Caulfield on Danon Platina

ASAHI HAI FUTURITY S.-G1, ¥135,820,000, Hanshin, 12-21, 2yo, c&f, 1600mT, 1:35.90, gd. 
1–@#DANON PLATINA (JPN), 121, c, 2, by Deep Impact (Jpn) 
     1st Dam: Badeelah, by Unbridled's Song 
     2nd Dam: Magical Allure, by General Meeting 
     3rd Dam: Rare Lady, by Never Bend 
O-Danox Inc; B-Chiyoda Farm; T-Sakae Kunieda; 
J-Masayoshi Ebina. ¥71,274,000. Lifetime Record: 
4-3-1-0. Werk Nick Rating: B. Click for the 
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. 
Click for the JRA chart and video. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree. 
The narrowness of Dortmund (Big Brown)'s victory over Firing Line and Mr. Z at Los Alamitos surely jeopardizes any chance he might have had of landing the relevant Eclipse Award. 
The same can't be said, though, about the performance of Danon Platina, the Deep Impact colt who triumphed in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity–a race which could accurately be described as the Japanese equivalent of the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Success in this mile test seems to carry an automatic ticket to the JRA's award for champion 2-year-old colt. 
The same applies to the fillies' equivalent, the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies, which was contested a week earlier. The winner is invariably named champion 2-year-old filly. As this year's race was won by Deep Impact's daughter Shonan Adela, the exceptional Shadai stallion looks sure to add at least two more champions to his burgeoning list when the JRA Awards are announced in January. 
Of course the Breeders' Cup Juvenile has proved a very poor guide to the GI Kentucky Derby, so has the Asahi Hai Futurity proved any more reliable as a stepping stone to victory in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby)? The answer, sadly, is that it hasn't, as no Futurity winner has gone on to Derby success since Narita Brian over 20 years ago. Perhaps there is simply too big a difference between the distances of the two races, with the Futurity over a mile and the Derby over a mile and a half. 
There is still reason for having high hopes of Danon Platina, as the grey has now won the last three of his four starts and has clearly inherited a good measure of Deep Impact's impressive acceleration. 
Deep Impact, of course, was a superstar in Japan and his valuation as a stallion reflected his sky-high reputation. He was syndicated for a Japanese record total of ¥5.1 billion, the equivalent at the time of nearly $43 million. His first runners did nothing to diminish his status when they reached the track in 2010, with Deep Impact running out an unchallenged winner, not only of the first-crop sires' championship, but also of the overall 2-year-old sires' championship. Although he didn't sire the winner of the Asahi Hai Futurity, he was responsible for both the second and third finishers. 
In other words, demand for Deep Impact's services was as high as ever in 2011. Normally the amount breeders are prepared to spend on a stallion season is guided by the value of the mare, the proportion often being around a quarter of the mare's valuation. No such calculations were involved in Danon Platina's production. The colt's dam, Badeelah, had been picked up only months before for as little as $32,000 as hip 1440 in Book 3 of Keeneland's November Sale. Deep Impact's fee never appears to be published, but the gamble of sending such an inexpensive mare to Japan's most sought-after stallion has clearly paid off handsomely. 
You don't have to look too hard to see why Badeelah's new owners were prepared to take this gamble. Although Badeelah was only two, and still unraced, when Shadwell decided that she was surplus to requirements, there were elements of her pedigree which were guaranteed to appeal to a Japanese breeder. Badeelah's sire Unbridled's Song had been ably represented on Japanese tracks by Agnes Sonic, a smart sprinter-miler, and more recently by a dirt filly called La Verita, who was to retire with earnings equivalent to $3.6 million. 
Although Badeelah was sold for only $32,000, Shadwell had had to pay no less than $4.2 million for her dam Magical Allure when this winner of the GI La Brea S. was sold by the Mabees in 2000. The price reflected the fact that Magical Allure had built career figures of 12-7-4-1 and was in foal to Storm Cat. 
From a Japanese viewpoint, it was arguably more important that Magical Allure was a half-sister to Floral Magic, a stakes-winning daughter of Affirmed. Floral Magic was sent to Japan early in her broodmare career, and was eventually followed by her only American foal, the winning Bel Bolide filly Paper Rain. 
Both mother and daughter were to produce top winners in their new home. Floral Magic's best effort was Narita Top Road, who followed up a third in the Japanese 2,000 Guineas and a second in the Japanese Derby with victory in the Japanese St Leger (Kikuka Sho) in 1999. He was also third in the Japan Cup, so was of top international standard. 
Narita Top Road's exploits were no doubt responsible for his half-sister Paper Rain's arrival in Japan, where she quickly produced two colts by Deep Impact's sensational sire, Sunday Silence. The second of the two was Matsurida Gogh, who developed into a formidable performer at the ages of four and five. His finest victory came in the prestigious Arima Kinen over 1 9/16 miles, and he too ran with considerable credit in a Japan Cup, finishing fourth in 2008. 
Matsurida Gogh is still in the early stages of his stallion career–his eldest progeny are 3-year-olds of 2014–but he has already shown plenty of potential. Each of his first two crops has already produced a graded stakes winner and he is also responsible for Arma Waioli, the colt who chased home Danon Platina in the Asahi Hai Futurity. 
Floral Green, another of Floral Magic's daughters, has also enjoyed success with the Sunday Silence male line. This daughter of Forty Niner was mated to the Japanese St Leger winner Dance In The Dark to produce Danon Yoyo, a horse who numbered a second in the Mile Championship among several good efforts in Group 1 races over a mile. 
The story may not be over yet, as Badeerah's second foal is a yearling sister to Danon Platina.

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