California Chrome to Japan

User avatar
Curtis
Posts: 1431
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 am
Location: Monroe, WA
Contact:

Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:44 pm

Ridan_Remembered wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:20 pm
TBird wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:13 pm
Private Thoughts wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:56 am
Thank you for the links Ridan.

Wonderful article which I makes me feel that not everyone in this industry is so cold and uncaring. Many on this site are so dismissive and demeaning of those of us who are upset Chrome and so many of our other champions, male and female, are sold to Japan. We’re told it’s business, he’s not our property and he will have s good home. All true. But I for one want our champions to stay here and contribute to the improvement of AMERICA’s bloodstock. What’s wrong with that. They should have sent Justify to Japan, but no that fragile 6 race wonder is held up as a holy grail. No wonder our bred is in decline, look what the industry values, fragile and short careered pretty boys.

Part of a comment pretty much sums it up for me,

“Yet the industry seems incapable of saving itself. Selling Chrome overseas is another massive public relations disaster. If there isn't room for a horse like Chrome in this vast country of his birth, then the question has to be asked. Is the industry worth saving? Does his syndicate have the right to sell him? Of course! Who knows. Perhaps it was a wise business decision on their part. Yet it gives the industry another severe black eye at a time when it could use all the public good will it can muster. Chrome embodies everything this industry needs, but does not value. There has to be more than just business to Thoroughbred racing and breeding in this country. There has to be heart and soul. There has to be warmth and joy, not just stories about drugs, dead horses and massively loved equine heroes tossed aside like yesterday's toys. If there isn't, then what's the point?”
It's easy to sit behind a keyboard and complain. It's a lot harder to spend almost 100k producing a horse that doesn't look he's going to be a racehorse. That's a big ouch.
Although your points are valid, they miss the real point by a mile. Look at this. Even the well-know racing photographer, Gary Tasich, has a tribute to Chrome on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gary.tasich?__ ... tion=group

He isn't the only person in the racing industry who has posted tributes to Chrome. The outpouring of sadness, love and tributes to Chrome is massive. Most people can understand the business side that you described. For them, it isn't about business. It's about the love of a very, very special horse.
What’s the answer then.....gelding him and sending him to Old Friends? I said back in 2016 that I wanted to see Chrome go to Harris Farms where he could either eventually replace his sire (not knowing that day would come much sooner than later) or prove himself as a KY type stallion and eventually end up there. I asked my farrier, who is a breeder, that if Harris Farms called up Taylor Made and offered Smiling Tiger for Chrome straight up, would Taylor Made take it? He chuckled and said, “Probably......I would.” Now he’s not a guy that has ever paid 40k to breed a mare but he went on to say that if he were in that position, Chrome would be well down on his list. He’s a big fan of the horse, by the way. Like Chrome, I’m a CA Bred and he’s the only CA Bred to win a Derby in my lifetime, having just missed Decidedly. I just wish that Chrome wasn’t treated like a lottery ticket but more as a low risk bond.
carole
Posts: 2689
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:57 pm

Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:31 pm

Ridan, what makes you think the Japanese grooms that look after him won’t bond with him in the same way his American ones have?

In fact, as someone has mentioned here before, if Chrome ends up staying in Japan for a long time (10+ years let’s say) I hope he doesn’t ‘come back’ to America. By that point, he would have been used to the same environment and the same people for at least a decade and in old age, he would be difficult to transport without complications. If he happens to stay in Japan for a long time, it would be unfair to the horse to take him out of an environment he has been used to for decades (and it’s not the same as now because he has also been shuttling to Chile, so he has been moving around a fair bit even in retirement, and it hasn’t been that long since he has retired anyway).

