Menifee

Late Menifee Regains Leading Sire Crown

Menifee, who passed away last June, has regained the title of Leading Sire in Korea for 2019, ending the year 840 Million Korean Won clear of nearest rival Hansen. Ecton Park, who won the title in 2018, was 3rd.

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Menifee (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Menifee and Hansen had exactly the same number of runners, 135, across the year with Menifee’s making more starts but Hansen’s winning more races. Crucially, Menifee got more big race winners, principally New Legend in the President’s Cup, while Hansen’s top earner was the two-year-old Doctor Carson.

Leading General Sires 2019

Leading General Sire 2019

Ecton Park (Isidore Farm) retains his status as the Leading Privately Standing Sire in Korea (Menifee and Hansen both being KRA sires) and there are other welcome entries in the top ten for the privately standing Testa Matta (Nokwon Farm) and Thunder Moccasin (Pegasus Farm), the latter especially having been a revelation over the past year.

The highest placed stallion on the list who is based outside of Korea was Pioneerof The Nile in 18th place. 1.5 Billion of the 1.7 Billion he accrued was earned by his Korea Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner Moohak Chief.

While Hansen’s progeny are yet to break through at the Group 1 level in Korea, their sheer consistency at winning at lower levels means that it seems only a matter of when and not if he takes over at the top. Hansen comfortably ran out the Leading Sire of 2-year-olds with Menifee back in 4th place. Officer, whose Roller Blade won all three legs of the Juvenile Series was in 2nd place with newcomer Old Fashioned in 3rd.

Leading Sires of 2-Year-Olds 2019

Leading 2yo Sire 2019

Accordingly, Old Fashioned led the list of First Crop (in Korea) Sires ahead of Musket Man. A word too for Gyeongbudaero, the President’s Cup and Grand Prix Stakes winner in 2015, who has produced five winners from thirteen individual runners.

Leading First Crop Sires 2019

Leading 1st Crop Sires 2019

Full tables as well as information on every stallion, broodmare and racehorse currently in Korea, can be found at the Korean Studbook site: http://studbook.kra.co.kr/neweng/main.jsp

Meeting With Menifee & Ecton Park

Menifee, Korea’s greatest ever sire, passed away earlier this year. On the track in the USA and subsequently at Stud in Korea, he had a great rivalry with Ecton Park, who stands at Isidore Farm on Jeju Island.  Shortly before he passed, some footage was taken of Menifee at the KRA Stud Farm. Another video was also made with Ecton Park as he is now. Here they are:

Menifee:

And Ecton Park – “He’ll live out his days here”:

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

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.

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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.

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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

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.

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Menifee

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.

Stallion Update: Menifee On Top Again / Thunder Moccasin, Hansen Impress / Cielo Gold Passes

With over half the season gone, it’s time to update the leading sire race and as usual Menifee is out in front, leading Ecton Park and the late Sharp Humor at the top of the General Standings.

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Menifee (Pic: Ross Holburt/Korea Racing Authority)

It’s in the other catefories where we potentially see the furture starting to take shape though, with Hansen and Pegasus Farm’s Thunder Moccasin currently 3rd and 4th in the Leading Sire of 3-year-olds list. Both are second-crop sires in Korea as is Testa Matta, who is also stating to show well.

Stallion list

We get asked a lot about Take Charge Indy – so here is a picture of him taken in May. His first Korean crop is set to hit the track in a couple of years.

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Take Charge Indy (Pic: Ross Holburt/Korea Racing Authority)

As ever, the English language Korean Stud Book has information on all racing and breeding horses in Korea: http://studbook.kra.co.kr/neweng/main.jsp

There is one obituary to announce. Cielo Gold [Conquistador Cielo – Private Light (Private Account] died at the Jangsu Stud Farm on July 25th. The cause is listed as “sudden death” (heart attack).

As a racehorse, Cielo Gold dead-heated with Star Dabbler in what was at the time a controversial 2006 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park (Simon Pure, also in Korea now, ran in that race too). Even Cielo Gold’s trainer thought he had been beaten. The same year, he finised 2nd in the West Viginia Derby at Mountaineer.

