Review Of The Year 2017

Menifee Leading Sire In Korea For Sixth Straight Year

Menifee has once more dominated the Leading Sire in Korea ranks. Grand Prix Stakes winner Power Blade was once again Menifee’s leading money earner as his progeny won almost double that of nearest rival Ecton Park. It was also an encouraging year for Hansen, whose first Korean crop of juveniles hit the track.

Menifee

Menifee, Korea’s leading sire, again

2017 Korea Leading General Sire (Money earned in 1000 Korean Won units – Chief Money Earner)

1. Menifee (USA) 8,973,350 – Power Blade
2. Ecton Park (USA) 5,272,610 – Triple Nine
3. Officer (USA) 4,074,930 – World Sun
4. Vicar (USA) 3,977,090 – Phantom Blade
5. Peace Rules (USA) 3,861,780 – Success Story
6. Forest Camp (USA) 3,627,530 – Raon Magic
7. Sharp Humor (USA) 3,583,880 – Golden Gate
8. Colors Flying (USA) 2,744,590 – Yeonggwanguihunter
9. Exploit (USA) 2,340,220 – Singgeureoun Gom
10. Ingrandire (JPN) 2,322,860 – Geombit Gangja
11. One Cool Cat (USA) 12. Whywhywhy (USA) 13. Chapel Royal (USA) 14. Rock Hard Ten (USA) 15. Cowboy Cal (USA) 16. Didyme (USA) 17. Hawk Wing (USA) 18. Simon Pure (USA) 19. Hansen (USA) 20. Pico Central (BRZ)

As ever Menifee was way out in front in terms of Starters, Winners, Strike Rate and Money Earned. He is covering progressively fewer each year (64 in 2017) as he nears retirement but he’ll up around the top for a few more years yet. Even without Power Blade’s 1.2 Billion Won in earnings, he was still significantly ahead of his nearest rival. This year, that was Isidore Farm’s Ecton Park, sire of Triple Nine while Officer jumped up from 7th to 3rd. Vicar and Peace Rules in 4th and 5th finished in exactly the same positons they did last year while Forest Camp dropped from 2nd to 6th.

For the second year running, Cowboy Cal was the highest placed stallion from outside of Korea  – he is now in Korea himself but all his runners were sired in the USA. Further down the list, Hansen entered the top twenty for the first time, which leads us to:

2017 Leading Sire of 2-Year-Olds in Korea

1. Menifee (USA) 1,369,930 – Choinma
2. Hansen (USA) 1,140,100 – Sinui Myeongryeong
3. Ecton Park (USA) 868,870 – Ecton Blade
4. Thunder Moccasin (USA) 829,580 – Yeongcheon Derby
5. Old Fashioned (USA) 550,640 – P.K. Party

Hansen actually had one more 2-year-old than Menifee make it to the track with 10 of his 33 winning at least once to Menifee’s imperious 18 from 32. Ecton Park has produced another solid crop while Pegasus Farm’s Thunder Moccasin got off to an excellent start in 4th place. Old Fashioned is now in Korea but his 5th place still relied totally on imports or those imported in-utero. Since coming to Korea Old Fashioned has already covered well in excess of 200 mares and he looks set to be a major player in years to come.

Accordingly Hansen and Thunder Moccasin were 1st and 2nd on the Leading First-Crop Sire list with the remianing top five being filled out by the Nokwon Farm based trio of Eurosilver, Testa Matta and Spicule.

Seven stallions were imported into Korea for breeding purposes in 2017, all from the United States. They are Afleet Express, Archarcharch, Modern Cowboy, Purge, Take Charge Indy, Tizway and With Distinction. With the exception of Take Charge Indy, who is owned by the Korea Racing Authority, all are standing privately.

Sadly some stallions did pass away during 2017. The most well-known was Whywhywhy who succumbed to complications arising from a debilitating back injury in September aged 17. Pensioned stallions who passed on during the year were Psychobabble and Silent Warrior, aged 26 and 25 respectively and Wheelaway, who was 20.

 

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Jo In Kwen & Kim Young Kwan Take Busan Jockey/Trainer Titles For 2017

Jo In Kwen and Kim Young Kwan were 2017 Champion Jockey and Trainer respectively at Busan Racecourse. Jo, in his first year at Busan having transferred from Seoul finished the year with 96 winners, 12 clear of 2nd placed Jo Sung Gon, while Kim as usual dominated the Trainer ranks, ending with almost double the number of winners as his nearest challenger.

Jo In Kwen Sports Chosun

2017 Busan Champion Jockey: Jo In Kwen

Jo In Kwen returned to racing in 2016 having completed his two years of National Service and joined Jo Sung Gon and Ham Wan Sik in moving from Seoul to the South Coast for the 2017 season. He didn’t win any major Stakes races but led the standings in terms of wins the whole year.

The year finished with just two foreign riders at Busan and both Franco Da Silva and Yonekura Satoshi finished comfortably inside the top ten.

Busan Jockey Championship 2017 – (Total Wins & Win %age)

1. Jo In Kwen – 96 (18.2%)
2. Jo Sung Gon – 84 (19.2%)
3. You Hyun Myung – 78 (16.0%)
4. Choi Si Dae – 65 (14.3%)
5. Francisco Da Silva – 59 (13.7%)
6. Ham Wan Sik – 41 (12.9%)
7. Yonekura Satoshi – 38 (9.7%)
8. Lee Hyo Sik – 35 (10.9%)
9. Song Keong Yun – 27 (5.75)
10. Jin Kyum – 25 (6.9%)

The Trainers’ title is Kim Young Kwan’s every year and with the unparalleled access he has to a stream of expensive and well-bred new entrants year after year, he will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. His domination of the Group races was a little less than it has been in recent years though as he didn’t  win a single one of the Classics. Ultimately Triple Nine and Power Blade were the stars again while his Ecton Blade won the Breeders’ Cup to head into 2018 as one of the prime Triple Crown contenders.

It was tight behind Kim this time around with An Woo Sung just taking 2nd place with Baik Kwang Yeol and Thomas Gillespie tied for 3rd, one ahead of Peter Wolsley in 5th. It was an exceptional year for Gillespie’s stable – he tied with Baik Kwang Yeol despite sending out 158 runners fewer and now has a 35-strong string containing some very good prospects.

thomas

Thomas Gillespie

Wolsley and Bart Rice perhaps had slightly less firepower in their barns compared with a year ago but both still put in creditable performances.

The 4th foreign trainer at Busan is David Miller. The New Zealander finished in 26th place in the standings in what was his first full year at the track but with only a small number of horses, maintained a very competitive strike-rate. He also recorded a huge success when I’m Your Father stunned Triple Nine to win the Group 3 Busan Mayor’s Cup in the summer.

Miller still has only 23 horses in his barn but with 12 of them being yet to race, the opening months of 2018 could be interesting.

Busan Trainer Championship 2017- (Total Wins & Win %age)

1. Kim Young Kwan – 96 (24.6%)
2. An Woo Sung – 49 (16.9%)
3. Baik Kwang Yeol – 48 (10.2%) (takes 3rd due to more 2nd and 3rd places)
4. Thomas Gillespie – 48 (15.4%)
5. Peter Wolsley – 47 (16.1%)
6. Kang Byung Eun – 41 (13.9%)
7. Mun Je Bok – 38 (13.2%)
8. Min Jang Gi – 35 (10.9%)
9. Bart Rice – 31 (11.4%)
10. Lim Keum Man – 29 (9.5%)

26. David Miller – 12 (10.6%)