Month: June 2019

Busan Mayor’s Sunday – Dolkong, Cheongdam Dokki, Moonhak Chief, New Legend: Race-By-Race Preview (June 30)

Dolkong is back and Korea’s Dubai World Cup Carnival is straight back in the deep-end as he faces a host of the nation’s top horses in the Busan Mayor’s Cup on Sunday afternoon. There are 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 while in Seoul there are 11 from 10:45 to 18:00.

dolkong kra

Dolkong (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Dolkong will have thirteen for company in the race which is often described as the “Summer Grand Prix”. They include last year’s winner Cheongdam Dokki, who comes in having raced surprisingly flat in the YTN Cup last month. That race was won by Moonhak Chief, the up and coming four-year-old, in a dominant performance that may well earn him favourite status here. Also going is New Legend and the ever-reliable Shamrocker.

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A field of twelve line up over the short course in the first including five debutants with trial form to dissect. (12) NONGBUI SUCHEAHWA handed in one of the better trial performances over the 1000m. The filly bounced out of barrier eight and sat three wide before going down a head. She ran 1.02.2 when ridden hands and heels in sloppy conditions. (8) KOOKA CAT is having her third start and drops back to the 1000m after failing to run a strong six furlongs. His debut run over the 1000m was reasonable and this looks a weaker assignment. (5) DASI DUSON finished second in her qualifying trial. She ran a slow time albeit on a dry track when going down a nose. She had more up her sleeve and can provide a forward showing. (7) GOLD HERO looks the best of the rest in an inexperienced field.

Selections (12) Nongbui Sucheahwa (8) Kooka Cat (5) Dasi Duson (7) Gold Hero
Next Best 10, 6
Fast Start 3, 5, 8, 10, 11

Seoul Race 2: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Not too often we find a Class 5 event as competitive as this event where a case can be made for more than half of the field. (9) RUNNING BOX ran the arms off the clock at her second start when running 59.2 for the 1000m. She is having just her third start and the speedy type finished second over the 1300m at her first start suggesting the 1200m should be ideal. (5) BIG PRO is another that possesses early speed. He looks well weighted in this and from gate five expect the colt to work forward. (4) GENERAL ROSE is yet to finish worse than fourth from four career starts. The consistent type will settle in the leading division and is an each-way chance. (10) SIMON QUEEN broke through at odds last time out when sitting on speed for Moon Se-Young. Kim Hyo-Jung takes over today as the filly has her first run in Class 5 company.

Selections (9) Running Box (5) Big Pro (4) General Rose (10) Simon Queen
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 4, 5, 6, 9, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Plenty of chances line up in the thirds where a field of twelve will go over the 1300m. (4) JANGGUNUI SIDAE ran on strongly last time out when coming from the tail over 1300m. The in-form Lim Gi-Won will have his first ride on the filly who may be able to settle closer with a better draw today. (5) KING OF EAGLE went over the 1700m last time out when feeling the pinch after trying to lead throughout. The three-year-old ran some fair performances over 1300m prior to last start and can figure in this event. (6) NAE GIRUI BIT has placed at his past two runs over the 1300m. The chestnut has to carry 56kg but his consistency should get him a long way in this type of race. (1) GEUMSUNI STAR is another that’ drops back from the 1700m after failing to run on. The Menifee colt placed behind Set The Pace two starts back over the 1300m.

Selections (4) Janggunui Sidae (5) King Of Eagle (6) Nae Girui Bit (10) Geumsuni Star
Next Best 8, 12
Fast Start 5, 6, 10, 12

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Another field of twelve Class 6 gallopers will go over the 1300m in the fourth on the card. Once again it appears a rather open event with (3) FAMILY PARK looking one of the main chances. The filly is having just her third start coming off a much improved third behind Hwanggeum Doyaji last time out. Alan Munro is back in action this week and will ride her again after he piloted her last start. (2) TO THE VICTORY has placed on two occasions from seven career starts. The Raconteur filly sat third in the run last time out when having to come across from a wide draw. She has finished in the top four her past two starts and with the right run can figure. (4) YAHO M J CAT ran on fairly last time out to pick up a cheque. The Chapel Royal filly may appreciate stepping back up to the 1300m with more maturity on her side. (1) MANSEOK JIGI looks the best of the rest in a race where there could be some large place dividends.

Selections (3) Family Park (2) To The Victory (4) Yaho M J Cat (1) Manseok Jigi
Next Best 11, 12
Fast Start 1, 2, 3, 4, 6

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

A compact field of eight line up in the fifth where they will go over two turns. Last start runner-up (6) SUPER DOKKI looks hard to beat after showing a brilliant turn of foot in similar company last time out. The Animal Kingdom gelding finished behind Uri who looks a nice type going forward. (1) DAEGUN ILGAL resumes from a spell and has placed on three occasions from five career starts. The US import has had a trial coming into this preparation suggesting he will be fit enough. The barrier is a slight concern as he has minimal early speed suggesting he could get shuffled back on the fence. (4) MIGHTY WING ran a better race last time out for the Italian jockey Manuel Porcu. The colt sat on speed before going down a narrow margin behind Fast Fashion. (8) UP LIGHT ran on strongly last time out when the race was all over. Expect him to drop out early once again.

Selections (6) Super Dokki (1) Daegun Ilgal (4) Mighty Wing (8) Up Light
Next Best 5, 7
Fast Start 4

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(5) MAGIC FLYING has raced creditably in four goes at this class since getting his maiden win in February, including to 3rd place to Rock Choice, who won the Minister’s Cup two weeks ago and looks to have a real chance here. (7) GRAND YEONGUNG and (10) EL DRAGON are both up in class having registered maiden wins on their respective latest outings. Both should be competitive at this class with Grand Yeongung perhaps having scope for more rapid improvement at this stage but he is untried at the distance. (3) BUSAN BOLT and (9) EOMJI CHEOK are others with placing chances.