Cielo Gold spent a decade in Korea and generated a solid return each year from a modest book of mares. His chief earner so far is the recently retired Royal Impact.

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.

 

Menifee Heads All US Top Ten Leading Sires In Korea For 2016

For the fifth year running, Menifee claimed the Leading General Sire in Korea title in 2016. The 20-year-old stallion headed an all American-bred top ten with his progeny winning nearly double the amount of prize-money than nearest rival, Forest Camp.

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Menifee is Korea’s leading sire once again

2016 Korea Leading General Sire (Money earned in 1000 Korean Won units – Chief Money Earner)

1. Menifee (USA) 7,927,060 – Power Blade
2. Forest Camp (USA) 4,229,230 – Ottug Ottugi
3. Ecton Park (USA) 4,199,740 – Triple Nine
4. Vicar (USA) 3, 636,710 – Haemaru
5. Peace Rules (USA) 3,439,700 – Success Story
6. Colors Flying (USA) 3,373,000 – Touch Flying
7. Officer (USA) 3,248,690 – Ice Marine
8. Didyme (USA) 3,196,550 – Hoseungjibyeok
9. Sharp Humor (USA) 2,846,480 – Gorgeous Dream
10. Exploit (USA) 2,758,910 – Dixie Ploit
11. One Cool Cat (USA) 12. Creek Cat (USA) 13. Whywhywhy (USA) 14. Volponi (USA) 15. Pico Central (BRZ) 16. Hawk Wing (USA) 17. Cielo Gold (USA) 18. Cowboy Cal (USA) 19. Ingrandire (JPN) 20. Capital Spending (USA)

Menifee continued to dominate. Even without Triple Crown  winner Power Blade, who contributed nearly 1.5Billion Won to his total, he still had more runners, more starters and more winners than any other Korea based stallion and while he is now covering fewer, it’s inevitable that he’ll be on top for at least a further year. Forest Camp rose six places on 2015 with Oaks winner Ottug Ottugi his chief earner for the second year running. Colors Flying and the late Sharp Humor entered the top ten for the first time while two more who have passed away in recent years, Creek Cat and Pico Central, dropped out. The latter was the top non-US bred on the list. The highest placed stallion not standing in Korea was Cowboy Cal in 18th place. That’s been put right though as Cowboy Cal landed in Korea on December 29th and is currently in quarantine having been purchased by local interests.

2016 Korea Leading Sire of 2-year-olds

1. Menifee (USA) – Final Boss
2. Officer (USA) – Ice Marine
3. Sharp Humor (USA) – Europa
4. Chapel Royal (USA) – Wonder Wall
5. Ecton Park (USA) – American Power
6. Forest Camp (USA) 7. Exploit (USA) 8. Vicar (USA) 9. Ingrandire (JPN) 10. Whywhywhy (USA)

Menifee was also leading sire of 2-year-olds with his colt Final Boss winning both the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup and Breeders’ Cup to be crowned champion juvenile. Newcomer Chapel Royal posted strong figures. Sharp Humor sadly passed away over a year ago and his final full crop is set to hit the track in 2017.

2016 Korea Leading First-Crop Sires

1. Chapel Royal (USA)
2. Simon Pure (USA)
3. Rock Hard Ten (USA)
4. Symphony Sonata (KOR)
5. Raconteur (USA)

Only five first-crop sires managed to deliver a winner and only Chapel Royal delivered significant numbers in terms of runners and winners. Last year’s first-crop winner Strike Again finished in 24th place in this year’s General List, however, he only has very small crops racing at the moment. His unexpected success in this category in 2015 led him to cover 72 mares in 2016 – an almost five-fold increase on 2015 and only four fewer than Menifee – so he may well rise in future years.

2015 Review: Leading Sires

Menifee is the Leading Sire in Korea for the 4th year running. It wasn’t quite as one-sided as last year but he still earned $2 Million more than closest challenger, Ecton Park. Menifee stands in good stead for the future too as he also comfortably claimed the Leading Sire of Two-Year-Olds title. Strike Again is Leading First Crop Sire.

