Menifee

Weekend Preview: Juvenile Cups At Seoul & Busan

Juveniles take centre-stage this weekend as both Seoul and Busan hold their respective Championship races for 2-year-olds. The best performers in each race will then meet in Seoul next month to decide the peninsula’s overall best up-and-coming young horse.

The weather has been beautiful this week and should remain so over the weekend for the Champion Juvenile races

The weather has been beautiful this week and should remain so over the weekend for the Champion Juvenile races

As has been the case for the past few years, Busan looks to have the edge in terms of quality. A total of 14 runners – 7 colts and 7 fillies – will line up for the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup on Sunday afternoon, only 2 of whom are yet to win. Yeonggwanguichampion and Cheonha Ullim have perhaps been the most impressive coming into the race but anything could happen in what looks a very competitive field.

Up at Seoul just 8 colts and 2 fillies will take their chance in Saturday’s Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup. Nubi Queen, Cheonwang Dungi and Raon Morris have been the stand-out performers among them so far.

In the week that it was announced that US 2011 Breeders’ Cup winner Hansen would be coming to Korea, there is plenty of diversity among the stallions represented in both races, unlike the Menifee and Forest Camp dominance of the past 2 years. Freshman sires here One Cool Cat and Peace Rules both have runners in Korean Stakes races for the first time.

The weekend’s other race of note is the last at Seoul on Saturday as Fly Top Queen (Henny Hughes) makes her 4th appearance. The 3-year-old filly – Korea’s most expensive ever imported racehorse – has won her first three races in dismissive fashion and will be heavily favoured to make it 4. If all goes to plan, she will travel to Tokyo next month to represent Korea in the 2nd leg of the Korea vs Japan Challenge races.

Down on Jeju, Saturday’s short 5-race pony card forms part of the Jeju Horse Festival and includes the Jeju Open and Jeju Classic, the track’s 2 richest races of the year.

Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday October 11

Busan Race Park: 13 races from 12:00 to 18:00

Saturday October 12

Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 11:00 to 18:00 including the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup at 16:30
Jeju Race Park: 5 races from 12:20 to 16:00

Sunday October 13

Seoul Race Park: 13 races from 11:00 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 4 races from 12:50 to 15:20 including the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup at 14:30

Korean Triple Crown 2013: KRA Cup Mile Entrants Published

With just over 2 weeks to go until the 1st leg of the 2013 Korean Triple Crown, 17 colts and 2 fillies remain among the entries for the KRA Cup Mile – the Korean 2000 Guineas – which will be run at Busan on Sunday April 7.

Gyeongudaero won the 2012 KRA Cup Mile - 19 remain in contention to succeed him this year

Gyeongudaero won the 2012 KRA Cup Mile – 19 remain in contention to succeed him this year

Host track Busan proves 11 while 8 could potentially travel down from Seoul for the big race. A maximum of 16 will be permitted to start. None are unbeaten and it is a competitive looking crop.

Aussie trainer Peter Wolsley has 2 possibles in the shape Amell’s Atom and Fantastic Jazz, a half-brother to 2008 Korean Derby winner Ebony Storm – a horse still going strong nearly 5 years after his surprise Classic win.

Pureun Energy, one of the 2 fillies left in, won Busan’s Champion Juvenile crown while Breeders’ Cup winner and overall national Juvenile Champion Yapung is also expected to start.

On the breeding side of things, reigning Champion Sire Menifee accounts for 6 of the entries while Forest Camp and the late Pico Central are also likely to be well-represented.

Here is a full list of the entrants with Sire and race records (Starts/1/2/3)

Busan

Major King (Pico Central) 5/4/1/0
Yapung (Menifee) 9/3/2/1
Global Gangja (Pico Central) 9/4/1/0
Harley (Menifee) 9/4/2/2
Rising Joy (Forest Camp) 10/4/2/1
Battle Field (Menifee) 7/3/3/0
Sting Ray (Forest Camp) 8/3/4/1
Fantastic Jazz (Menifee) 6/4/0/2
Amell’s Atom (Menifee) 8/3/3/0
Raon Boss (Pico Central) 5/4/1/0
Pureun Energy (Menifee) 7/3/2/0 (Filly)