Selections (7) Grand Yeongung (5) Magic Flying (10) El Dragon (9) Eomji Cheok
Next Best 3, 2
Fast Start 6, 7, 8

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A lack of speed is engaged in the fifth and the beneficiary appears to be (9) STRONG VULTURE. Alan Munro will have his first ride on the three-year-old who comes off a (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 29)

Saturday’s racing is at Seoul with 10 races from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:


Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance (2yo only) / KRW 75 Million

Twelve juvenile first-time starters to open the card. (3) DALRINEUN BITKKAL beat a couple of these in trials and while the fast time was assisted by a wet track, looks to be one of the prime contenders here. He wasn’t quick away in his heat but was quickly up with the leaders and can do the same here. (1) CHOIN GANGJA was an eye-catching winner of his heat, leasing all the way to cross the line five-lengths in front of anything else on a slow-running track. He can work his way to the front on the inside here and should be dangerous. (4) P.K. HILL also put in a decent showing running a competent 3rd en-route to qualification. (5) BODY STAR and (8) LUCKY SANGUN others to take note of coming out of trials. As ever with these type of races, watch the local market for clues.

Selections (1) Choin Gangja (3) Dalrineun Bitkkal (8) Lucky Sangun (4) P.K. Hill
Next Best 5, 10
Fast Start 1, 2, 7, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Competitive maiden for three-year-olds and under with precisely half the field racing for the very first time. Of those with experience, (5) WINNER MOUNTAIN has appeared twice before and showed significant improvement in the latest of those, running on well for 3rd over 1000M. The extra furlong today can suit and with a bit more progress, he can win this. (11) SINGSING JANGSU too got better on his second outing at the end of May. He overcame a rough and tumble start to make it up into 2nd place and is another who may appreciate the additional trip. (6) BISAYEON has raced just the once and looked competent when 3rd over 1000M on May 25th. He was on pace that day and should be again here with plenty of scope to stay on. Among the first-timers, both (7) DU DUNG E and the juvenile (1) STRETTO caught the eye when winning trials and both should be competitive first-up here.

Selections (5) Winner Mountain (1) Stretto (6) Bisayeon (7) Du Dung E
Next Best 11, 12
Fast Start 1, 6, 7, 12

Race 3: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

Eight imported maidens go around with a decent prize on the line here. (1) DAEBAK HAENGJIN comes in off the back of three consecutive runner-up finishes. All three times, he’s been reasonably well beaten, most recently as favourite. He comes from off the pace and has had a tendency to leave himself just a little bit too much to do. If he can find a decent spot here, this could be his day. (5) MUNHAK WINNER is also an accomplished runner-up having finishes 2nd in two of his three races to date. He beat a couple of these last time and is likely to be on pace here with solid claims. Continuing the theme of near-misses, (6) BAREM was 2nd on debut back in April and she returns after ten weeks off also looking to be in the hunt. (2) PRETTY ODD BOY ran a good 3rd in a decent race at this distance on June 1st and has Alan Munro aboard today. (7) CHEMI BLUE looks best of the rest.

Selections (5) Munhak Winner (1) Daebak Haengjin (2) Pretty Odd Boy (6) Barem
Next Best 7, 4
Fast Start 2, 4, 5

Race 4: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(10) CHOEGANG MAGIC was a significantly improved 2nd over 1300M three weeks ago. The extra trip today looks like it should suit and while being drawn widest at this distance is never ideal due to the short run to the first turn, he looks ready to win. (2) MACH CHEONHA is another one who steps up to racing around two turns for the first time. She was a front-running 2nd at 1300M last start and will be expected to set the pace here. (9) RAON STELLA is likely to be seen at the front of the field early on too. He’s already got a 3rd place to his name over this distance and can go close today. (5) SPECIAL BIRD and (8) CHEONSE MANSE are others in the hunt.

Selections (10) Choegang Magic (2) Mach Cheonha (9) Raon Stella (8) Cheonse Manse
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 2, 7, 9

Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) MYEONGWANG led all the way to win by four-lengths on debut on May 4th. He’s up in both class and distance today but there looks to be much more in the tank and he can win again. (7) QUEEN FORCE ONE and (1) CAMP BADA came home 3rd and 4th with half a length between them in a tight finish over 1000M on June 2nd. Both can be competitive today. (6) ROYAL SHALOM ran 2nd on her first start at this level on May 5th and should join Myeongwang on pace with her stamina being the only question. (4) GEUMBIT YEOLJEONG’s jockey got a telling off by Stewards after his last run two weeks ago. It was the filly’s first time up in both class and distance though and she can be expected to go better today.

Selections (5) Myeongwang (6) Royal Shalom (7) Queen Force One (1) Camp Bada
Next Best 4, 2
Fast Start 1, 4, 5, 10

Race 6: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) JEONGMUN SAI got his maiden win at the third time of asking on May 19th. It had been coming too with a 3rd and a 2nd leading up to it. He is up in class and distance today but the manner of that win suggests there is more to come. He’s well drawn to get to the lead from the gate. He’ll be joined up top early by (6) HAWK HAENGJINGOK, a winner on debut over 1000M and then 2nd on his first try at this class in May. Although well beaten by a good winner that day, he should have come on for it and can be dangerous here. (1) ROAN PRO SENSE comes in with recent form reading well and is an each-way chance while (2) MYEONGMA JILJU ran a good 2nd last start and a repeat isn’t impossible. (9) SUN QUEEN – lame last start – looks best of the rest.

Selections (3) Jeongmun Sai (6) Hawk Haengjingok (1) Raon Pro Sense (2) Myeongma Jilju
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 1, 3, 6, 7

Race 7: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) M.J. ROAD, (1) JEONGSANG ETTEUM and (2) STORMY finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd when they raced each other at class and distance on May 19th with the margins between them being a nose and a head. Their order of finish was the reverse of their order in betting preference and while all three are up slightly in weight today. It would be no surprise if the three of them filled out the place once more. We’ll go with Stormy to overturn that small margin here. As for the rest of the field, (9) FIRSTIGE is up in class after a good win at this distance last month and is very nicely weighted here while (8) ELAN is a class and distance winner already and (7) MENI SMART comes in off the back of a very solid 4th last time.