And by the way, I love Chrome too, he really captured my heart and I followed him and still follow him very closely. I’m from Europe though and frankly I’ll never get to see California Chrome in real life. But that’s ok, I can still admire the horse from afar without having to say ‘hey I pet him one time.’ I’m sorry to make such a blunt post but it’s really annoying me that some people seem to be implying that if I or anyone else agrees with the decision, we aren’t true Chrome fans. I really hope he makes it as a sire, his best shot at that is in Japan in my view and I think this is a good move. The horse is young enough and has been in retirement short enough that such a big change will be handled well by him.
BaroqueAgain1
Posts: 10681
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:16 pm

Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:36 am

Ditto that ^^^. :oops:
lurkey mclurker
Posts: 2904
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:15 pm

Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:37 am

I was going to stay out of this, but then just read this series of tweets from Frances J Karon which I thought were both insightful and relevant:
Frances J Karon @francesjkaron

A pal in Japan periodically sends me photos of a retired US-bred mare she knows I love. Oh my heart when I opened the message tonight & saw the old girl – she’s 30 & living the good life as a paddock ornament. Not everybody seems to believe this, but love for horses is universal.
6:50 PM · Nov 26, 2019·Twitter for iPad


Frances J Karon @francesjkaron

It’s so offensive to me when people go on & on w/ “dinner plate” theatrics. There are people in this country who dispose of old horses like this. Just as there are plenty of people here who take great care of them & allow them to out their natural lives, as she is doing in Japan.


Frances J Karon @francesjkaron

It’s okay to be sad about the sale of a horse without insulting other people, such as the buyers and their entire country, who appreciate that horse, too.
User avatar
Ridan_Remembered
Posts: 1671
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:15 pm

Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:23 am

lurkey mclurker wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:37 am
I was going to stay out of this, but then just read this series of tweets from Frances J Karon which I thought were both insightful and relevant:
Frances J Karon @francesjkaron

A pal in Japan periodically sends me photos of a retired US-bred mare she knows I love. Oh my heart when I opened the message tonight & saw the old girl – she’s 30 & living the good life as a paddock ornament. Not everybody seems to believe this, but love for horses is universal.
6:50 PM · Nov 26, 2019·Twitter for iPad


Frances J Karon @francesjkaron

It’s so offensive to me when people go on & on w/ “dinner plate” theatrics. There are people in this country who dispose of old horses like this. Just as there are plenty of people here who take great care of them & allow them to out their natural lives, as she is doing in Japan.


Frances J Karon @francesjkaron

It’s okay to be sad about the sale of a horse without insulting other people, such as the buyers and their entire country, who appreciate that horse, too.
There isn't anything more to say about it at this point, is there. Except for one thing. Have you noticed the insults on this forum toward the "crazies" who love Chrome? If someone doesn't entirely buy into the premise that only the business side matters regarding the sale of a 2-time Horse of the Year with the wonderful achievements that Steve Haskin listed in his Bloodhorse.com article, then they are somehow "crazy." Or worse. That is what I, for one, have been pushing back against, because the Thoroughbred industry is in serious trouble in this country. It needs all the public good will it can get. The thousands of comments, tears and sadness are not directed at Japan. They are directed at the industry here in the United States. When we see such an article appear in Bloodhorse, of all racing media outlets, then we know this one particular sale has touched a very raw nerve in this country.

@Carole, you asked, "Ridan, what makes you think the Japanese grooms that look after him won’t bond with him in the same way his American ones have?" I'm sure they will take excellent care of Chrome, and perhaps his immediate caregivers will bond with him. But there will not be over 20,000 visitors to see him, feed him Mrs. Pastures cookies, plan their weddings and vacations around visiting him, play the hat game with him, teach him new tricks, and so on. Chrome has thrived on that kind of personal interaction with people almost from birth. People remember what happened when Chrome went to England, didn't have that kind of personal interaction, and came back thin and ill-looking. In Chile, he always had a familiar TM employee with him. In Japan, at least for awhile, no one will be familiar to him. Anyway, everything that can be said about this situation has been said. Chrome will go to Japan and whatever happens will happen. Nothing any of us can do about it.

One last point. It isn't only old horses who sometimes do not thrive when taken from their homes and shipped far away. Look what happened to Roaring Lion.
carole
Posts: 2689
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:57 pm

Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:49 am

He looked thin and sickly because of the long travel and quarantine which he had gone through twice that year, if I remember correctly he looked super in photos and videos of him on the gallops in England. People were commenting how shiny his coat looks and how good he looked galloping.

