11/14/2012 12:49PM

Summer Bird sold to Japan for stud duty

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Champion Summer Bird has been purchased by the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association and will stand at stud in Japan in 2013. The sales price was not disclosed.

Summer Bird began his stud career at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., in 2011 and stood for $15,000 in 2012. The 6-year-old by Birdstone will go into quarantine before leaving for Japan in early December, and he will join such prominent JBBA stallions as Empire Maker and Johannesburg.

“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,” WinStar president and CEO Elliott Walden said. “We worked out the deal 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 U.S. at that time so that he can enjoy the proper retirement.”

In his two seasons at WinStar, Summer Bird covered 148 mares in 2011 and 141 mares this year.

Racing for K. K. and Vilasini Jayaraman, Summer Bird won the Belmont Stakes, Travers Stakes, and Jockey Club Gold Cup in 2009 en route to champion 3-year-old male honors. He is out of the Summer Squall mare Hong Kong Squall and is from the family of Rubiano and Tapit.