Selections (2) Stormy (5) M.J. Road (1) Jeongsang Etteum (9) Firstige
Next Best 8, 7
Fast Start 1, 2, 7, 9

Race 8: Class 3 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

(5) BODEURAM and (6) GIDONG DAEJANG are both up in class as they go in search of a hat-trick of wins here. They have contrasting styles with Bodeuram a front-runner while Gidong Daejang comes from behind but both should be competitive here with Bodeuram the more favoured of the pair, especially as Gidong Daejang is racing for the first time since the end of March. On that day in March, (4) JEWANGUI BYEOL ran 2nd to Gidong Daejang. He followed it up with a win and then ran 4th at this class and distance at the end of May. He’ll be a real danger here. (1) GRAND DOLPUNG and (2) DEOBUREO SOOP came home 4th and 5th when they raced each other on May 25th at class and distance and both can aim for places today.

Selections (5) Bodeuram (4) Jewangui Byeol (2) Deobureo Soop (1) Grand Dolpung
Next Best 6, 8
Fast Start 1, 5, 10

Race 9: Class 2 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 90 Million

(3) RAPIDOCUS won three in a row between January and April, moving rapidly up the classes in the process. He ran 3rd on his first try at this class on May 18th and today steps up to two-turns for the first time with solid claims to return to the winner’s circle. (2) BANYA DONGHAENG ran a really good 3rd over 2000M last month, coming from well off the pace under a sensible ride by Jo Sang-Beom. They’ll go back again today and while there’s a furlong less to play with, should be in the hunt at the business end again. (6) WONDERFUL CHAMPION was 6th that day having weakened slightly late on and should be happier back at 1800M – he’ll join Rapidocus on the early speed. (1) DAE JYUSIN and (4) MEGALIOS are others to take into consideration.

Selections (3) Rapidocus (6) Wonderful Champion (2) Banya Donghaeng (4) Megalios
Next Best 1, 5
Fast Start 3, 4, 6

Race 10: Class 3 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(3) DAEGUNUI CHANG has finished runner-up in both his starts at this class since getting his maiden win in March. He missed out by a neck last time having led for much of the way and can get it right this time. (9) CHEUNGDAM GENIE ran out an impressive, if slightly unexpected, four-length winner over 1400M at this class on May 19th. He carries an additional 4.5kg today but looks to have some promise and a repeat can’t be ruled out. (1) TAP FASHIONED comes in with recent form reading very well and he looks good for a place. (5) GAON QUEEN and (10) MALIBU GINGER are others who should go well in this company.

Selections (3) Daegunui Chang (9) Cheungdam Genie (10) Malibu Ginger (1) Tap Fashioned
Next Best 5, 2
Fast Start 3, 5, 10, 11

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 28)

It’s been quite a wet week in Busan but things are starting to dry out now and we’re set for the weekend’s racing to get underway with a nine-race card on Friday from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Busan World Sun

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) 2yo Allowance / KRW 75 Million

Another batch of two-year-olds will debut in the first over the five furlongs. As is the case with assessing the two-year-olds, trial times are very important and (2) YEONGCHONG JILJU produced one of the quicker performances. The Rock Hard Ten colt is out of a very handy broodmare Dixie Avenger who has produced multiple winners including the 2015 Korean Derby winner in Yeongchong Ace. He ran 1.02.6 in wet conditions and looked to have plenty up the sleeve. (8) TOP FIRE ran well in his trial when finishing fourth. He ran 1.02.4 on a dry track and if he can perform similarly he will be hard to beat. He does have to overcome the outside gate. (5) HANSEN FLASHY settled well back in her trial and ran past a few in the straight. The Hansen filly ran a fair time of 1.02.8 and was not asked to over exert herself in the straight. (1) WONDERFUL PEACE will be benefited from the inside and ran fairly in her trial to qualify.

Selections (2) Yeongchong Jilju (8) Top Fire (5) Hansen Flashy (1) Wonderful Peace
Next Best 6, 4
Fast Start 1, 2, 4, 8

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

There appears to be only a handful of chances in the second on the card. (11) MS. UP looks as if she will appreciate the step up to 1300m at her second start. She took some time to find her feet last time out but ran on strongly in the straight. She may be forced to settle back from the outside draw but that will suit her pattern and she should have plenty of time to wind up. (9) LEGACY is having his third start this preparation. He was sent out a short priced favourite in his last assignment but was ran down in the straight when trying to lead throughout. The gelding ran a fair time on a wet track. (5) HWANGGEUMBITMASENG has been competitive in this class previously and looks a place chance. (6) BEAUTIFUL KOREA looks capable of a top four finish with the remainder of the field lacking depth.

Selections (11) Ms. Up (9) Legacy (5) Hwanggeumbitmaseng (6) Beautfiul Korea
Next Best 3, 4
Fast Start 6, 7, 9, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

The third on the card has twelve maiden gallopers lining up with the entire field having a cumulative four top three finishes from fifty-one starts. Former Busan-based rider Kim Yong-Geun will jump aboard (3) MAJOR PUNCH for the first time as he visits for the Mayor’s Cup on Sunday. She has placed on two occasions from four starts and drops back to the 1300m which looks ideal. (12) HUSE JEWANG handed in a better performance last time out when running on strong to finish third behind Tiz Joyful. Expect him to settle back from the outside gate and produce a fast sectional. (7) RAON FLYING looks a place chance after improving last time out when stepping up to the 1300m for the first time. If he can settle in the first half from barrier seven, he can run into the money. (9) TITLE CODE has finished just behind the place-getters at his past few starts and can be considered a place chance.

Selections (3) Major Punch (12) Huse Jewang (7) Raon Flying (9) Title Code
Next Best 8, 2,
Fast Start 3, 7, 8, 9, 12

Race 4: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

The fourth on the card appears to have a lack of speed engaged. The lightly raced (5) SSONSAL looks hard to beat coming off a second behind Nakita when doing it tough in the run. The import sat wide throughout and still manage to hit the line strong. The step up to the 1300m will enhance the three-year-old’s chance. (8) MALLI STAR is third up this preparation and looks one to keep safe. The three-year-old finished third two starts back and then finished just behind the place-getters last time out. (9) TAP SOCKS drops back to the 1300m after going over the mile last time out and failing to make an impression. He has run some handy races over the shorter distances and should be kept safe in your wider selections. (7) ISLE CAT has been in this company for quite some time and has placed on numerous occasions. She doesn’t win out of turn but can bob up now and then.

