Champion Cesario Passes at 19

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Cesario winning the 2005 American Oaks | Benoit photo

Cesario (Jpn) (Special Week {Jpn}–Kirov Premiere {GB}, by Sadler's Wells), named Japanese Champion 3-Year-Old Filly in 2005, passed away due to a uterine hemorrhage at Northern Farm on Feb. 27, Netkeiba reported on Sunday. An increasingly influential broodmare with three sons at stud-Epiphaneia (Jpn) (Symboli Kris S.), Leontes (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) and Saturnalia (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn})–she was 19.

“I was just surprised by the suddenness of it and I feIt that my chest tightened,” said Northern Farm's Katsumi Yoshida to Netkeiba. “In addition to the brilliant track record of winning the U.S./Japan Oaks, but [she] also [was] the brilliant broodmare who produced three sires–Epiphaneia (Jpn) who produced the fillies' triple crown winner [Daring Tact (Jpn)], Leontes (Jpn) whose son [Pink Kamehameha (Jpn)] won the Saudi Derby recently, and Saturnalia (Jpn) who entered the stud this year. I'm very sorry that Cesario, who laid the foundation for the ranch, has passed away, but now I want her to rest in peace.”

Bred by Northern Farm, the dark bay raced for U. Carrot Farm and trainer Katsuhiko Sumii. She won a one-mile race when unveiled at Hanshin in December of 2004 and followed up in the Kanchiku Sho in January of 2005. Another win, in the Flower Cup that March was followed by a runner-up effort in the Japanese 1000 Guineas a month later. Cesario captured the Japanese Oaks in her final start in her native land, and then traveled Stateside to salute in the GI American Oak at Hollywood Park. It was the first Grade I win in the United States by a horse bred in Japan and her final racecourse appearance. She retired with a mark of 6-5-1-0- and $2,578,568 in earnings.

As a broodmare, Cesario has excelled, leaving two champions and two Classic winners among her three Group 1 winners. She first visited the late King Kamehameha (Jpn) for her first two season (2006/07) which resulted in the winning colt Twelfth Night (Jpn) and the unraced mare Viola (Jpn). Barren in 2009, she produced G1 Japanese St Leger and G1 Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia (Jpn) (Symboli Kris S.) that next year, who was also runner-up in both the G1 Japanese 2000 Guineas and G1 Japanese Derby. As a sire, his best progeny has been 2020 Japanese Filly Triple Crown heroine Daring Tact (Jpn) to date. He's currently a resident of Shadai Stallion Station and commands a fee of ¥10,000,000.

Her placed filly of 2011, Rosalind (Jpn) (Symboli Kris S.), is already the dam of dual Japanese Group 2 winner Authority (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}). Next was the winning Harbinger (GB) gelding Claudio (Jpn) and he was followed by one of Cesario's champion sons-G1 Asahi Hai Futurity S. victor Leontes (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}), named the Japanese Champion 2-Year-Old Colt of 2015 and now a stallion at the Breeders' Stallion Station. Two full-siblings to Leontes follow-the G2 Hopeful S. third Globe Theatre (Jpn) and the winning filly Celia (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Having already thrown a Classic winner and a champion, Cesario's third black-type winner is Saturnalia (Jpn), by King Kamehameha's best son Lord Kanaloa (Jpn). The 5-year-old, who won the G1 Hopeful S. at two, added the Japanese 2000 Guineas in 2019 and was second in the G1 Arima Kinen before retiring to Shadai Stallion Station for 2021 at a fee of ¥6,000,000.

The 4-year-old filly First Folio (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) and Cesario's 2018 colt Lupercalia (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn} have both saluted the judge, the latter on Jan. 30 at Chukyo. Her final foal is a yearling filly by Lord Kanaloa (Jpn), and she was carrying to that sire at the time of her passing.

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