California Chrome to Japan

Horsebagger
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Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:31 pm

Mylute wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:08 pm
Northport wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:01 pm
I'd be more hopeful about him being a big hit in Japan if Shadai was buying him, not Arrow Stud. I am sure he will get quality mares, but the best mares and the stallions with the best chances are own by Shadai/Northern Farm/Oiwake Farm. I foresee the usual American non-Shadai career for Chrome. 2020 - 200+ mares, 2021 - 150+ mares, 2022 - 50 mares, 2023 - 20 mares, etc. unless he has a superstar in his first crop.

Regardless, I know he will be treated like a king there, and like someone else mentioned, it's unfair to bring him back once he is pensioned. If you look at the facilities they have in Japan vs. the ones at Old Friends, and then you had War Emblem needing to be gelded... it's unfair to move the horse. But that's a problem for a couple decades from now.
I have very little knowledge about the Japanese breeding landscape. While I know that Shadai is entirely dominant, will breeders automatically not be interested in a superstar and potential breeding goldmine like Chrome just because he is not at Shadai?
Whoa back......come again?
lurkey mclurker
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:07 am

He'll be with Shanghai Bobby at Arrow Stud - I think they'll both generate interest but maintaining interest levels will depend on how their runners do, obvs. They won't get the Shadai-level or Darley-level of support, but it's not like *nobody* will be interested.

It's an exciting time to be a follower of Japanese racing. 8-)
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Treve
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:03 am

Ridan_Remembered wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:38 pm
Racing in the U.S. desperately needs people to engage with the sport/industry at all levels. It needs fans. It needs people to fall in love with the horses. It needs people to dream about maybe buying into a horse. It needs people to fill the stands to see their favorites run. This beautiful, shiny stallion with a boatload of personality is worth more to this industry than dry sales statistics. He has been a magnificent ambassador for the sport wherever he has gone. GOOD WILL MATTERS! His move overseas is a great loss to the industry in ways that have nothing to do with dollars. Yes, I know...I do know. Horses are expensive and usually need to earn their keep. I get it. But what does it hurt any of you to be a little more kind, a little more understanding for those who don't know, and who see this as a great wrong done to someone they love?
I hope this wasn't aimed at me. I love Chrome, and it's also why I opened my post with the statement that I sincerely wish him the best, and maybe lightning can strike twice and drew the parallels since Sunday Silence is one of my all time favourites.
I brought up sales statistics to hopefully shed some light on the people who were surprised, or what could have lead to what is essentially a very quick and sudden decision, if the timeline is true. Also crunching numbers when it comes to TB statistics is therapeutic for me sometimes lol. I'm usually first in line to say that the US industry has fostered a situation where breeders can't really afford to think long term. I don't think American breeders are inherently more short sighted than the rest of the world, but I do get really frustrated with the way the industry works here and the pressure of adopting the breed to sell model.

I was actually thinking earlier on what a shame it was for the stud farm in Chile as I know he was greatly appreciated there and in high demand so it sort of sucks that they will lose that yearly opportunity.
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djnorth
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:48 am

RE: the Chromies. I totally get the need for heroes etc. and good horses, especially those with great stories like CC. However, these same "fans" (talking about the extremes only here) are the ones who won't listen or believe people who actually work with those animals as to the facts etc. of the animal and his life. I imagine there are folks out there who think CC doesn't want to move, is messaging them to make them cancel the sale etc. I'm not even arguing that some animals can communicate in different ways but the extremes can get a little... extreme.

Agree with all who wouldn't want to see him repatriated as a pensioner. I was amazed that War Emblem did so well at his age, but others have had problems. And, really, how much do you really love the horse as a fan if, rather than seeing photos and videos of them enjoying their twilight years (Forty Niner) you want to put him through the whole import process cuz YOU WANT TO VISIT!?
CorridorZ75
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:51 am

Horse traders gonna horse trade.
I think Michele MacDonald said it best in her facebook commentary. This may be a business, but Chrome had already given them profit many times over. As for the weanling numbers, these were bred before the first crop were more than a few months old. I am pretty sure they don't look at conformation for weanlings when they are placing them in the catalogs- it is really only about the pedigree, so that fact that so many of Chrome's weanlings were in latter books this November is a good indication of the drop off in quality of mare he was getting the second year. Even the syndicate members were not sending their best mares for the most part to him from the beginning.

One silver lining is there are a number of his yearlings in Japan already, and so if they do well next year, then he should be a popular sire without having to wait a few years.

Personally, I never thought he was going to be a sales sire in the beginning until he was able to prove himself. He himself has some conformation defects although they did not affect his longevity, and he was not a huge two year old or even three year old, but grew into himself. He was always going to have to overcome the stigma of his unfashionable pedigree as well- I think most in the business assume he will fail, so the minute they see one defect, they move on immediately.

