Repole Strikes For Orfevre Filly At Japanese 2YO Sale

Unlimited Budget working with stablemate Silsita ahead of the 2013 Oaks | Reed Palmer


Prominent owner Mike Repole dipped a toe into Japanese public sales for the first time Friday, paying ¥33 million ($211,794) for a 2-year-old filly by the outstanding Orfevre (Jpn) at the Chiba Thoroughbred Sale.

Foaled on Valentine's Day in 2022, the bay was bred by Shadai Farm and is out of Unlimited Budget (Street Sense), making this something of a full-circle moment for the owner.

“We've been studying the Japanese pedigrees for months now. We recently purchased two Deep Impact (Jpn) mares,” Repole explained. “This purchase was just another opportunity with more to come. I raced the mare Unlimited Budget. She was a multiple graded stakes horse.”

Repole gave $475,000 for Unlimited Budget, a Florida-bred half-sister to GIII Schuylerville S. winner and GI Spinaway S. runner-up Jardin (Montbrook), at the 2012 OBS March Sale and she became a 'TDN Rising Star' with a 9 1/2-length debut romp at Aqueduct before adding that year's GII Demoiselle S.

The bay carried her juvenile form into the first half of her 3-year-old season, winning the GIII Rachel Alexandra S. and GII Fair Grounds Oaks ahead of a third to her upset-minded stablemate Princess of Sylmar (Majestic Warrior) and Beholder (Henny Hughes) in the GI Kentucky Oaks. Runner-up in the GIII Rampart S. in 2014, Unlimited Budget retired with earnings of better than $758,000 and was purchased by Shadai for $1.3 million at that year's Fasig-Tipton November Sale. Since her import, Unlimited Budget has produced three winners from five starters.

“The Japanese approach to building their bloodstock over the last three decades has been really strategic and now you see it paying dividends all over the world,” Repole said. “I'm really excited to get into their sales in the coming months and hopefully find some nice prospects. For now, we will have to bring them back to the U.S., but it would be awesome to race in Japan one day.”

Winner of the Japanese Triple Crown and the country's Horse of the Year in 2011, Orfevre is best remembered as a racehorse for the 2012 G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, when he looked all but certain to give Japan a coveted first win in Europe's top weight-for-age contest before hanging in through the final stages and dropping a neck decision.

He is the sire to date of 27 black-type winners, 21 at the group/graded level and of those, four at the highest level.

Though one might expect his progeny to excel on the grass, the 16-year-old Orfevre has proved surprisingly–perhaps shockingly–successful with his dirt runners, including G1 Dubai World Cup hero Ushba Tesoro (Jpn) and Marche Lorraine (Jpn), longshot and landmark winner of the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff in 2021. His additional dirt winners at group level include Justin (Jpn), whose dam was by Gone West; Lagom (Jpn), a son of 2014 GIII Fantasy S. victress Sugar Shock (Candy Ride {Arg}); and Gilded Mirror (Jpn), produced by an imported daughter of Tiznow.

The experience has been an eye-opener, Repole said.

“I loved the transparency–the reserve is public, all of the veterinary information and scans are available online, so it was very comfortable for us to participate,” he said. “The reserve being public is brilliant. I'd like to think we could learn from this and help build more confidence in our own sales processes going forward.”

The sale was led by a filly from the first crop of the expatriated undefeated 'TDN Rising Star' Nadal (Blame), who fetched a top price of ¥121 million ($776,941).


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