Menifee

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

Siring the Derby winner as well as significantly more winners than any other sire, Menifee is, for the 4th year running, the Leading Sire. He is quite the phenom here in Korea and will be hot favourite to win next year too, simply by weight of numbers. There will, however, be a change below soon with both Didyme and Creek Cat, mainstays of the Korean breeding program, having passed away recently.

Leading General Sire

Name, Earnings ‘000 KRW (Runners/Winners/Starts/Wins) Winning % (Chief Earner)

1. Menifee (USA) 7,680,833 (144/74/921/124) 13.5% (Yeongcheon Ace)
2. Ecton Park (USA) 5,447,012 (92/37/574/75) 13.1% (Triple Nine)
3. Creek Cat (USA) 3,810,773 (99/43/647/67) 10.4% (Jangpung Parang)
4. Didyme (USA) 3,519,796 (90/36/554/68) 12.3% (Best Guy)
5. Vicar (USA) 3,515,249 (106/36/609/55) 9.0% (Gumpo Sky)
6. Peace Rules (USA) 3,404,896 (76/32/508/57) 11.2% (Heba)
7. Forest Camp (USA) 3,307,403 (135/40/809/61) 7.5% (Ottug Ottugi)
8. Pico Central (BRZ) 3,161,609 (98/44/639/69) 10.8% (Daepungnyeon)
9. Volponi (USA) 3,035,469 (88/36/674/56) 8.3% (Goldholic)
10. Exploit (USA) 2,582,665 (114/43/714/53) 7.4% (Lion Star)
11. Colors Flying (USA) 12. Ft. Stockton (USA) 13. Hawk Wing (USA) 14. Officer (USA) 15. One Cool Cat (USA) 16. Biwa Shinseiki (JPN) 17. Capital Spending (USA) 18. Revere (IRE) 19. Cielo Gold (USA) 20. Admire Don (JPN)

Menifee is also leading sire of two-year-olds. Colors Flying has been producing foals which really run well on the sand tracks of Korea and will be featuring highly on the general sire list from next year while freshman Strike Again also signals intention here. There also needs to be a word for Cowboy Cal. It’s unusual for a non-Korean based sire to appear on these lists but from nine two-year-old runners, he has got six winners:

Leading Sire of Two-Year-Olds

1. Menifee (USA) 896,150 (23/10/69/17) 24.6% (Power Blade)
2. Forest Camp (USA) 641,100 (29/10/80/17) 21.3% (Ottug Ottugi)
3. Colors Flying (USA) 468,300 (26/8/79/13) 16.5% (Baedari Bobae)
4. Strike Again (USA) 387,100 (13/3/35/7) 20.0% (Winners Glory)
5. One Cool Cat (USA) 352,950 (26/7/65/8) 12.3% (Major Winner)
6. Didyme (USA) 335,050 (19/6/50/7) 14.0% (Seomgwangi)
7. Sharp Humor (USA) 334,800 (35/8/73/10) 13.7% (Pokpung Sinhwa)
8. Vicar (USA) 300,300 (23/5/53/6) 11.3% (Sidaeuiyeowang)
9. Cowboy Cal (USA) 293,100 (9/6/30/7) 23.3% (Miso Wangja)
10. Pico Central (BRZ) 277,950 (15/4/40/4) 10.0% (Waikiki)

The Korean breeding program suffered a sad setback with the loss of Sharp Humor. The stallion reportedly suffered fatal injuries while rearing up during a thunderstorm and slipping. Sharp Humor is second on the First-Crop sire list behind Strike Again.

Leading First-Crop Sires

1. Strike Again (USA) 387,100 (13/3/35/7) 20.0% (Winners Glory)
2. Sharp Humor (USA) 334,800 (35/8/73/10) 13.7% (Pokpung Sinhwa)
3. Whywhywhy (USA) 200,000 (25/4/71/5) 7.0% (Doctor Why)
4. Delago Brom (AUS) 72,350 (7/3/24/3) 12.5% (Delago Dream)
5. Stromberg Carlson (AUS) 57,850 (2/1/8/1) 12.5% (Short Stop)