05/22/2017 1:40PM

Heart's Cry gets rare U.S. stakes winner

Barbara D. Livingston
Yoshida takes the James W. Murphy on the Preakness undercard, giving his sire, Heart's Cry, a rare U.S. stakes victory.

Japanese sire Heart’s Cry has accomplished much in both his racing and stallion careers, but there is one thing he’s done infrequently. He was represented by just the second U.S. stakes winner of his career on Saturday, when his promising son Yoshida captured the James Murphy Stakes on the Pimlico turf.

A son of the legendary Sunday Silence, the champion Heart’s Cry won the Group 1 Arima Kinen in Japan and finished second in both the Japanese Derby and Japan Cup. He was also a world traveler, capturing the Group 1 Sheema Classic in Dubai and finishing third in the prestigious Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in England.

As a stallion at Shadai Stallion Station, he is the sire of champion Just a Way, also a Group 1 winner in Japan and Dubai; Group 1 Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti; and Japanese Derby winner One and Only. His lone U.S. stakes performer prior to Saturday was Japanese Oaks winner Nuovo Record, who finished 11th in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf and came back to win the Grade 3 Red Carpet.

Yoshida, bred by Northern Farm in Japan, was a $765,160 purchase by WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden out of the 2015 Japan Racing Horse Association yearling and weanling sale and now races for WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and S.F. Bloodstock. The colt is out of Grade 1 winner Hilda’s Passion, whom Northern Farm purchased for $1.2 million out of the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale.

Walden, who said he was looking for “new blood” at the time of the purchase, said the group named the horse as a tribute to Northern Farm’s Katsumi Yoshida and his brother Teruya Yoshida.

“He’s also out of a mare named Hilda’s Passion,” Walden added, “so he had American blood. Just a really nice horse. He’s a serious horse – serious.”

Yoshida finished second by a half-length in his career debut last November, then came back to roll by four lengths in a maiden race on the Keeneland turf. In the James Murphy, he was last early but rallied to win by four going away. The colt is expected to target the Grade 1 Belmont Derby this summer.