Seoul

Rapide Bullet (Revere) 7/4/1/1
K Top (Menifee) 6/4/1/1
Cheonnyeon Dongan (Ecton Park) 5/3/0/2
Heungyong Bisang (Ft.Stockton) 10/4/1/1
Ruby Canter (Volponi) 6/2/0/2 (Filly)
Energy Cell (Unaccountedlea) 8/3/1/0
Last Mudae (The Groom Is Red) 11/1/3/1
Like The Sun (Forest Camp) 7/2/1/0

Untouchable! Useung Touch Romps To Ttukseom Cup Triumph

Useung Touch struck the first blow in the race to become Champion filly & mare of 2013 by cruising to a remarkable 7-length victory in the Ttukseom Cup, the first leg of the 2013 Queens’ Tour, at Seoul Race Park Sunday.

Hold On! Connections and jockey Choi Si Dae struggle to hold Useung Touch in the Ttukseom Cup winner's circle

Hold On! Connections and jockey Choi Si Dae struggle to hold Useung Tocuh in the Ttukseom Cup winner’s circle

Now 5-years-old, the 2011 Korean Oaks winner Useung Touch (Menifee)announced her return to form with shock 2nd place finish to Gamdounguibada in the Grand Prix Stakes in December. Today, re-united with jockey Choi Si Dae for the first time since she was a 3-year-old and dropping down to 7 furlongs, she was sent off as second-favourite behind Segye Ilbo Cup winner Indian Blue.

Always travelling well, Useung Touch hit the front with just over a furlong to run and powered away from the field, still stretching her lead on the line. Fellow Korean bred filly Grand Teukgeup (Menifee), 3rd in last year’s Oaks was closest to her in 2nd, while Indian Blue’s effort was too little and far too late as she finished in 3rd.

Useung Touch now has 7 wins from her 21 starts with 7 2nd place finishes and prize money of over 1 Billion Korean Won. A star of the 2011 Triple Crown trail, in addition to winning the Oaks, she was 2nd in the Derby and Minister’s Cup. While she only recorded one win in 2012, she’s now firmly established back among the Korean racing elite.

It’s another triumph for Korea’s top stallion Menifee. In siring the 1st and 2nd home, he extends his lead at the top of the Leading Sire race with more than double the prize money of his closest rival.

Ttukseom Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – March 17, 2013

1. Useung Touch (KOR) [Menifee – Jenny Tudor (Gulch)] – Choi Si Dae – 3.2, 1.4
2. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee-Saratoga Campaign (Mt. Livermore)] – Chae Gyu Jun – 3.6
3. Indian Blue (USA) [Henny Hughes – Gamblers Passion (Prospector’s Gamble)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.5

Distances: 7 lengths / 0.75 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Sangnyu (USA) 5. Empire World (USA) 6. Darani (USA) 7. Seungniuihamseong (KOR) 8. Dongteuja (KOR) 9. Dangdae Jeonseung (CAN) 10. Imperial Girl (USA) 11. Kkakjaengi (USA) 12. Sangseung Geotap (USA) 13. Ruby Queen (KOR) 14. Royale Embrace (USA) 15. Chowonuibyeol (USA) 16. Blueband Mama (USA)

* There is Listed race action at Seoul next weekend. 2012 Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan (Ingrandire) heads the entrants for the Sports Donga Cup.

Yapung Leads Home A Menifee Trifecta In Breeders’ Cup

Yapung’s late charge saw him claim Champion Juvenile status by winning the Breeders’ Cup Stakes, the nation’s top race two-year olds at Seoul Race Park this afternoon.

The colt, who had to come through heavy traffic before grinding down the field in the home straight, led home a one/two/three for his sire Menifee who has not only already been crowned Champion sire of this year, now looks set to be so for the foreseeable future too.

For the second week in a row in a Stakes race at Seoul there were ugly scenes. This time it was Kim Hae Sun on outsider Storm Music, who was responsible for starting a chain of events that ultimately saw Jo In Kwen unseated from Rapide Bullet in the back straight. Like Cho Kyoung Ho last week, jockey Kim finds her season prematurely ended by the stewards.

