Deep Impact legacy continues to deepen as Contrail lands Japanese Triple Crown
Contrail hails from the family of Breeders' Cup winner Folklore
The unbeaten Contrail joined his sire, the much-missed Deep Impact, when becoming the eighth horse to land the Japanese Triple Crown on Sunday, ensuring his family legacy will continue to live on once he retires to stud.
In claiming the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) at Kyoto, to go with earlier victories in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) and the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), he became only the third undefeated Triple Crown winner after Symboli Rudolf (1984) and his sire Deep Impact (2005) - it is also the first time in history for a father and son to accomplish the feat.
Contrail, bred by North Hills, holds an obvious stallion's pedigree, being by Deep Impact, the sire of more than 100 Group winners who passed away at the age of 17 last year due to neck issues.
He is out of the unraced Unbridled's Song mare Rhodochrosite, a $385,000 purchase from Keeneland's September Yearling Sale in 2011 and herself out of Matron Stakes and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Folklore.
Deep Impact was a son of Sunday Silence, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner who became a prolific stallion when imported to Japan, and won his first seven starts, including the Triple Crown in 2005, for owner Kaneko Makoto Holdings and trainer Yasuo Ikee.
His two defeats in a 14-race career came when narrowly defeated in the Arima Kinen and when third in the 2006 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Deep Impact was subsequently disqualified from the Longchamp race due to a sample containing Ipratropium, a banned substance used to treat respiratory problems. He finished his career with wins in the Japan Cup and Arima Kinen.
Upon retirement in 2006, Deep Impact became a phenomenon for Shadai Stallion Station, siring countless top-class horses including dual Japan Cup winner Gentildonna, Racing Post Trophy and 2,000 Guineas hero Saxon Warrior, this year's Prix de Diane and Nassau Stakes heroine Fancy Blue plus Hong Kong Cup winner A Shin Hikari.
Contrail beat Aristoteles, a son of Epiphaneia, by a neck, with another son of Deep Impact, Satono Flag, a further three and a half lengths back in third. Contrail is trained by Yoshito Yohagi and was partnered by regular rider Yuichi Fukunaga.