I just don’t understand why you think the Japanese won’t love him as much as the Americans, and I mean the public not just his grooms. From everything I’ve seen the Japanese absolutely love their horses and I’m sure the fans there know of and are fans of Chrome too. I don’t think the horse cares much if people he doesn’t know visit him or not, but I’m sure he’ll be getting a bunch of those visitors still in Japan.
carole
Posts: 2689
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:57 pm

Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:59 am

Also just wanted to add that when people talk about the ‘crazies’ who ‘love’ Chrome, they mean the kind of people that will tweet, email and call Taylor Made to tell them that they’re pieces of s*it because obviously the horse will get chopped up into dog food in Japan. That’s crazy and it’s not love, it’s a weird obsession with an animal they have no connection with. Someone disappointed that they won’t get to see Chrome in real life unless they travel to Japan, is not crazy and I understand their disappointment. They have every right to voice that opinion.

And just to add on about the Chrome crazies, those are not the right type of fans for the sport. It’s great that they fell in love with a horse but they are unwilling to educate themselves about the sport, they just make assumptions and jump to conclusions because they definitely know better because they ‘love’ the horse. They’re likely to be the kind of fans that will shun horse racing overall and say that Chrome should just live his life out in a pasture because breeding him is cruel.
djnorth
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:52 am

Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:46 am

carole-

We have a winner!

Seriously, the "crazies' many regale regularly are not good for the sport. Disappointment is fine; calling and cussing out the farm is not, especially when they bother to read the articles ans look up the word "syndicate."

And, about the Japanese fans, I wouldn't be surprised to see them visiting Chrome, AK and everyone else. Look how many people show up at the track there.
User avatar
Private Thoughts
Posts: 494
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:18 pm
Location: Kentucky

Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:59 am

Why is this so hard to understand?

How would Japanese fans act if every year a foreign country came and purchased a portion of their national champions, classics winners, and fan favorites?

How about one of our rich farms go purchase Almond Eye, Orfevre (who has had less breeder interest), Kitasan Black and others. Tell me there would not be an outcry from Japan? Seriously? And if we did this year after year, cherry picking from their top performers, trust me, their fans would be really pissed off.

What if we told them we will give Almond Eye a great home and that she will be loved and well cared for? Think they would be placated and understand it’s business? I have a bridge for sale if you do.

But The Japanese would never ever do this because they don’t sell. They treasure their classic and champion bloodstock and keep it in Japan. Period. They look at us as greedy fools. I work for them and they tell me what they think of Americans.

Short term gains by selling our champions off year after year will end up being long term losses when nobody gives a crap about thoroughbred racing. And that’s were things are heading, because the callous and uncaring attitude of the powers that be don’t care what the fans think. They only are worried about us when they want us to show up for big races. Anymore, I just don’t care. This sport I’ve loved for over 50 years has broken my heart for the last time.
User avatar
Equipoise
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:30 am

Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:53 am

Private Thoughts wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:59 am
Why is this so hard to understand?

How would Japanese fans act if every year a foreign country came and purchased a portion of their national champions, classics winners, and fan favorites?

How about one of our rich farms go purchase Almond Eye, Orfevre (who has had less breeder interest), Kitasan Black and others. Tell me there would not be an outcry from Japan? Seriously? And if we did this year after year, cherry picking from their top performers, trust me, their fans would be really pissed off.

What if we told them we will give Almond Eye a great home and that she will be loved and well cared for? Think they would be placated and understand it’s business? I have a bridge for sale if you do.

But The Japanese would never ever do this because they don’t sell. They treasure their classic and champion bloodstock and keep it in Japan. Period. They look at us as greedy fools. I work for them and they tell me what they think of Americans.

Short term gains by selling our champions off year after year will end up being long term losses when nobody gives a crap about thoroughbred racing. And that’s were things are heading, because the callous and uncaring attitude of the powers that be don’t care what the fans think. They only are worried about us when they want us to show up for big races. Anymore, I just don’t care. This sport I’ve loved for over 50 years has broken my heart for the last time.
Another post where I wish there was a Like button on this site. Spot on.