All this being said, I think his sale can also be a commentary on where the sport stands in America. The foal share agreement for California and the West is a problem because pretty much all those circuits are on life support. The Taylors depend on the industry for their wealth. It seems to me they are getting pretty antsy about its longterm future and making as much money as they can until it goes belly up.
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Curtis
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:36 pm

There is no good comp for Chrome. Maybe Tiznow is the closest but his siblings were doing well showing that his breeding was less questionable. As for other CA Breds, you had Bertrando who is interesting because, if Chrome had been handled like Bertrando’s sire, Skywalker, starting in CA and later, organically, moving to KY, it may have worked out better in terms of his staying here. I don’t see a direct correlation to Sunday Silence. The latter was a KY Bred by a top stallion out of a multiple GSW mare and a good chunk of him was owned by a breeder. Had there been any interest, Hancock would have kept him here. With Chrome, they tried to manufacture interest and found it too difficult. Maybe, if he doesn’t work out in Japan, Chrome will end up in CA like I’ll Have Another.
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Mylute
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:29 pm

Top horses with successful siblings exist but nice horses like Chrome rarely ever have siblings that even begin to accomplish shat they did, so I fail to see how Faversham and Hope's Love's success or lack thereof affects him a lot.

While on topic, it's even weirder how breeders rejected SS because of his pedigree despite Halo being regarded nicely at the time.
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Curtis
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:54 pm

Mylute wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:29 pm
Top horses with successful siblings exist but nice horses like Chrome rarely ever have siblings that even begin to accomplish shat they did, so I fail to see how Faversham and Hope's Love's success or lack thereof affects him a lot.

While on topic, it's even weirder how breeders rejected SS because of his pedigree despite Halo being regarded nicely at the time.
Hope’s Love and Faversham provide a good argument that Chrome was a fluke—pedigree wise. Budroyale, Tizbud, etc. showed that while Tiznow was clearly the best of his siblings, the others were nice enough to gamble on him in KY.

One of the problems seen with Sunday Silence was his conformation. Chrome has some imperfections but he looks like friggin’ Buckpasser compared to Sunday Silence.
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Delamont
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:23 pm

Ridan_Remembered wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:38 pm
Let me first say that I have great respect for the Japanese and their culture. I worked most of my career for Nissan and then Toyota at their national headquarters in the Los Angeles area before each company moved their HQ to other states. Let me also say that I fully understand the business aspects of the decision to sell a stallion, even one like Chrome, overseas. If Chrome had to go overseas, I'm glad it is to Japan.

What I don't understand is the deeply uncharitable, even snobbish attitude that some here have for Chrome's fans. Yes, many of them are not knowledgeable about this industry. Yes, many overreact to news such as this. But so what! They love the horse. Love him. Many have arranged vacations around being able to visit him. Many have followed his career all the way from the beginning up to the present, and have become fans of other horses because of their initial attraction to Chrome. Many bought into that "People's Horse" thing just to feel like they had a small piece of Chrome. They visited TM in droves. Some even had their weddings there.

Racing in the U.S. desperately needs people to engage with the sport/industry at all levels. It needs fans. It needs people to fall in love with the horses. It needs people to dream about maybe buying into a horse. It needs people to fill the stands to see their favorites run. This beautiful, shiny stallion with a boatload of personality is worth more to this industry than dry sales statistics. He has been a magnificent ambassador for the sport wherever he has gone. GOOD WILL MATTERS! His move overseas is a great loss to the industry in ways that have nothing to do with dollars. Yes, I know...I do know. Horses are expensive and usually need to earn their keep. I get it. But what does it hurt any of you to be a little more kind, a little more understanding for those who don't know, and who see this as a great wrong done to someone they love?
Good points, and I love ❤️ Chrome. What a tough competitor he was! I remember his Belmont loss running on an injured hoof. And his win at Dubai with the saddle around his hips. And he's purdy. With personality to spare.

But I do see TM's need to make money. ...I feel caught in the middle.
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Miss Woodford
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:03 pm

I hope he pulls a Take Charge Indy and his first few crops do so well he's brought back. Not because I'm a "Chromie". I want to keep our classic winners available to American breeders.
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Curtis
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:34 pm

Miss Woodford wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:03 pm
I hope he pulls a Take Charge Indy and his first few crops do so well he's brought back. Not because I'm a "Chromie". I want to keep our classic winners available to American breeders.
They could have priced him a little better but if it were that simple, he would have went directly to Japan.
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Katewerk
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Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:30 pm

CorridorZ75 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:51 am
All this being said, I think his sale can also be a commentary on where the sport stands in America. The foal share agreement for California and the West is a problem because pretty much all those circuits are on life support. The Taylors depend on the industry for their wealth. It seems to me they are getting pretty antsy about its longterm future and making as much money as they can until it goes belly up.
TB breeding is less a business than it is ponzi scheme. You don't need a Phd in economics to recognize that high end sales prices and stud fees are completely decoupled from the economics of day to day racing . Which is why breeders breed for the breeding market -- there's no real profit in producing actual race horses, because they can only generate income on the track and there's not enough of it.

