In a weekend that included a number of wildly unexpected results, some of the biggest success stories from the Breeders’ Cup races on Friday and Saturday involved breeders and buyers overseas who purchased sires and dams closely connected to prominent players in the Breeders’ Cup races.
The biggest coup of them all was the purchase of the stallion Offlee Wild (by Wild Again), who is the sire of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Bayern. In a deal announced in mid-October, Tevfik Celikoglu purchased the stallion for export to Turkey, where he will stand the 2015 season at one of the stallion installations owned by the Jockey Club of Turkey.
The 14-year-old Offlee Wild won six races, including the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park, earning $976,325, and he began his stallion career at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in 2006. With his first-crop racers in 2009, Offlee Wild became the country’s leading freshman sire, primarily due to She Be Wild, who won four of her five starts that season, including the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and was named champion 2-year-old filly at the 2009 Eclipse Awards.
Till this season, She Be Wild was the only major performer for the stallion, and his commercial appeal dwindled. In 2012, Offlee Wild was relocated to Pin Oak Lane Farm in Pennsylvania, and then Bayern, a foal of 2011, reignited some interest in the stallion because of the colt’s high speed and powerful front-running performances through the spring and summer.
Still, Offlee Wild has a half-dozen stakes winners this year, while standing for a $4,000 fee at Pin Oak Lane in Pennsylvania, and the stallion will enter stud in Turkey with a tremendous tailwind from Bayern’s successes this season.
In addition, Offlee Wild ranks 11th this year by progeny earnings with $7,142,239, including $4,389,680 from Bayern, and Offlee Wild is also represented by group stakes winner Hortensius in Argentina, where the colt won the G2 Polla de Potrillos de La Plata in August.
Earlier on the Saturday card, perhaps the most impressive winner on the day was the Afleet Alex colt Texas Red, who blew away his competition in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by 6 1/2 lengths.
Showing an appreciation for distance similar to his Preakness and Belmont Stakes-winning sire, Texas Red is a colt with serious prospects for the premium races in 2015. Receiving miler speed from his dam, Texas Red is out of the Jeune Homme mare Ramatuelle. She was unbeaten in her first five races, then ran fourth in the G3 Yerba Buena, third in the G3 Desert Stormer, and fifth in the G2 A Gleam.
Retired to stud by Stonestreet, Ramatuelle did not immediately produce a stakes horse, although all were winners. Texas Red is his dam’s fifth foal, and Stonestreet sold the colt at the 2013 Keeneland September sale for $17,000. Two months later, they sold his stakes-placed dam for $20,000 to Korea Bloodstock in foal to Maclean’s Music.
Kentucky-based bloodstock consultant Jun Park said that “Korea Bloodstock is a Korean company that helps breeders purchase horses at the sales. Their main job is doing paperwork for actual buyers, like what KOID does.”
The Chilean-bred mare was shipped to Korea in December, but unfortunately, “Ramatuelle died in Korea last March,” Park said, along with the foal she was carrying.
Like most mares imported for their breeding program, Ramatuelle was purchased under the auspices of the Korean Racing Association, which operates like a bureau of the Korean government and oversees nearly every aspect of racing in South Korea. The KRA is the sole racing authority, overseeing Korea’s racing, wagering, and breeding. The KRA operates Korea’s two Thoroughbred racetracks at Seoul and Busan, which is Korea’s second-largest city. Both have sand tracks, which makes them relatively close to the surfaces in the States, and the pedigrees and physical types that thrive there seem to be similar.
The KRA operates Jeju stud farm and training center, and it stands Breeders’ Cup winner Volponi, champion juvenile Hansen, G1 winner Rock Hard Ten, and the major winner and significant sire Menifee. These and other sires will be joined next year by Any Given Saturday (Distorted Humor), who won the Haskell during his racing career and sired Hoppertunity, a well-regarded classic candidate earlier this year.
The racing and breeding programs in countries like Korea and Turkey can offer an important role to these and other horses who may not have a commercial profile in America that will allow them to remain at the highest level. That is how some of the best influences in U.S. breeding came to these shores, because they weren’t as highly valued elsewhere, and we can hope that these exports find eminent success in their new homes.
The preceding post was first published earlier this week at Paulick Report.