To be fair, though, doesn’t Japan subsidize the racing and breeding industry there, at least somewhat? Whereas here the 1986 tax act overnight turned the industry into a breed-to-sell model that it has never recovered from. Now we know how the Brits felt when we bought up Nasrullah, Mahmoud, Blenheim, etc. and brought them over here.
User avatar
Curtis
Posts: 1431
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 am
Location: Monroe, WA
Contact:

Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:28 pm

Is it irony or coincidence that one of KY’s top stallions is from Argentina and another has a Chilean mare as one of the more prominent names in his pedigree? Should South America lament over the unfairness of it all?
User avatar
Ridan_Remembered
Posts: 1671
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:15 pm

Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:38 pm

Curtis wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:28 pm
Is it irony or coincidence that one of KY’s top stallions is from Argentina and another has a Chilean mare as one of the more prominent names in his pedigree? Should South America lament over the unfairness of it all?
Yes, if it means a lot to them...and how do we know that people there don't lament losing some of their best horses? Those markets are considerably smaller than ours, so an outcry from their fans probably wouldn't even be noticed here. I echo what Private Thoughts asked above, "Why is this so hard to understand?" Doesn't this sport/industry want to attract and keep new fans? Doesn't it want people to engage with and support the stars of this sport? Isn't there even a tiny sliver of interest in encouraging the tens of thousands of Chrome fans to retain their interest in the sport and perhaps grow it?

By the way, I do not consider the handful of idiots who make threats to be fans. Those people should face criminal charges. Separate those jerks from the thousands of well-meaning people who connected is some way with California Chrome. Many prominent people are lamenting Chrome's sale, not only ordinary folks. Can't anyone associated with this sport/industry understand that Chrome pointed the way to bring in new fans? Should the message really be they are stupid uneducated dopes just because they became huge fans of this one horse? Seriously. The shortsightedness is astounding.
User avatar
Private Thoughts
Posts: 494
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:18 pm
Location: Kentucky

Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:39 pm

Thank you Ridan and Equipoise. I know I’m not alone.
User avatar
CoronadosQuest
Posts: 1677
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:44 pm

Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:47 pm

There is one thing to be sad about your favorite horse being sent where you cannot visit them, it's another to degrade the country that is buying them, threaten the old owners, etc. I'd be more considerate of their emotions if they actually were rational in their reactions and didn't act as though he was sent straight to Alpo. I was a HUGE fan of Coronado's Quest (as you can tell by my name) and was devastated when he was sold to Japan but I didn't threaten to do everything in my power to stop it, spread horrible stuff all over social media, etc. I accepted it, wished him the best and moved on. Plus, of all the countries to be sent to, Japan is one of the easier ones to follow because of their amazing public database! Does it make less of a passionate fan though? No.

Yes, I wish we WOULD have a superstar horse retire that was a gelding so that people could fawn over him but let's face it, the United States doesn't even come close to marketing horse racing like they do in Japan. A
very small amount of people who don't regularly follow racing remember a horse once they retire unless they are Triple Crown winners. In Japan, they have plushes, video games, etc. all celebrating the sport. Its a BIG DEAL there and its great that Chrome gets to be in a market that LOVES their horses and horse racing THAT much. It will make his star shine even BRIGHTER on an international level.

The only thing that Chrome cares about is that he is taken care of, has food, water, shelter and a pasture to run around in. I guarantee he will have all of that and beyond. However, many are out there giving him human emotions like him swimming the ocean to escape Japan? Come on. That isn't normal fan behavior.
tachyon
Posts: 4059
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:52 pm

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:03 am

Breaking News!

California Chrome's stud fee at Arrow Stud has been announced!
He will stand for a fee of JPY 4,000,000- (about US$ 36,700-) in 2020.
And he has already been fully booked.

source
http://jscompany.jp/nomination/js.cgi
User avatar
Delamont
Posts: 292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:54 am

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:42 am

CoronadosQuest wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:47 pm
There is one thing to be sad about your favorite horse being sent where you cannot visit them, it's another to degrade the country that is buying them, threaten the old owners, etc. I'd be more considerate of their emotions if they actually were rational in their reactions and didn't act as though he was sent straight to Alpo. I was a HUGE fan of Coronado's Quest (as you can tell by my name) and was devastated when he was sold to Japan but I didn't threaten to do everything in my power to stop it, spread horrible stuff all over social media, etc. I accepted it, wished him the best and moved on. Plus, of all the countries to be sent to, Japan is one of the easier ones to follow because of their amazing public database! Does it make less of a passionate fan though? No.