Selections (5) Ssonsal (8) Malli Star (9) Tap Socks (7) Isle Cat
Next Best 2, 6, 10
Fast Start 2, 5, 8, 11

Race 5: Class 6 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 24 Million

A field of nine maidens line up in the fifth where there is a lack of speed engaged. (6) CHEONNYEONUIHEUIMA will have just her third start coming off a last start third behind Crystal Rose over the 1300m. She hit the line superbly in that race and looks suited to stepping up to the mile where she will have plenty of time to wind up. Punters should not be alarmed if she drifts back in the early part of the race. (8) DAEHEUNG SIDAE will have his tenth start and looks to get his best chance to break maiden status. The three-year-old has had plenty of racing and comes off a solid front-running performance when finishing a neck behind El Dragon. There is limited speed engaged in this race suggesting Seo Seung-Un will be able to dictate the race’s pace and have plenty in his mount’s tank come the top of the straight. (2) TWO TWO HAMMER has previously shown some form over the 1600m. You Hyun-Myung has been riding well and will be legged aboard. (1) NEPTUNE is a thirty-start maiden but is a chance of filling a place.

Selections (6) Cheonnyeonuiheuima (8) Daeheung Sidae (2) Two Two Hammer (1) Neptune
Next Best 3, 4
Fast Start 2, 4, 8

Race 6: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

The sixth on the card has a field of ten who will line up over 1200m. You Hyun-Myung will partner with (6) YESULUI GYEUNGJI who looks a progressive type. The three-year-old filly won at just her second start and looks to have further improvement in store. She sat on speed last time out and defeated a field of fourteen. The biggest danger to her (more…)

Clear Geom Shocks Favourites In Gyeonggi Governor’s / Burui Gori Steps up To Take Sports Chosun

The upsets keep on coming in the three-year-old division this year. Just a week after Rock Choice ran out the 20/1 winner of the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Triple Crown, it was the turn of the fillies in the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup. And while Oaks winner Deep Mind and previously unbeaten Dia Road dominated the market, it was 16/1 outsider Clear Geom, who took the spoils.

Deep Mind ran out an impressive eight-length winner in the Oaks last month and was sent out as a slighly better than even-money favourite for the 2000M Group 3 (Korean) test. As she did in the Oaks, she went straight to the lead but this time found herself beaten early, her race run by the top of the home straight. That left Dia Road, who had been stalking the leader since the start, in firm command.

Dia Road looked a surefire winner a furlong out, but that was to reckon without Clear Geom, who under Moon Se Young launched a late charge down the outside to steal the honours by half a length on the line. An even later arrival on the scene was Miss Fact, in 3rd.

Clear Geom [Clear Attempt – Kwaegeom (War Zone)] was racing for the seventh time, having won two of her previous six but was yet to score at higher than class 5. She was ridden for the first time by Moon Se Young, who registered his third Group success in just over a month, to add to the Korean Derby on Wonderful Fly and the YTN Cup on Moonhak Chief. For trainer Kim Soon-Keun it was a second Group winner – Moonhak Chief was his first in a seventeen-year career.

One race earlier, Burui Gori [Afleet Again – Union Belle (Dixie Union)] continued to burnish his credentials when taking out a competitive renewal of the Sports Chosun Cup. While restricted to horses with a rating of 80 or less, the Listed event attracted a solid field which made for an attractive betting contest and an even more attractive race.

Ultimately, Burui Gori’s stretch drive proved too strong as he swept by Choinma and held off the challenge of slight favourite Shark Daejanggeun, to win by a length and a half under jockey Yoo Seung-wan.

Burui Gori moves on to five wins from eleven starts and puts him into the frame for some of the bigger races later in the year – the victory means he enters Seoul’s President’s Cup qualification table in 10th place. He looks to be on an upward trajectory.

That points race is currently led by Global Chukje and Wonderful Fly, Cup Mile and Derby winners respectively. But with no standout emerging from the three-year-old crop, we could be in for a fascinaiting summer and autumn.

Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup Sunday: Seoul & Busan Race-By-Race Preview (June 23)

Deep Mind was a dominant winner of the Korea Oaks at Busan last month and she now gets the chance to assert her superiority over the three-year-old filly division as  most of that reconvene at Seoul for the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup (KOR G3). There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. There are also 6 races at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10.

Deep Mind KRA

Deep Mind was an impressive Oaks winner (Pic: KRA)

It’s not only the fillies she left behind in the Oaks that Deep Mind will have to contend with though. Dia Road, a huge hulking filly who has won all three of her starts so far didn’t go to Busan last month but takes her chance here and could cause an upset. In addition to the Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup, there is also Listed action at Seoul in the shape of the Sports Chosun Cup. Here are the previews:

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A field of twelve Korean-bred gallopers take to the track in the first where there appears a handful of chances. (10) JEONGMUN SARANG has ran a couple of handy races at his past couple of starts. The son of Clear Attempt finished a distant third last time out when settling on speed. A lack of depth in this race gives the three-year-old a reasonable chance to break maiden status. First starter (5) SAEROUN BOBAE trialed well in early June when running 1:02:2 for the 1000m. She had her mind kept on the job with the stick in the trial but ran it out fairly. She did lead in the trial so expect her to jump and run. (7) SEUNGNI JEONSEOL handed in a better performance last time out when third behind Hwaryong. She ran a decent time for the 1000m as well suggesting she may provide a forward showing. (2) SEOUL CITY is drawn ideal and can albeit disappointing last time out, can be considered an each-way chance. (1) SEONGPAJANG and (5) MIRACLE HOPE are others likely to attract support. Tough race.