Yapung was able to avoid the trouble but still had plenty of work to do in the final two furlongs. Under Park Geum Man, he managed to find plenty and the manner of his acceleration suggests that there will be plenty more to come from him as a three-year old next year.

Sire Menifee is now responsible for almost twice as much prize money than his nearest rival, 2011 champion sire Exploit. The sixteen year old stallion fell critically ill earlier this year and required a team of vets to be flown in to save him. Even with foals from the likes of Ecton Park, One Cool Cat and Officer soon to hit the track, Menifee is undoubtedly by far and away the KRA’s top breeding asset.

Breeders’ Cup (KOR G3) – Seoul Race Park – 1300M – November 25, 2012

1. Yapung (KOR) [Menifee-Wild Life (Wild Again)] – Park Geum Man – 5.3, 1.5
2. K Tap (KOR) [Menifee-Summit Party (Ecton Park)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.1
3. Fantastic Jazz (KOR) [Meniffe-Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band)] – Kim Yong Geun – 2.0

Distances: 1.5 lengths/1 length – 10 ran

In other news this weekend, there was a maiden victory for two-year old gelding My Key (Macho Uno-Worldly Pleasure) at Busan on Friday. My Key is a half-brother to US champion racehorse Game On Dude, through their dam, Worldly Pleasure.

Worldly Pleasure was purchased by Jeju Island’s Nokwon Farm in December 2009 while she was in foal to Macho Uno but before Game On Dude started winning big races in the US. Just before the 2011 Breeders’ Cup (the real one, not the pretend one we had at Seoul today) she was sold on to Japan’s vast Shadai operation in exchange for a number of broodmares and a sizable wad of Yen.

While at Nokwon she was covered by Volponi and the resulting colt is now a yearling. Meanwhile, the result of her liaison with Macho Uno was My Key and here he is winning by an impressive 11 lengths on Friday:

Rising Glory Gets The Glory In Korean Oaks

Rising Glory overcame the stubborn challenge of Cheoneun to win the 2012 Korean Oaks at Busan Race Park this afternoon.

Cheoneun had led right from the start of the fillies’ Classic and, on the rail in the home straight, looked to have enough left in the tank to lead from gate-to-wire.

However, Rising Glory had always been handily placed and, under Jo Sung Gon, once she got her run, she hunted down Cheoneun, hitting the front with fifty metres remaining and stretching away for victory by just under two lengths.

Grand Teukgeup, with South African jockey Gerrit Schlechter on board finished third but there was frustration for Japanese rider Joe Fujii. Riding 4/1 chance Nuriui Bit for Australian trainer Peter Wolsley, he was taken out of the race on the final corner by out of control 90/1 shot Last Love. Dragged right over to the stands rail, by the time Nuriui Bit was going in a straight line again, the race was long gone.

Over Power, who punters sent off as the slight pre-race favourite, finished in fifth place under Narazaki Kosuke.

As for the winner, Rising Glory, sent off fourth in the betting at 6/1, was taking part in her first Classic of the season having been kept away from the KRA Cup Mile and the Derby. In winning today, she was recorded her fourth career victory from nine starts. Her jockey, Jo Sung Gon celebrated in his usual less than understated way as they crossed the line. Jo was recording his seventh Korean Group race win although five of the previous six had come on one horse, Dangdae Bulpae.

Rising Glory is the third Korean Classic winner for her sire Menifee from his two crops that have come of age He sired last year’s Oaks winner Useung Touch, while Gyeongbudaero took the KRA Cup Mile earlier this. So far, neither of those have gone on achieve true greatness with both being hampered by injuries.

Whether Rising Glory comes to Seoul in October for the Minister’s Cup, the final leg of the Korean Triple Crown, will be the big question for her connections over the coming weeks. For now though, she is the champion filly of her generation.

