First-Crop Yearling Previews: Yoshida

Seven yearlings from the first crop of WinStar sire Yoshida will be on display at the Fasig-Tipton July Sale 


The ever-growing depth and caliber of the Japanese breeding and racing industry was on full display at last year's Breeders' Cup World Championships when Japan captured its first two Breeders' Cup victories in a span of just a few hours.

One year before future champions Loves Only You (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and Marche Lorraine (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) were both foaled, WinStar Farm's Elliott Walden and SF Bloodstock's Tom Ryan attended the 2015 Japan Racing Horse Association's yearling and weanling sale. They came home with a group that included Yoshida (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn} – Hilda's Passion, by Canadian Frontier)–a ¥94 million (approximately $850,000) yearling purchase, eventual multiple Grade I-winning 'TDN Rising Star', and now, a WinStar Farm sire with his first crop of yearlings pointing for the sales ring.

Bred by Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm, the grandson of the Japanese breed-shaping sire Sunday Silence is the second foal out of Hilda's Passion, a multiple graded stakes winner who culminated her career with a victory in the 2011 GI Ballerina S. and then sold to Katsumi Yoshida for $1.225 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale.

“Yoshida is very prototypical of the Japanese breeding program,” said WinStar's Liam O'Rourke. “He's out of an elite American race mare and he is by a son of Sunday Silence. We've seen it come to fruition in recent times that in the Japanese program, they breed for class and versatility. Those are two of the big qualities that Yoshida represents.”

Campaigned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and Head of Plains Partners, Yoshida raced from age two through five under Bill Mott's tutelage, claiming four stakes wins headlined by the GI Old Forester Turf Classic S. on turf and the GI Woodward S. on dirt.

Debuting in his career at stud with a fee of $20,000 in 2020, the durable earner of $2.5 million bred 148 mares in his first year at WinStar. With a $15,000 stud fee, he saw another 84 mares last year.

“His first book was ranked third by CPI among [incoming] sires that year,” O'Rourke noted. “We're very proud of the types of mares that he has gotten. He's been supported by a variety of breeders, both commercial and racing types.”

As Yoshida's yearlings now work through their sales prep, O'Rourke said that he has heard optimistic reviews from breeders.

“They have a lot of his physical qualities,” he reported. “They have that class and strength. In watching them as foals early on out in the field, you could see that they were high energy. They were assertive types, kind of rambunctious, and were really aware of their surroundings. The one really common piece of feedback that I get as I've been visiting farms is that you can't give them enough work. That's a great quality when they have the desire to work and to be competitive.”

O'Rourke said that Yoshida's ability on multiple surfaces, along with Japan's growing success on a global scale, has retained breeders' interest throughout the stallion's first three years at stud.

“It's unique that he was so successful on dirt and turf,” he said. “I think he brings a different dimension to the stud barn that we're very proud to offer breeders. He was a very convincing winner of the Woodward, which is a great sire-producing race. In the Old Forester Turf Classic on Derby Day, [he beat] a great field. I think there was eight graded stakes winners in that field. He also beat Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar in the GIII Hill Prince S.”

Last year, Yoshida was represented by 36 weanlings and short yearlings at the fall and winter breeding stock sales. 23 youngsters sold to average $38,279. His colt out of GIIISW Catherinethegreat (Uncaptured) sold for $150,000 at the Keeneland November Sale while in Japan, a colt out of Curlins BFF (Curlin) brought $181,235.

Yoshida has seven yearlings cataloged for the upcoming Fasig-Tipton July Sale on July 12, including a colt out of Moon and Stars (Orb) that sells as Hip 19 with the Shawhan Place consignment.

“He's very strong with tons of bone, good hip and a strong shoulder,” said Shawhan Place's Director of Sales Courtney Schneider. “He's built like a bull; he's just so strong. He's very easy to work with and he's a little bit more forward than our others so that's why we wanted to showcase him a bit earlier in the July Sale.”

Shawhan Place has a special connection with Yoshida as the birthplace of his dam. Bred by Shawhan partner Ted Kuster, Hilda's Passion did not meet her reserve as a weanling, but was sold early in her racing career and went on to claim five graded stakes for Starlight Racing.

“Yoshida was a stallion we were really excited to support here on the farm,” Schneider said. “He was a dual-surface Grade I winner and has all the qualifications of bringing back the Sunday Silence line. We have several on the farm that we're really excited about.”

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