Selections (10) Jeongmun Sarang (5) Saeroun Bobae (7) Seungni Jeonseol (2) Seoul City
Next Best 5, 1, 6
Fast Start 2, 6, 7, 10

Race 2: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

A field of ten imports will line up in the second with all but one looking to crack their first maiden win. (2) SOULY MAJESTIC is the one galloper that has broken through for a maiden win. The three-year-old filly sat on speed last time out pulling away for a five length win. She goes up four kilograms for the victory but will still give punters a good sight. (8) GO GO BI is an each-way chance after running third over the 1200m last time out. The filly can settle back in the run and produce a nice turn of foot. (6) ALIBABA MARINE has the services of Moon Se-Young once again after finishing third behind Winner Brown last time out. Expect further improvement today from the son of More Than Ready. (4) TAP MAGIC MASTER has had eight starts to date and placed twice. The Australian bred can run into the minor money.

Selections (2) Souly Majestic (8) Go Go BI (6) Alibaba Marine (4) Tap Magic Master
Next Best 7, 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 5

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

There appears to be an abundance of speed engaged in the third on the card. Last start winner (2) HWANGGEUM DOYAJI has shown promise in her three starts to date. Kim Yong-Geun employed a change of tactics last time out when working forward early on the Colors Flying filly. She led throughout for a solid two length victory. Expect a similar racing pattern to be applied here. (3) INDY LADY has been consistent in this company of late and a second win for the chestnut does not appear to be too far away. The three kilogram claim of Moon Sung-Hyeok will assist her chances. (9) SEMYEONG STORM is another that has started his career of in good fashion. Tanaka Mazakazu has been aboard for all four runs to date with the most recent a third behind Haneul Narae. (4) AMARONE looks a place chance on recent performances

Selections (2) Hwanggeum Doyaji (3) Indy Lady (9) Semyeong Storm (4) Amarone
Next Best 8, 6
Fast Start 2, 3, 5, 8, 9

Race 4: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

A field of ten will take two turns in the fourth on the card. (6) LUCKY BONGHWA was solid last time out when finishing second behind Firstige. The chestnut overcame the outside gate after receiving a heavy knock at the start to sit second in the run. With the claim of Kim Deok-Hyeon he looks a big chance of breaking his maiden. (2) HOPE KINGDOM is another that is yet to break maiden status but gets a good opportunity in this event coming of a runner-up performance behind Choegang Party. Expect the Animal Kingdom gelding to be on-speed and run through the line well as per last start. (9) STAR LIST let down nicely last time out over the 1700m. Park Eul-Woon stays aboard but will have to overcome an awkward draw. (10) CHEONNYEONUI BI broke through last time out over the 1700m when coming from well back in the field. Top rider Kim Yong-Geun stays aboard.

Selections (6) Lucky Bonghwa (2) Hope Kingdom (9) Star List (10) Cheonyeonui Bi
Next Best 5, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 6

Race 5: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A compact field of eight Korean-bred gallopers take to the track in the fifth all looking for their first win. (6) CHUNGDAM HORANGI looks one of the better bets on the card after finished second last time out behind Cheonnyeonui Bi. The Rock Hard Ten three-year-old was shuffled back through the field before the turn but ran home well to be beaten 2.5L. Expect improvement at his third start. (2) JUNGDONG DOKJU ran on well in the same race when finishing third. She has drawn better for this assignment meaning Tanaka Masakazu may be able to settle her closer to the speed. She has had a run of bad draws. (3) DALLYEORA SOKBO finished third last time out over the six furlongs when he was sent out at short odds. He steps back up to the 1700m in this event. (4) CARROT SEEKER has had fourteen starts for just the one top three finish. He fell in a hole last time out after sitting on speed. He looks a place chance at best.

Selections 6) Chungdam Horangi (2) Jungdong Dokju (3) Dallyeora Sokbo (4) Carrot Seeker
Next Best 8, 7
Fast Start 3, 4, 6

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1600M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(11) NUMBER ONE STAR has a win and two runner-up finishes in three starts so far. His latest saw him run 2nd on his first try at this class over 1300M. He stretches out to a mile for the first time today but it could well suit and he should be right in the hunt. (12) CHANGE BACK remains a maiden after four attempts but steps up in class having been 2nd on his first try at a mile a month ago. He looks to have wins in him and has little to fear here. Another maiden is (1) TORNADO KING, but he’s been getting closer and ran 2nd in a competitive heat last start and could well be on pace from the inside gate here. On the subject of maidens, (6) ONNURI GANGJA remains one after 53 attempts but (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 22)

There are 10 races at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Spring Back KRA

Spring Back goes in the last on Saturday

Race 1: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

A rare valuable race for imported juveniles (or 3yo if from the southern hemisphere) with seven of the twelve going around for the very first time. We’ll begin with the experienced ones, however, and (6) MOONHAK EKATI is a possible favourite. He missed the break by a couple of lengths on debut on June 1st but overcame that to run on well for 3rd place. If he begins better this time, he has a real chance. (5) KINGS STEP was similarly slow away on his debut last month. He too rallied for 6th over 1200M and can improve here. Of the first time starters, (3) BRIGADIER GENERAL looks the pick. He ran a sold 2nd in a decent trial and looks set to go well first up, likely from the early speed. (1) KENTUCKY MANGCHI and (9) MOONHAK SERVE are others who hinted at ability in their respective heats.

Selections (6) Moonhak Ekati (3) Brigadier General (5) Kings Step (1) Kentucky Mangchi
Next Best 9, 11
Fast Start 3, 8, 10, 12

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Three-year-old maidens here. Strong favourite is likely to be (8) CUPID YEOWANG, who has been inconsistent across five starts so far but has proven her ability and comes in having run 3rd last time out. A similar run today should be too good for this limited opposition. (3) SEOUL MAGIC looks like he’s starting to figure things out with some creditable showings in his latest couple of outings and he looks the main danger. He’ll join the favourite on the early speed, as will (2) PENUMBRA, who made progress on her second start last month and can continue to develop here. (1) ANY FORCE ONE and (11) SOLGAEBARAM look best of the rest.