It's like the llama and ostrich investment rackets of thirty years ago, in which breeding stock commanded outrageous prices -- for a time. The schemes collapsed as they were destined to, because there wasn't a profitable commercial/consumer market to sustain it (as there is in the dairy and beef industries).
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Treve
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Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:13 am

Curtis wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:54 pm
Mylute wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:29 pm
Top horses with successful siblings exist but nice horses like Chrome rarely ever have siblings that even begin to accomplish shat they did, so I fail to see how Faversham and Hope's Love's success or lack thereof affects him a lot.

While on topic, it's even weirder how breeders rejected SS because of his pedigree despite Halo being regarded nicely at the time.
Hope’s Love and Faversham provide a good argument that Chrome was a fluke—pedigree wise. Budroyale, Tizbud, etc. showed that while Tiznow was clearly the best of his siblings, the others were nice enough to gamble on him in KY.

One of the problems seen with Sunday Silence was his conformation. Chrome has some imperfections but he looks like friggin’ Buckpasser compared to Sunday Silence.
Yeah, not that I think they are comparable but if you take Pharoah for example who's dam was also unremarkable as a racehorse herself and modest in pedigree, yet every foal she has of racing age has been a starter, all winners and if I'm not mistaken all but one black type earners too, with a G1 placed daughter, a G1 winning daughter and a G3 placed son. And no one is gonna fault her for Xixixi (if anything it's a testament that she produced Maimonides's first winner and he won more than once... sire has two black type winners, lifetime).

From a breeder's perspective the performance of the siblings and half-siblings are really important in assessing strength of the female family and the genetic potential of a sire.

There's an old saying. The pedigree tells you what the horse should be. The horse's performance tells you what he appears to be. The horse's offspring tells you what he really is.

As an aside it looks like Taylor Made is considering hosting an open doors for his fans before he goes into quarantine
https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... e-to-japan
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
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Private Thoughts
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Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:44 am

Delamont wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:23 pm


But I do see TM's need to make money. ...I feel caught in the middle.
I my opinion, TM figured they had a gravy train, and jumped into things not horse related; a golf course, restaurant, wedding venue, etc. But by selling the only draw for fans to their farm, that big red horse, if things were going south on the non horsey stuff, it's not going to get better with him gone. Casual fans could give a fig about those other stallions standing at that farm, and being out in Nicholasville doesn't help.

They don't let you see Chrome for free or even the $20 horse farm tour scam, no to be guaranteed to see Chrome would cost you $45. What a scam.

Never cared for this farm, and this doesn't make me think any better of them. Just my opinion.
Izvestia
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Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:48 am

Nobody reads articles these days. It’s not Taylor Made’s fault/decision/whatever... the horse was owned by a 50-share syndicate. They put it to a vote.

Cool racehorse, sounder than most, and he had lots of fans. But do those fans bet? Or buy racehorses? ie. contribute to the sport financially? Will their love of Chrome save the sport? I don’t think so.

He’ll be fine in Japan, and maybe sire some good ones.
CorridorZ75
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Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:52 am

Izvestia wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:48 am
Nobody reads articles these days. It’s not Taylor Made’s fault/decision/whatever... the horse was owned by a 50-share syndicate. They put it to a vote.

Cool racehorse, sounder than most, and he had lots of fans. But do those fans bet? Or buy racehorses? ie. contribute to the sport financially? Will their love of Chrome save the sport? I don’t think so.

He’ll be fine in Japan, and maybe sire some good ones.
TM is the syndicate manager. Sure it was not solely their decision, but they had a vote as well. And let's face it, it isn't as though they don't have a history of moving stallions in and out quickly.

I am a fan of the horse. I do bet some, but living in a non- parimutual state, it isn't easy. However, what racing needs right now are "friends". Ask the greyhound racing industry what life is like without friends who vote. And for all the lip service this industry keeps putting out about how much the horses are loved, the actions inevitably look like squeezing one last cent out of the animal at the heart of the industry, no matter how much they have given already.

