Japanese buyers to the fore at Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland
16 purchases over first two days of action averaging over $1m
Backed by the strength of the yen, Japanese buyers are skimming more cream from America's pool of female bloodstock during the ongoing November sales, with their combined 16 purchases over two days of action averaging over $1 million.
The latest group of fillies and mares that will be bidding sayonara to the United States includes champion female sprinter and Breeders' Cup winner Finest City; Breeders' Cup winner and Canadian Horse of the Year Catch A Glimpse, and Grade 1 winners Illuminant, Her Emmynency, Big World and Decked Out.
As has been customary in recent years, the Yoshida family is setting the pace for the Japanese, although the three brothers have been joined by leaders from three other farms in buying at the single session Fasig-Tipton sale on November 6 and the subsequent opening day of the 12-session Keeneland auction.
Katsumi Yoshida of Northern Farm has purchased six mares in his own name for $5.4m as well as another mare in the name of his Lake Villa Farm for $900,000. Six of the mares, including Finest City, Big World, Decked Out and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf runner-up Coasted, are maidens.
Teruya Yoshida's Shadai Farm is close behind with five mares for a total of $5.15m, including maiden Illuminant; Her Emmynency, who is in foal to Pioneerof the Nile; Kentucky Oaks runner-up Land Over Sea, who is carrying a foal from the first crop of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Top Decile, in foal to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
Haruya Yoshida has so far acquired one maiden mare, multiple graded/group winner Goldy Espony, for $400,000.
Making an impact
Together in recent years, the Yoshidas have spent well over $100m acquiring mares, the best of which they have bred to Deep Impact, who has reigned as the world's leading sire by progeny earnings, and their additional stallions from the Sunday Silence line.
They and other Japanese breeders have succeeded with the infusion of quality and outcrosses, with North American mares producing the likes of recent Japanese Classic winners such as Kizuna, Deep Brillante, Al Ain, Isla Bonita and Toho Jackal.
Yet despite their buying power, even the Yoshidas have found the market waters at the November sales too hot for some of the best offerings. Shunsuke Yoshida, vice chairman of his father's Northern Farm, said he could not compete for champions Songbird and Tepin, who sold for $9.5m and $8m to Mandy Pope and Coolmore, respectively, at Fasig-Tipton.
"We couldn't buy the expensive ones, but we are really satisfied with the ones we are buying," Shunsuke Yoshida said. "The market has been really strong."
"It's too strong," declared Tetsuya Yoshida, who similarly assists his father in managing Shadai Farm, with a laugh after acquiring Top Decile.
Japan's Chiyoda Farm, K I Farm and Grand Farm also have stepped to the forefront of the November sales this year, each making purchases for at least $1m.
At Keeneland, Dr Masatake Iida of Chiyoda Farm paid $1.65m for multiple graded winner Tammy The Torpedo, a five-year-old by More Than Ready who is carrying her first foal to the cover of War Front.
Iida's agent, Nobu Araki, said consideration is being given to sending the mare to Japan to visit Deep Impact or, more likely, keeping her in America to be bred to California Chrome, in which Chiyoda owns an interest.
K I Farm, which raced top sprinter and 2013 Japanese Horse of the Year Lord Kanaloa, stepped forward at Fasig-Tipton to buy Catch A Glimpse for $3m. Agent Takuya Murayama said the maiden likely would be bred to Lord Kanaloa, who currently leads Japan's freshman sires by winners and earnings.
Also at Fasig-Tipton, Yoshiyuki Ito's Grand Stud paid $1m for a weanling filly who is from American Phaorah's first crop and is a half sister to young sire Bodemeister. Agent Emmaneul de Seroux said Ito would race the filly in Japan and eventually retire her to his broodmare band.
Spending by the Japanese has fueled both Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland results, with $13m in purchases at the former sale representing 17.5 per cent of total trade at that auction. Overall, Japanese buyers that can be identified in sale results have spent $17.5m in two days in Kentucky.