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Japanese breeders buy Summer Bird for stud

TRIPLE Grade 1 winner Summer Bird has been sold to stand in Japan for the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association after spending his first two seasons at stud in Kentucky.

The JBBA has previously swooped to buy other American stallions midway through their stud careers, such as Empire Maker and Johannesburg.

Elliott Walden, president of WinStar, where Summer Bird stood this year at a fee of $15,000, said: "While we think Summer Bird has a tremendous chance to be a successful stallion, we were approached by Japanese interests with a strong opportunity that the shareholders felt they could not pass up, and ultimately voted to do.

"We worked the deal out so that WinStar has the option of buying back Summer Bird at the end of his stallion career, and we'll hold money in escrow to ship him back to the United States at that time so that he can enjoy the proper retirement."

Summer Bird was the leading three-year-old colt in America in 2009 after becoming the first three-year-old since Easy Goer to win the Belmont Stakes, Travers Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup.

He is from the first crop of Birdstone, which also contained Kentucky Derby hero Mine That Bird, and out of the Summer Squall mare Hong Kong Squall.

Summer Bird covered 148 mares in his first season at stud and 141 in his second. His first crop are foals this year.




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