Look for Japanese owner Yukio Baba to anxiously await the arrival of the catalog for the 2015 OBS March Sale. The sale has richly rewarded his racing operation, as evidenced by the success of two March graduates at Tokyo Racecourse this past Saturday. Okhotsk, a colt by Half Ours, broke his maiden by seven lengths in his third try after two runner-up finishes and then Asian Taste, a son of Into Mischief, opened up in the stretch and won his first start by three lengths.
Both colts, trained by Takahisa Tezuka and ridden by globetrotting superstar Ryan Moore, were selected and purchased on Mr. Baba’s behalf by Emmanuel de Seroux’s Narvick International and Dr. Riki Takahashi at the 2014 March Sale. It was the third trip thourgh an OBS sales ring for Okhotsk, sold as a weanling to I.C. Stables by Pelican State Thoroughbreds at the 2012 October Sale and then purchased by de Meric Sales at the 2013 August Yearling Sale. After he sped a quarter in :20 4/5 at the March Sale Under Tack Show, he was purchased out of the de Meric consignment by Narvick for $190,000. watch his under tack video
Narvick went to $390,000 for Asian Taste, consigned by Halcyon Hammock Farm, Agent, after he breezed an Under Tack eighth in 10: flat. watch his under tack video
It’s the second straight year that Mr. Baba has enjoyed success with an OBS March graduate. In 2013, represented by Narvick, he paid $230,000 for Ocala Stud’s Asia Express, a colt by Henny Hughes who had worked a quarter in :21 flat at the Under Tack Show. At the races, the team of trainer Tezuka and rider Moore guided Asia Express to a 1-1/4 length victory in the $1.3-million Asahi Hai Futurity (G1) at Nakayama Racecourse, and he was voted Japan’s champion two year old colt. This year, his 3-1/2 length victory in the $750,000 Leopard Stakes (G3) at Niigata Racecourse boosted his earnings over the million dollar (U.S.) mark. watch his under tack video
Mr. Baba is not the only Japanese owner enjoying the benefit of buying at OBS, with Silk Racing Company campaigning two winning 2014 OBS March Sale graduates. Wonderful Luster has already racked up earnings of over 20-million yen ($170,000 U.S.), winning two of three starts in the care of trainer Hidetaka Otonashi. The colt by Tiz Wonderful was purchased for $140,000 by Narvick out of the King’s Equine consignment after working an eighth in :10 1/5 at the Under Tack Show. watch his under tack video
Landing Birth, trained for Silk Racing by Yukihiro Kato, was a winner at first asking by five lengths. The two year old colt by Honest Man breezed an eighth in :10 flat at the Under Tack Show before being plucked for $95,000 by Narvick out of the Inside Move consignment. watch his under tack video
Japan’s Green Fields Company has to be delighted with Dashing Blaze, a $400,000 purchase by Narvick from Cary Frommer, Agent, at the 2014 OBS April Sale. Trained by Keiji Yoshimura, the son of Kitten’s Joy, who won at first asking on November 8, turned in an Under Tack eighth in :10 1/5 prior to his purchase. watch his under tack video
Polo Green Stable, Agent, went to $340,000 for Henny Swift in March on behalf of Yasushi Kubota and the colt by Henny Hughes won his first start under the care of trainer Yoshitaka Ninomiya. Consigned by Top Line Sales LLC, Agent, he worked an eighth in :10 flat at the Under Tack Show before the sale. watch his under tack video
Japanese interests have enjoyed considerable success with OBS exports. Since 2012, the 44 horses sent to Japan have already amassed more than $5.9 million (U.S. dollars) in earnings at the races, and include top class horses like graded stakes winner Best Warrior (April ’12) and stakes horses A Shin Bullseye (April ’13) and A Shin Ranger (March ’12).