Korean Oaks (KOR.GII) – Busan Race Park – 1800M – August 26, 2012

1. Rising Glory (KOR) [Menifee – Straight Cash (Straight Man)] – Jo Sung Gon
2. Cheoneun (KOR) [Forest Camp – Naha (Silver Buck)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan
3. Grand Teukgeup (KOR) [Menifee – Saratoga Campaign (Mt. Livermore)] – Gerrit Schlechter

Distances: 1.75 lengths/2 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Money Queen 5. Over Power 6. Dolpung Jilju 7. Gumpo Yeowang 8. Naryusya 9. Choego Yeosin 10. Joiner Peace 11. Sing A 12. Last Love 13 Powerful Miss G 14. Nuriui Bit

Menifee Fillies Top Jeju Sale While Sharp Humor Settles In

A pair of fillies by Menifee (Harlan) fetched the highest bids at last week’s May Two-Year old Breeze-Up Sale on Jeju Island.

Top Bids: Menifee (KRA)

A filly called Pureun Energy out of the Australian mare Cheongsan Ilho (General Nadiym) topped the list closely followed by an as yet unnamed filly out of US mare Hello Dyna (Dynaformer).

A total of sixty-four two-year olds were successfully sold in the sale. Here are the top five with vendor, buyer and price in US Dollars at today’s exchange rate:

1. Pureun Energy (Filly) [Menifee-Cheongsan Ilho (General Nadiym)] – KRA – Park So Yi – $125,000
2. Unnamed Filly [Menifee-Hello Dyna (Dynaformer)] – Kim Eul Bun – Lee Tae Hee – $103,000
3. Unnamed Colt [Forest Camp-Dewhurst House (Emarati)] – KRA – Lee Tae Hee – $80,000
4. Yongwanggui Race (colt) [Forest Camp-Proud Girl (Demaloot Demashoot)] – KRA – Byun Chang Deok – $68,000
5. Unnamed Colt [Pico Central-Glorious Dawn (Elusive Quality)] – Im So Yeon – Han Young Hee – $63,000

Menifee , who underwent life-saving surgery earlier this year, and Forest Camp dominated the sale although there was some representation too for Vicar and established Korean sires Exploit and Didyme.

There is plenty of competition coming their way soon though with new arrivals such as Ecton Park and Officer busy covering mares. Meanwhile, the KRA has released pictures of its newest purchase, Sharp Humor (Distorted Humor), who arrived in Korea in February, in Jeju Island in the snow earlier this spring:

Sharp Humor on Jeju Island (KRA)

Sharp Humor on Jeju Island (KRA)

Pictures – and a video – at the Chulgigi Racing Blog (Korean)

Menifee Colt Fetches Top Price at Jeju Spring Sale

The Jeju Spring Two-Year-old sale was held on the southern island last week and it was a colt by Menifee that fetched the highest price of 160 Million won (US$150,000).

The Jeju Sales are the nation's biggest

A total of 44 lots were sold during the two-day sale – 19 less than last year – with 26 of those headed for racing at Seoul and 18 to Busan.

The vast majority of those unsold will be raced by their breeding farms.

While the total number sold was down, the average sale price was up by almost 13 Million Won to 56 Million won ($50,000).

Menifee accounted for 3 of the top 5 most expensive purchases including the top 2; the as yet unnamed colt out of the US bred broodmare Delicias [Deputy Minister – Greyciousness (Miswaki)] who went for the top price and another colt out of Sorority Jazz [Dixieland Band – Miss Charity Ball (Talc)] called Fantastic Jazz who fetched 130 Million Won. Sorority Jazz is the dam of 2008 Korean Derby winner Ebony Storm.

The only other Stallion who featured frequently above the median sale price was Forest Camp. His top lot was a colt out of Straight Cash [Straight Man – Mystery Clearance (Mystery Storm)]* who went for 100 Million Won.

Previous top lots at the Jeju spring sale have gone on to success. Champion Belt (Exploit), the most expensive purchase in 2010 was fourth in the Korean Derby and has two wins to his name, while Dream Tower (Forest Camp), who fetched the most a year ago, will run in the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Korean Triple Crown, at Busan on April 8.

* Straight Cash was a $16,000 purchase from OBS April sale in 2005 and went on to become a double-Stakes winner in Korea, taking victory in the 2005 JRA Trophy and the 2006 Segye Ilbo Cup. A reader left a note on this site earlier this year looking for information on her, having found her dam, Mystery Clearance “in bad shape” at a horse rescue in the USA.

Mystery Clearance was never a racehorse, just a broodmare and the new owner was told she had only ever been used as a surrogate dam. She was taken out of the Rescue and apparently she is now being ridden. The horse racing world is small.

