It seems that with the passing of Deep Impact and King Kamehameha last year, the growth of prize money inJapan, as well as the recognition of the excellence of Japanese, bred racehorses globally, several tops recently retired horses are heading to Japan.
Two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome is the latest accomplished runner to join the Japanese stallion ranks, as he has been purchased to stand at Arrow Stud beginning in 2020.
The syndicate that stood California Chrome at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky recently reached an agreement with director Ken Hattori of JS Company Ltd. of Japan to purchase California Chrome, subject to the Japanese government’s quarantine and export requirements being met. As part of the agreement, the syndicate has the first right of refusal if the new owners ever wish to sell. Upon being pensioned from breeding, plans call for California Chrome to be repatriated to live out his retirement. Perry and Denise Martin, California Chrome's co-breeders and original co-owners, will continue to participate in California Chrome’s breeding career in Japan.
“We were approached by representatives of the buyer, and being that California Chrome is owned by a 50-share syndicate, the offer was presented to the shareholders for a vote,” Taylor Made’s Duncan Taylor said in a release.
California Chrome is the latest accomplished runner stepping into a market in Japan that has a massive void after losing leading sires Deep Impact and King Kamehameha in the last year.
Meanwhile, Darley is also keen to improve its own stallion ranks. Thunder Snow, the only horse to win back-to-back editions of the Gr.1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored, is heading to Darley in Japan for his first season at stud along with multiple Gr.1 winner Hawkbill who will be coming in from Europe.
Multiple Grade 1 winner Bricks and Mortar, a leading candidate to be named Horse of the Year, leads that charge, as Shadai Farm reached an agreement for his stud rights earlier this year. Shadai has also purchased New Year's Day, the sire of multiple Grade 1winner Maximum Security from his second crop.
American classic winner and champion the Animal Kingdom have also been sold to the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association to stand at stud in 2020.