Kurofune Dead at 23

Kurofune | JBIS

Kurofune (French Deputy-Blue Avenue, by Classic Go Go) passed away at the age of 23 according to the JRA. The grey died on Jan. 17 at Shadai Stallion Station after he had been pensioned for several years.

“Kurofune died due to old age,” said Shadai's Eisuke Tokutake to www.hochi.news. “The horse had not been feeling well the past two months and passed on Jan. 17. He was a multi-purpose sire and had excellent results regardless of turf or dirt, and he was popular as a stallion and worked hard for 17 seasons until 2018. He was a very friendly horse and was well received by the staff.”

Bred by Nicholas Lotz in Kentucky, Kurofune was knocked down for $70,000 during the 1999 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and bloomed into a $430,000 2-year-old at Fasig-Tipton's Florida Select Sale in 2000. At two, he sported two wins from four starts and was third in the G3 Radio Tampa Hai Sansai S. Only off the board once in six starts at three, the Makoto Kaneko runner was named the Japanese Champion 3-Year-Old Colt of 2001 on the back of wins four wins. He started his campaign in March of 2001 with a win in the G3 Mainichi Hai and added the G1 NHK Mile Cup that May. Fifth in the G1 Japanese Derby, he returned in September to take third in the G2 Kobe Shimbun Hai before adding victories in the G3 Musashino S. and G1 Japan Cup Dirt. Retired a Group 1 winner on both turf and dirt, the Kunihide Matsuka trainee's record stood at 10-6-1-2 with $3,043,410 in earnings upon his retirement to Shadai Stallion Station.

At stud, Kurofune sired 35 black-type winners with 18 at the group level. Among his six Group 1 winners is the white 2020 Japanese Champion Juvenile Filly Sodashi (Jpn), as well as Curren Chan (Jpn), Whale Capture (Jpn), Aerolithe (Jpn), Sleepless Night (Jpn) and Clarity Sky (Jpn). The 23-year-old is also making his mark as a broodmare sire with 19 black-type winners already, 14 at the group level and two have taken Group 1 events. The three-time Group 1 winner Chrono Genesis (Jpn) (Bago {Fr}) saluted in December's G1 Arima Kinen, while the grey Normcore (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) captured both the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup in early December to go with her G1 Victoria Mile score.

Out of the black-type winner Blue Avenue, Kurofune was a full-brother to MGSW & MGISP Bella Bellucci (French Deputy), herself the dam of GIII Rampart S. heroine Ciao Bella (Giant's Causeway) and to the Japanese listed-placed Miss Pascali (Jpn) (Mr. Greeley). She in turn would foal G2 Fjui TV Sho Spring S. hero Mount Robson (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), Japanese Group 3 winner Miyamazakura (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and the G1 Japanese St. Leger third Popocatepetl (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}). His dam was also a half-sister to GI Vanity Invitational H. and GI Milady H. heroine Brought to Mind (Ruthie's Native).

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