Top Sire Menifee Undergoes Surgery

The Korea Racing Authority (KRA) has announced that Menifee, one of the star Stallions of the Korean breeding program, underwent a two-hour operation on January 12 and had two stones removed from his urinary tract.

Menifee (KRA)

The sixteen-year old had been displaying symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection since mid-December. According to the Korean Racing Journal, the KRA consulted with overseas specialists before deciding upon the surgery and flew in two Equine Vets from the USA to take part in the operation at the KRA Stud Farm on Jeju Island.

Initial signs are that the operation was successful and, smooth recovery permitting, Menifee is tentatively scheduled to begin covering mares in late April.

Menifee [Harlan-Anne Campbell (Storm Cat)] finished second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1999. A $3,000,000 purchase by the KRA in 2006, he finished second in the Leading Sire list in 2011, despite only having two crops of foals on the race track. His chief-earner, filly Useung Touch, won the Korean Oaks.

Exploit is Leading Sire in Korea 2011

It came down to the last day of the season but while Menifee’s colt Magnifique won Seoul’s big race to close the gap to just a few thousand dollars, Exploit is the Leading Sire in Korea 2011.

Exploit - Leading SIre 2011

It’s a first Leading Sire crown for the fifteen year old who came to Korea in 2005. He finished seventh on the earnings list last year but, with more runners on the track than any other sire in the country, this year he was always best placed to succeed Creek Cat as champion.

However, with Menifee and Vicar in second and third – despite them both only having two crops of foals of racing age – in what was the closest race in years, it is likely to be a short reign for Exploit.

While Menifee and Vicar held a near monopoly on the three-year old classics, a year behind them is Forest Camp. He was by far and away the leading first-crop sire and also walks of with the title of leading sire of two-year olds. Ecton Park and Peace Rules are both due on stream soon and will be followed by the likes of Officer. The future is looking bright for breeding here.

American bred stallions accounted for none of the top ten money-earners with the Japanese Biwa Shinseiki occupying the final spot, due mainly to the continuing exploits of Dangdae Bulpae.

Leading Sires In Korea 2011 (Name/Pedigree/Owner/Earnings in Korean Won/Chief Earner)

1. Exploit (USA) [Storm Cat – My Turbulent Miss (My Dad George)] – (KRA) – 3,339,327,000 – Champion Belt
2. Menifee (USA) [Harlan-Anne Campbell (Never Bend)] – KRA – 3,333,776,000 – Useung Touch
3. Vicar (USA) [Wild Again-Escrow Agent (El Gran Senor)] – KRA – 3,248,167,000 – Dongseo Jeongbeol
4. Creek Cat (USA) [Storm Cat – Vivano (Island Whirl)] – (Evergreen Farm) – 2,980,533,000 – Cheonnyeon Daero
5. Concept Win (USA) [Manila – Conveniently (In Reality)] – (Korea Mainland Horse Breeders’ Association) – 2,674,959,000 – Hongji
6. War Zone (USA) [Danzig – Proflare (Mr. Prospector) – (KRA) – 2,201,102,000 – Black Ruby
7. Volponi (USA) [Cryptoclearance – Prom Night (Sir Harry Lewis)] (Korean Mainland Horse Breeders’ Association) – 2,045,542,000 – Crown Flag
8. Ft. Stockton (USA) [Cure The Blues – Tai The Devil (Tai)] (KRA) – 1,918,536,000 – Cheonun
9. Didyme (USA) [Dixieland Band – Soundings (Mr. Prospector)] – (KRA) – 1,915,015,000 – Mupae Star
10. Biwa Shinseiki (JPN) [Forty Niner – Oceana (Northern Dancer)] – (Kim Chong Sik) – 1,710,714,000 – Dangdae Bulpae

* Five registered stallions passed away in Korea this year. They were Yankee Victor (USA), Ft. Stockton (USA), The Groom Is Red (USA), Tayasu Meadow (JPN) and Air Smap (IRE).

Ft. Stockton sired the 2007 Korean Triple Crown winner JS. Hold while the best horse by The Groom Is Red was the hugely popular Classic winner Baekgwang.