Selections (8) Cupid Yeowang (3) Seoul Magic (2) Penumbra (11) Solgaebaram
Next Best 1, 5, 4
Fast Start 2, 3, 5, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(3) JAENEUNG CHUNGMAN hasn’t exactly uprooted any trees in three starts to date but what she has done is performed solidly in better company than this and she won’t need to improve by very much in order to win. (2) MEISEI DREAM ran 4th in a slow race on debut over 1200M and has the potential for improvement while (5) DAEGUN OK goes at a distance further than the minimum for the first time after a more promising 4th place last start. (1) USEUNG MACHA and (6) BLUE MEGA ELLA are both expected to get to the front early and if they do so, they could have a part to play at the business end of the race.

Selections (3) Jaeneung Chungman (2) Meisei Dream (5) Daegun Ok (1) Useung Macha
Next Best 6
Fast Start 1, 4, 6

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Trainer Jeon Seung-Gyu has seen six of his last eight runners win and the other two finish 2nd. (1) YEONGGWANGUI BEAT has a 3rd and a 2nd from two starts so far and while he was beaten ten-lengths by a good winner on his latest, he could maintain his trainer’s excellent form here. He’ll be on pace early alongside the other big chance (7) KING OF RULES. He’s been knocking at the door in his latest two and looks set to make the break through sooner rather than later. Last start, King Of Rules was 3rd over this distance, a couple of lengths ahead of 4th placed (10) DAEGUN POWER. The latter was racing for just the 2nd time and looked a little green still. He can make progress here. (2) PARK BLADE steps up in trip following two promising runs over 1000M and can be considered while (6) CITY SONGAM is another promising type who could sneak into some money.

Selections (1) Yeonggwangui Beat (7) King Of Rules (2) Park Blade (10) Daegun Power
Next Best 6, 9
Fast Start 1, 7, 10

Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(5) JEMA TEUKGEUP found herself out of her depth when sent down to Busan for the Korean Oaks last month. Back at Seoul today, back in trip and back in much more amenable company, things should be different. Last time she ran at this distance, she (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 21)

This week’s feature race in Korea is Sunday’s Gyeonggi Governor’s Cup at Seoul, which sees the nation’s top three-year-old fillies re-convene following last month’s Korean Oaks. That race’s winner, Deep Mind, heads the field. Before that though the weekend’s action kicks off at Busan on Friday with a nine-race card from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Busan Racecourse

Dynamic Busan

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) 2YO Allowance / KRW 75 Million 

The first bunch of Busan two-year-olds for the new season will take to the track in the first on the card. (2) TOP ACE showed early speed in his trial when going on for a solid victory. He ran a slick 1.02.0 and was not over exerted. Choi Si-Dae has been in good form and will partner with the son of Thunder Moccasin. (3) ACE JACKPOT hit the line strong in her trial. She was asked to extend at the top of the straight and ran home well when second in her trial. She ran a handy 1.02.5 in her trial. Francisco Da Silva will ride her after Choi Si-Dae who was aboard for the trial elected to ride Top Ace. (4) BLUE POWER jumped away well in his barrier trial. He was beaten by a big marking but ran through the line fairly. (8) ECHO SUN looks a place chance after finishing fourth in his trial running 1.03.4.

Selections (2) Top Ace (3) Ace Jackpot (4) Blue Power (8) Echo Sun
Next Best 7, 6
Fast Start 2, 4

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

There is a lack of speed engaged in the second which suggests that (11) BANJIUI JILJU will be able to pounce out of the gates and find the lead with ease. You Hyun-Myung should be able to dictate the speed in the affair and if she gets a cheap sectional she will take some running down. (9) SUN MOUNTAIN looks the main threat. The Simon Pure colt is coming off a solid performance when coming from well back and finishing third over the 1300m. (4) DANDI QUEEN ran home fairly last time out when finishing fifth in similar company. The Limitless Bid filly is having her eighth career start with Jung Do-Yun remaining aboard. (10) TURBO SPEED sat behind the leading division last time out and ran into third. Lee Sung Jae rides for the first time.

Selections (11) Banjiui Jilju (9) Sun Mountain (4) Dandi Queen (10) Turbo Speed
Next Best 1, 5
Fast Start 10, 11

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A field of ten three-year-olds go around in the third on the card. (4) MORNING TAEYANG performed well at his second career start when finishing second behind Perfect Ace. The Colors Flying colt will have the services of Choi Si-Dae who will benefit from a better draw in this event. (3) MILLION BEAT has run third at two of his three career starts. He was beaten a substantial thirteen lengths last time out but expect improvement at his fourth start. (1) CASTEL CORE improved last time out when midfield in a 1300m event. He has drawn the inside today for the first time so will be aided by and economic run. (8) NANSAN YEOJE is having her second start after running out of gas up the straight last time out. The Ecton Park filly originally trialed well and should be better for the run.

Selections (4) Morning Taeyang (3) Million Beat (1) Castel Core (8) Nansan Yeoje
Next Best 2, 6, 10
Fast Start 4, 6, 7, 8, 10

Race 4: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

There appears to be plenty of speed engaged in the fourth and one of those with early pace is (5) OCEAN PHEONIX. The Menifee filly ran a strong second last time out behind the well-performed Brown Pie. She has been mighty consistent this preparation. The four-year-old should sit in the first three and prove hard to beat. In contrast (6) ORANGE MARINE is yet to break maiden status but has been consistent this preparation finishing in the top four at all four starts. The import has a solid turn of foot and can be considered an each-way chance. (9) YEONGUNG ILGI should settle rearwards and steam home late. The six-year-old produced one of the fastest sectionals in his race last time out when finishing third behind Nakita. (8) USEUNG TICKET saluted in Class 5 company last time out. She drops two kilograms on last run but may struggle from a wide draw.

