Peace Rules

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

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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.