I hope that Chrome will work well with Japanese mares, and I like that he will have an opportunity to see a lot more French Deputy mares as I think he would nick well with them. I know he will be well cared for while there, and I love the fact that in racing, they value sustained careers and distance horses. Frankly, if he has a long career there, then I hope he gets the chance to remain there in retirement because, let's face it, bringing him back to the US for retirement would just be another publicity stunt and a means to profit off of him once more.
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Ridan_Remembered
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Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:29 pm

In the updated article on Bloodhorse.com (I think, or maybe Paulick) about Chrome's sale, they mention that over 20,000 people have visited Chrome at TM. Most racetracks around the country would practically kill to attract numbers of fans like that. So while the syndicate absolutely, without question has every right to sell their property named California Chrome, I hope everyone involved also understands that this is a huge public relations disaster for the sport/industry in the United States. It comes as the sport in Chrome's home state is struggling to survive and is on shaky ground elsewhere.
swale1984
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Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:42 pm

Steve Haskin shared his thoughts on this situation on facebook (I don't see them on Bloodhorse though). Basically, what he wrote was what he said on At the Races:
1) American breeders don't give stallions a chance to fail.
2) We've gotten away from racing ina sporting model and into racing as a business model--focused on quick return.

I agree with his points. We also see that the breeding industry only really cares about the sire and the dam. The rest of the family could be Eclipse winners, but if the sire and (sometimes) the dam aren't popular, then the offspring don't sell. That's the case with Chrome. Lucky Pulpit is closely related to Unbridled's Song (their dams were half sisters). Lucky Pulpit is also by Pulpit, the SAME sire as leading sire Tapit. Love the Chase's tail female line is pretty much Phipps/Claiborne mares (and anyone who has studied pedigrees knows that those are great lines, no matter how successful the mares were on the track). But, the breeders see "Lucky Pulpit" "Love the Chase" and see the "price" to breed Chrome, and dismissed him from the get-go.

Idk about you all, but I'm tired of the American thoroughbred model. I'm thinking I need to just focus on European, Australian and Japanese racing. At least their horses are bred for longevity and run for more than 6 races.
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Ridan_Remembered
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Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:23 pm

swale1984 wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:42 pm
Steve Haskin shared his thoughts on this situation on facebook (I don't see them on Bloodhorse though). Basically, what he wrote was what he said on At the Races:
1) American breeders don't give stallions a chance to fail.
2) We've gotten away from racing ina sporting model and into racing as a business model--focused on quick return.

I agree with his points. We also see that the breeding industry only really cares about the sire and the dam. The rest of the family could be Eclipse winners, but if the sire and (sometimes) the dam aren't popular, then the offspring don't sell. That's the case with Chrome. Lucky Pulpit is closely related to Unbridled's Song (their dams were half sisters). Lucky Pulpit is also by Pulpit, the SAME sire as leading sire Tapit. Love the Chase's tail female line is pretty much Phipps/Claiborne mares (and anyone who has studied pedigrees knows that those are great lines, no matter how successful the mares were on the track). But, the breeders see "Lucky Pulpit" "Love the Chase" and see the "price" to breed Chrome, and dismissed him from the get-go.

Idk about you all, but I'm tired of the American thoroughbred model. I'm thinking I need to just focus on European, Australian and Japanese racing. At least their horses are bred for longevity and run for more than 6 races.
Thank you. Very well stated. Does a pedigree make a successful sire, or does a successful sire make his pedigree? Take Pioneerof The Nile for a single example. Had only 10 starts, 5 wins including the Santa Anita Derby. Was sired by the beautifully bred but unremarkable sire (at the time), Empire Maker, who was also shipped off to Japan. Pioneer's female family was very unremarkable. The closest any of the mares in his tail female family came to winning a G1 was a 2nd in the Black Eye Susan by his 5th dam. Pioneer's broodmare sire, Lord at War, was a useful but also unremarkable sire. Pioneer likely would not be a fashionable commercial name in a pedigree today were it not for American Pharoah and Classic Empire.
KatieK101
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Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:02 pm

Ridan_Remembered wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:29 pm
In the updated article on Bloodhorse.com (I think, or maybe Paulick) about Chrome's sale, they mention that over 20,000 people have visited Chrome at TM. Most racetracks around the country would practically kill to attract numbers of fans like that. So while the syndicate absolutely, without question has every right to sell their property named California Chrome, I hope everyone involved also understands that this is a huge public relations disaster for the sport/industry in the United States. It comes as the sport in Chrome's home state is struggling to survive and is on shaky ground elsewhere.
I believe someone has already mentioned this, but people have married at Taylor Made so that Chrome could be included; people have planned vacations and honeymoons around visiting this horse. He has the fanbase to rival Zenyatta or RA, but is (was) more easily accessible. I understand that Japan will take wonderful care of him, but I can't imagine why the syndicate would *want* to sell him in the first place.

(That's sarcasm. I believe a farm would part with almost any stallion if the price is right.)

This is hugely why I am more invested in the fillies and mares rather than the boys. Often they have longer careers, their owners are more likely to take chances, and the fan favorites are more likely to stay in the US.
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