Selections (5) Ocean Phoenix (6) Orange Marine (9) Yeongung Ilgi (8) Useung Ticket
Next Best 7, 2
Fast Start 1, 2, 5, 7, 10

Race 5: Class 6 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A lackluster field of maidens go around in the fifth where (8) DOCTOR MIMI gets her best opportunity to break maiden status. The three-year-old has ran some respectable races this preparation including a last start fourth over the mile. The Colors Flying filly has settled both forwards and rearwards in her eleven start career so Jin Kyum will have options when she jumps. (9) HAENGBOK KOREA finished a distant third in his last race start over the 1600m. He has since had a trial at the start of the month when well back. The outside gate combined with the 56kg appears to be the hurdle but his competition lacks depth. (3) LISTEN TO ME showed speed last time out over the mile. The chestnut jumped well from the outside gate before taking up the early lead. The filly started to tire at the top of the straight and plugged away for fifth. She looks the likely leader. (1) WORLD SLAM looks next best coming off a fourth over the 1300m. The good draw won’t necessarily help the three-year-old’s chances as he is normally tardy out of the gates. (more…)

Minister’s Cup Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 16)

Sunday sees the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup, taking place at Seoul Racecourse. (Seoul 11 races from 10:45 to 18:00, Busan 6 races from 12:40 to 17:10). There’s no Triple Crown on the line but the 2000M showpice nevertheless promises to be a fascinating affair as KRA Cup Mile winner Global Chukje and Korean Derby winner Wonderful Fly face-off.

Wonderful Fly KRA

Wonderful Fly won the Derby (Pic: Ross Holburt/KRA)

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A filly-only maiden to begin with and (4) PRIMA NIKE steps back up in trip after a strong 2nd place over 1000M a month ago looking the one to beat. A good apprentice jockey keeps the weight nice and low and she’s only ever finished outside the top four on one occasions. She can win here. (7) GOLD LEVEL beat a couple of these on her way to 2nd over 1200M on May 19th and shapes to be the main danger here. (1) HAWK ARIRANG finished 5th in that same race which was marked improvement from prior efforts and she can continue to make progress here. (2) SERA YEOJE is best of the rest.

Selections (4) Prima Nike (7) Gold Level (1) Hawk Arirang (2) Sera Yeoje
Next Best 3, 9
Fast Start 4, 5

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A two-turn maiden and (3) RAON JEWANG is set to be firm favourite. Though yet to win in nine attempts, he’s raced at this distance four time already and has finished no worse than 4th. This should be his day, likely leading from gate to wire. (4) TAP MUSIC showed some promise when stepped up to this trip on just his third start a month ago, running 4th. He should have come on for that run and can continue to improve today, likely trying to close late. (7) RAON STELLA’s best performance to date came at this distance and he steps back up to it today with placing claims, while both (2) INCHEON LION and (11) CHEONJI GISANG can compete for minor money too.

Selections (3) Raon Jewang (4) Tap Music (2) Incheon Lion (7) Raon Stella
Next Best 11, 8
Fast Start 5, 7, 10

Seoul Race 3: Class 4 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Kim Yong Geun partners (1) SMARTY BLUE for the second time, having ridden the colt to a good 4th place at class and distance on May 11th. He looks nicely in here and has every chance of getting what would be a second career win. (7) CHEONGDAM TIGER was a strong class and distance 2nd on a wet track last start and if he can get close to the early lead again, has every chance of a repeat or better. (6) WELLBEING STORY enters with recent form reading promisingly and has the services of Moon Se Young today. (4) SEOUL SIDAE saw his rating slide sufficiently to drop back in class last start. He promptly won and while back up in grade today, find himself nicely in under a light weight and he can go close again.

Selections (1) Smarty Blue (7) Cheongdam Tiger (6) Wellbeing Story (4) Seoul Sidae
Next Best 9, 3
Fast Start 1, 2, 7, 9

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(5) L CHOICE is the pick here. An admittedly distance 3rd behind a very good winner las start, she’s nicely drawn to get to the lead and if she does, she’ll be hard to catch. Main danger is (7) LUCKY SOCHEON. She drops back in trip after good work around 1300M last start and shouldn’t be far away here. (4) FULL MOON OCEAN was slowly away when well backed for her first try at this level on May 11th. She never had a chance after that but ran on ok and is worth another go today. (11) UNMYEONGE FALLING is up un class after an all the way win on May 5th on just her third career outing. She’s drawn the widest gate but should be competitive at this level. (1) PARTY POWER, going around for the 52nd time today, is more than capable of running into some prize money in this company.

Selections (5) L Choice (7) Lucky Socheon (4) Full Moon Ocean (11) Unmyeonge Falling
Next Best 1, 2
Fast Start 2, 4, 5, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(11) PRIVATE MAN enters after a 3rd and a 4th in his latest two and while both times he’s been well back behind good winners, could have enough about him to make the breakthrough here. He’ll come from off the pace so the wide draw is no problem, and he can win. (10) LAO JIN steps back up in trip following two solid 3rd place finishes over 1000M while (3) HEY DREAMER and (5) GEOMBIT YEOLJEONG are both up in class and should be competitive. (4) WANY K was a shock winner at class and distance three weeks ago and while a repeat would be a surprise, she warrants more respect today.

Selections (11) Private Man (10) Lao Jin (5) Geombit Yeoljeong (3) Hey Dreamer
Next Best 4, 6
Fast Start 5, 8, 10, 12

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Having secured his maiden win in April, (7) GIMABUDAEJANG ran 4th on his first try at (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (June 15)

There are 10 races at Seoul on Saturday from 10:45 to 18:00.


Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) 2yo / KRW 75 Million

The first crop of two-year-olds for the new season take to the track in the first on the card. Replay watchers would have identified that the trial from (5) TAKTUEIN was impressive. The big filly was still on the bridle when running 1.02.8 in a 1000m barrier trial in late May. (6) ROLLER BLADE ran a slightly faster time but was asked for more of an effort in his trial on the same day. The Officer colt worked straight to the front and ran through the line strongly. (7) LUCKY BEOPJEON trialed behind the well performed Sky Bay when finishing midfield but running a fast time. Of the remainder (12) JANGSU NABOM ran a reasonable time when overcoming a wide gate in his trial.

