April 9, 2017 - Keeneland, Race 4, Msw, USD $70,000, 1 1/8M
Yoshida (Jpn), C, 3, 2014 by Heart's Cry (Jpn)
1st Dam: Hilda's Passion (GISW, $739,493), by Canadian Frontier
2nd Dam: Executricker, by El Prado (Ire)
3rd Dam: Trick Trick, by Clever Trick
Owner: China Horse Club International Ltd., WinStar Farm LLC et al
Breeder: Northern Farm (Jpn)
Trainer: William I. Mott
Yoshida set a fast pace and still finished full of run to break his maiden in style at Keeneland and become the newest ‘TDN Rising Star’. Debuting on the Aqueduct lawn Nov. 19, the bay put together a strong late rally despite lugging in and finished a close second, after which he was laid up for the winter. Returning in this spot with a steady series of breezes at Payson Park on display, he was let go as the 13-5 co-favorite and broke sharply to quickly establish command. Given free rein by Jose Ortiz, he clicked off an enervating opening quarter of :22.48 before getting a bit of a breather down the backstretch through a :47.62 half. Yoshida was asked the question at the top of the lane as co-favorite Im the Captain Now (Trappe Shot) angled off the inside to mount a bid, and he spurted away in just a few strides, opening up to graduate by four powerful lengths.
The winner was purchased from Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm for ¥94,000,000, roughly $850,000 USD, at the JRA yearling sale. He is out of a dam who captured the 2010 GII Lexus Raven Run S. on the Lexington main track as well as the 2011 GI Ballerina S. He is the first Rising Star for his sire, a MG1SW in Japan who also scored in the 2006 G1 Dubai Sheema Classic.
“Tom Ryan of SF Bloodstock and myself just fell in love with [Yoshida],” WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden told TDN Sunday. “I’d never been to Japan, so I wanted to go, and we also were looking for any Empire Makers we could buy and bring back to run on the dirt. We landed on two of them and this colt. The neat thing is when we bought him off Mr. Yoshida, I asked if we could name the horse after him and he was honored.”
Walden continued, “He worked extremely well last fall. Jose Ortiz worked him before he ran and loved him. He ran green in his first start and bucked a shin, so we had to bring him home and cool out his shin. We always felt like he was a really good horse. We’ll see how he cools out, look at what our options are, but I think the big 3-year-old races on the grass will be in his future.”