Yes, I wish we WOULD have a superstar horse retire that was a gelding so that people could fawn over him but let's face it, the United States doesn't even come close to marketing horse racing like they do in Japan. A
very small amount of people who don't regularly follow racing remember a horse once they retire unless they are Triple Crown winners. In Japan, they have plushes, video games, etc. all celebrating the sport. Its a BIG DEAL there and its great that Chrome gets to be in a market that LOVES their horses and horse racing THAT much. It will make his star shine even BRIGHTER on an international level.

The only thing that Chrome cares about is that he is taken care of, has food, water, shelter and a pasture to run around in. I guarantee he will have all of that and beyond. However, many are out there giving him human emotions like him swimming the ocean to escape Japan? Come on. That isn't normal fan behavior.
Don't forget the girlfriends. ;)

But...agreed. Threatening and vilifying TM employees is beneath contempt.
carole
Posts: 2689
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:57 pm

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:59 am

tachyon wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:03 am
Breaking News!

California Chrome's stud fee at Arrow Stud has been announced!
He will stand for a fee of JPY 4,000,000- (about US$ 36,700-) in 2020.
And he has already been fully booked.

source
http://jscompany.jp/nomination/js.cgi
Fully booked, great news! Hope he becomes a very good sire, I have a feeling he will sire some nice turf runners.
User avatar
Ridan_Remembered
Posts: 1671
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:15 pm

Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:56 am

tachyon wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:03 am
Breaking News!

California Chrome's stud fee at Arrow Stud has been announced!
He will stand for a fee of JPY 4,000,000- (about US$ 36,700-) in 2020.
And he has already been fully booked.

source
http://jscompany.jp/nomination/js.cgi
Thank you, Tachyon. Please understand that nothing I have posted here, or ever will post, is directed against Japan or the Japanese people. As mentioned up thread somewhere, I worked for Nissan and Toyota during most of my career. During most of the over 40 years I lived in the Los Angeles area, their U.S. national headquarters were near my home. Nissan, Toyota and Honda were all within about a mile of each other. Honda is still there, but Nissan moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2006. Toyota moved to Dallas, Texas in 2015 to 2016. Also, I lived in Gardena, California, which was historically a center of Japanese people and culture. So I have great respect for the Japanese.

The outpouring of sadness and sometimes anger about Chrome's sale is an American phenomenon, not directed toward Japan but inward toward our own racing industry. Some people foolishly do lash out in all directions when things don't go as they want, but that isn't restricted to this situation or to racing. It is a general human failing. Speaking only for myself, I knew right from the beginning of Chrome's stud career that he was likely to eventually go overseas. I'm grateful he is going to Japan where he will have the best opportunities compared to the many other places he could have potentially been sent. I don't expect him to be the next Sunday Silence, because genuine breed shaping stallions like Sunday are very rare. But I do hope Chrome is successful and sires many offspring who will bring as much joy to Japanese racing fans as their sire brought to fans here in the country of his birth. What is hard for me to take is that there is no place for him here. Since I'm in my early 70's now, maybe I won't live to see how his story ends. But I will always, always love him.

They wrote songs about this horse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCUQPEPTarg
User avatar
Gemini
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:26 pm

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:28 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?
I know I'm late entering this conversation, but I agree with 98% of your post and I definitely concur with your observations about the snotty insider attitude towards fans or anyone who doesn't have 3 generations of family connected to Thoroughbreds.

Then again, regarding the other 2%, a lot of the fans are being unfair by screeching that Chrome won't be loved in Japan, or worse, that he'll be abused and slaughtered.
User avatar
CoronadosQuest
Posts: 1677
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:44 pm

Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:34 pm

tachyon wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:03 am
Breaking News!

California Chrome's stud fee at Arrow Stud has been announced!
He will stand for a fee of JPY 4,000,000- (about US$ 36,700-) in 2020.
And he has already been fully booked.

source
http://jscompany.jp/nomination/js.cgi
Thats amazing! I hope he gives Japan many amazing babies and we eventually see one come over to run in the TC someday :D
Post Reply