09/08/2010 2:20PM

Kane Hekili retired


Kane Hekili, perhaps the best dirt horse in the history of Japanese racing, has been retired after suffering yet another debilitating injury.

An 8-year-old son of Fuji Kiseki, Kane Hekili bowed tendons in both of his forelegs and will now take up stud duties at the Yushun Stallion Station in Hokkaido.

Trained by Katsuhiko Sumii for Kaneko Makoto Holdings, Kane Hekili won seven Japanese Grade 1 races on dirt, beginning with the 1 1/4-mile Japan Dirt Derby as a 3-year-old in 2005. He followed with a win in the Derby Grand Prix and then won the first of two Japan Cup Dirt titles at 1 5/16 miles, leaving Lava Man and Tap Day well behind in 11th and 13th. Next came a three-length score in the one-mile February Stakes, after which he finished fifth (promoted to fourth) in Electrocutionist’s Dubai World Cup.

After finishing second in the Grade 1 Teio Sho in June 2006, Kane Hekili suffered a bowed tendon that kept him out of action for nearly 2 1/2 years. Yet after just a single prep race, he won a second Japan Cup Dirt, this time at 1 1/8 miles with Casino Drive sixth, Frost Giant 12th and Tin Cup Chalice 13th. Victories in the Tokyo Daishoten and the Kawasaki Kinen followed, but he then broke a foreleg and was sidelined for another 13 months. In his second start back on July 19 he won the 1 1/4-mile Mercury Cup, then concluded his career on Aug. 12 with a second-place finish in the 1 1/4-mile Breeders’ Cup Gold.

During his 23-race career, Kane Hekili won 12 times for earnings of $8,240,465.