Sharp Humor

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.

Menifee 4

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.

Take Charge Indy 2

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.

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Stallion Sharp Humor Has Passed Away

Desperately sad news from Jeju Island as Let’s Run Stud Farm has reported that one of the jewels of its breeding program, Sharp Humor, died as the result of an accident on March 18.

Sharp Humor, 2003-2015.

Sharp Humor, 2003-2015.

Aged just 12, Sharp Humor was in his 3rd breeding season in Korea, having been purchased by the Korea Racing Authority in November 2011, arriving the following February.

He covered 97 mares in 2013 and 85 in 2014, with another full book in progress this year.

Sharp Humor [Distorted Humor – Bellona (Hansel)] was a good racehorse whose full promise was thwarted by injury. As a two-year-old, he won two Stakes races at Belmont Park and there were high hopes of him as he began his three-year-old campaign in 2006. He won the G2 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park before narrowly running second to the tragic Barbaro in a stretch duel in the Florida Derby at the same track.

However, upon finishing 19th of 20 in the Kentucky Derby, again behind Barbaro, he was found to have fractured a knee. He underwent surgery and managed to return to race one more time at Belmont Park, before being retired with career figures of 4 wins from 10 starts.  

Just as his potential was never truly reached on the track, regretfully neither will it be in the breeding shed. He sired plenty of winners in the USA and was sold to Korea in 2011 where he joined the rapidly improving breeding program. His two full crops have yet to make the track here with the first two-year-olds set to debut later this year.

There was very heavy rain on the island on the day of the accident. Jeju, with its rolling fields, agreeable climate and plenty of time out of the barn, is generally a pleasant posting for a stallion but a full inquiry into Sharp Humor’s death will review procedures with regard to the other valuable and high profile stallions, such as Menifee, Officer, Rock Hard Ten, Hansen and newcomer Tiz Wonderful, who stand there.

Pico Central, another expensive import, died in a paddock accident at the farm, which was previously known as the KRA Jeju Stud Farm, in February 2014.

Here’s that Florida Derby where Sharp Humor, the early front-runner, made Barbaro work all the way to the line:

2012 Breeding Round-Up: Menifee is Leading Sire in Korea

Menifee has been crowned Leading Sire in Korea for 2012. The 15-year old, who had three crops of foals running this year saw his progeny amass nearly $3Million more than closest rival and the stallion who beat him last year by a matter of just a few thousand dollars, Exploit.

Leading Sire in Korea: Menifee (KRA)

Leading Sire in Korea: Menifee (KRA)

Menifee, who underwent potentially life-saving surgery earlier this year, was also by far and away the Leading Sire of two-year olds and looks set to comfortably retain his general sire title next year.

For the second straight year, Vicar finished in third place while Forest Camp was a new entrant to the top ten in fourth. Volponi improved to fifth ahead of former Leading Sire Creek Cat.

Eight of the top ten sires are US bred with Japan’s Ingrandire, who was responsible for Korean Derby winner Jigeum I Sungan and Brazil’s Pico Central the only non-Americans scoring highly. The highest non-Korean based sire in the list was Werblin, whose filly Gamdonguibada won the Grand Prix Stakes, Korea’s most prestigious race in December. He was in 20th place, one ahead of Chapel Royal, who was himself imported to Korea a month ago.

Chapel Royal was one of a number of relatively well-known sires who made their way to Korea this year and will be expected to feature in this list in future. Among others were Sharp Humor and Rock Hard Ten. Already here and covering more mares than any other stallion in the past year is One Cool Cat while Officer, Whywhywhy and Aussie Delago Brom are not far behind. The Korean breeding industry is going from strength to strength.

Sadly we lost a number of stallions during 2012. Areumdaun Jilju was a top racehorse in Korea but sadly passed away before he had the opportunity to prove himself at Stud as did Gold Money. Creek Cat, who died in March, was leading sire in 2010 while Didyme, who took the crown three times consecutively from 2007 to 2009 succumbed to illness only last week (full obituary to follow). The wonderful world-travelling racehorse Running Stag was lost in June while Social Charter passed in September.

Leading General Sires in Korea 2012

1. Menifee (USA) [Harlan] – 6,927,782 (742/126 – 17%) – Gyeongbudaero
2. Exploit (USA) [Storm Cat] – 4,037,501 (942/67 – 7.1%) – Singgeureounachim
3. Vicar (USA) [Wild Again] – 3,792,051 (582/78 – 13.4%) – Wonderful Namhae
4. Forest Camp (USA) [Deputy Minister] – 3,570,626 (563/86 – 15.3%) – Cheoneun
5. Volponi (USA) [Cryptoclearance] – 3,054,200 (769/62 – 8.1%) – Royal Active
6. Creek Cat (USA) [Storm Cat] – 2,950,704 (550/57 – 10/4%) – Tongjesa
7. Ingrandire (JPN) [White Muzzle] – 2,750,101 (419/51 – 12.2%) – Jigeum I Sungan
8. Pico Central (BRZ) [Spend A Buck] – 2,502,101 (378/58 – 15.3%) – Alpha Myeongjang
9. Ft. Stockton (USA) [Cure The Blues] – 2,234,095 (543/42 – 7.7%) – Cheonun
10. Concept Win (USA) [Manila] – 2,217,618 (518/45 – 8.7%) – King Fighting

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)