Selections (5) Taktuein (6) Roller Blade (7) Lucky Beopjeon (12) Jangsu Nabom
Next Best 11, 9
Fast Start 5, 6, 7, 9, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

A lack of exposed form is the theme of the second where eleven maiden gallopers will line up over the 1300m. (6) NAE GIRUI BIT looks hardest to beat coming off a last start second behind Crazy Q. The chestnut is likely to position just off speed from his middle draw and run home strong. (1) MACH CHEONHA will have her seventh start after being sent out at short odds last start and only managing to finish fifth with no excuses. From the inside expect her to sit prominent. (8) QUEEN STREET worked forward early last time out and capitulated to run fifth behind Simon Queen. If she can get across from barrier eight early on and have an economic trip she can run into the money. (2) J N LEE looks the best of the rest in a field that lacks depth.

Selections (6) Nae Girui Bit (1) Mach Cheonha (8) Queen Street (2) J N Lee
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 2, 7, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A field of eight will go over the 1300m in the third of the day. (4) SMART GUNHWANG showed plenty of promise at his first start when finishing third over the 1300m. The son of Tiz Wonderful finished three lengths behind Gabo Pull Day when they ran a good time for this company. (2) HUSH DAEBO is also having his second run in the event. He settled well back on debut and ran through the line fairly. Moon Se-Young resumes and will take the reins. (8) CRAZY QUEEN was sent out at very short odds last time out coming off a second two starts back. She settled well back last time out and may be forced to do the same with a wide draw. She looks and each way chance with the claim. (3) COLORS DE LAGO improved last time out when third behind Jeongmun Sai. She may have the speed to lead in this race.

Selections (4) Smart Gunhwang (2) Hush Daero (8) Crazy Queen (3) Colors De Lago
Next Best 5, 7
Fast Start 3, 4, 5, 8

Race 4: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

The fourth on the card has an abundance of early speed engaged. (3) WONDERFUL DIXIE looks one of the better bets on the card coming off successive good performances. The Eurosilver colt finished third last time out behind Tohamsan Power and gets in to this race well weighted. The three-year-old has ran some handy times over the 1000m suggesting the drop back in distance will not concern him. (9) GAL IP had her first run in Class 4 company last time out and performed fairly. She settled midfield before passing a couple in the straight. The 5f will enhance her chances of a forward showing. Expect improvement today and keep her safe in your selections. (7) CHANGSEONG LUCKY was a winner in Class 5 company last time out. The four year old produced a fast sectional to get there in the shadows of the post. (10) UNDEFEATED has picked up a cheque in this company at his past couple of starts and should be kept safe in your selections.

Selections (3) Wonderful Dixie (9) Gal Ip (7) Changseong Lucky (10) Undefeated
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 1, 3, 4, 6

Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

The fifth on the car looks a race in two where they will both position on speed. (4) VICTORY KING has drawn well for his assignment. The Magician three-year-old is yet to (more…)

Menifee: Brilliant Racehorse & Korea’s Most Successful Sire – 1996-2019

Menifee has died. The runner-up in the 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, who went on to become a sensation at Stud in Korea, suffered a heart attack at the KRA Jeju Stud Farm on the morning of June 13th. He was 23.


Menifee [Harlan-Anne Campbell (Never Bend)] was a very good racehorse. He won both his starts as a juvenile at Monmouth and Saratoga and kept his winning streak intact on his three-year-old debut at Gulfstream Park in February of 1999. He suffered his first defeat when 2nd in the Tampa Bay Derby, but quickly returned to winning ways in the G1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

Menifee next went to the Kentucky Derby, running 2nd under Pat Day to long-shot Charismatic. A certain Ecton Park was back down the track that day – those two had not seen the last of one another. Menifee then tackled The Preakness and while sent off as favourite, once more succumbed to Charismatic.

Menifee would finish 8th in the Belmont Stakes but would prove his class when winning the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth in August. He concluded his racing career running 3rd in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga and then 2nd – to Ecton Park – in the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs that October.

Mary Lukas, who worked for Menifee’s trainer Elliott Walden at the time, remembered Menifee the racehorse as “One of the smartest horses I was ever around. Even as a two-year-old, he had a presence around him; everyone in the barn knew he was going to be something special. He used to pull his hot-walker around the barn to catch up with the horses in front of him.”

While a four-year-old campaign was planned, injuries meant Menifee was retired to Stud, standing at Stone Farm in Kentucky. He had middling results and in November 2006, arrived in Korea as the latest addition to the Korea Racing Authority’s then growing Stallion program on Jeju Island.


Menifee at Stone Farm in Kentucky (Pic: Mary Lukas)

Menifee’s Korean progeny began racing in 2010 and met instant success and Menifee would become Leading Sire in Korea in six consecutive years from 2012 to 2017. During that time, he produced five consecutive Korean Derby winners, including his best, Power Blade, winner of the Triple Crown in 2016.


Power Blade on his way to the Triple Crown

Menifee’s time on Jeju was not without drama – he overcame a life-threatening illness in 2011 – but pushed along by his racing rival Ecton Park, also imported to Korea and standing privately at Isidore Farm approximately ten miles away, Menifee became the most successful sire in Korean racing history. Just as he finally bested him at the end of his racing career, Ecton Park relieved Menifee of his Leading Sire crown in 2018, but Menifee leads the 2019 race and with several more crops to come, is set to be around for some time yet.


Menifee, Korea’s leading sire, walks in the rain

Menifee adapted to life in Korea well. Always intelligent, the saying “Menifee speaks Korean” became something of a cliche at the Jeju Stud Farm, as he quickly learned to respond to Korean words and phrases. Like any stallion, caution was warranted when in his presence, but he could be amenable too and he was extremely popular among both the staff who worked with him everyday and with visitors, of whom there were many.

His fame here can’t really be overstated. One example is from when Menifee was brought up for an outing to Seoul Racecourse a couple of years ago. When it was announced over the PA system that he was present and about to be walking (or strutting, as it transpired) in the parade ring, there was quite the stampede of punters, all eager to see just exactly who that horse was whose name they had seen in brackets next to winners in the race card so often. That isn’t normal in Korea.



Nothing Menifee did in Korea was normal. He has been called “Korea’s Sunday Silence” and maybe time will prove that true. For now we remember a wonderful racehorse and a unique and irreplaceable stallion. Korea’s Menifee leaves a precious legacy.