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Top News in Wednesday's TDN
Champion Summer Bird Dies From Colic in Japan
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Summer Bird and Kent Desormeaux
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Eclipse Award-winning 3-year-old Summer Bird (Birdstone--Hong Kong Squall, by Summer Squall), the 2009 GI Belmont S. winner, died Tuesday from a bout with colic in Japan. Bred and raced by Drs. K.K. and V. Devi Jayaraman and trained by Tim Ice, the handsome chestnut broke his maiden at second asking and was an outstanding third in the GII Arkansas Derby in just his third career start before finishing a respectable sixth behind Mine That Bird (Birdstone) in that year’s GI Kentucky Derby. Sent off at odds just shy of 12-1 for the Belmont, he had some trouble in the early portions of the race, but rallied into the lane and drove past Dunkirk (Unbridled’s Song) to score by 2 3/4 lengths. Second to Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d’Oro) in the GI Haskell Invitational S., Summer Bird added the GI Travers S. and GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, besting Quality Road (Elusive Quality) on each of those occasions, prior to a creditable fourth behind Zenyatta (Street Cry {Ire}) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic, his first over a synthetic track. Connections sent the colt overseas for the G1 Japan Cup Dirt, but he suffered a fracture training up to that race. He was transferred to trainer Tim Ritchey in an attempt to bring him back for a 4-year-old season, but X-rays taken in late spring 2010 showed he had not healed well enough to go on. Summer Bird stood his first year at stud at Pauls Mill in 2011 before being moved to WinStar in 2012. Summer Bird was subsequently purchased by the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association and relocated to the island nation for 2013. His first foals are yearlings of 2013.

NOTE: This story will appear in Friday's edition of the TDN.

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