Horse of the Year Sunday Silence and Grade 1 winner Brian’s Time as stallion prospects. Those two made their buyers look very smart, especially the eminent breeder Zenya Yoshida (who bought into the dual classic winner and then bought out his partners when North American breeders were showing no inclination to support the son of Halo). Yoshida did not live to see Sunday Silence reach the pinnacle of success that he envisioned, but Sunday Silence broke all records for stakes winners, earnings, and success in the first and second generation with his progeny in Japan. See Werk on Sunday Silence here.

Other stallions or stallion prospects purchased by the Japanese did not succeed so well in their highly specialized racing environment. Among those were Horses of the Year Kotashaan, Black Tie Affair, and Criminal Type, and even champion Forty Niner, who was the leading sire in North America in 1996, never showed comparable results from his stock in Japan.

The game just isn’t as simple as it looks.