Updated on 09/16/2011 8:14AM

War Emblem to be sold

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War Emblem, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, will stand at stud in Japan if an expected $17-18 million deal is completed.

DEL MAR, Calif. - With his near-black coat, skinny white blaze, lean body, and victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, War Emblem has repeatedly been compared to Sunday Silence by his trainer, Bob Baffert. That comparison will be enhanced further when War Emblem heads off to stud next year at the Yoshida family's Shadai Stallion Station in Hokkaido, Japan, where Sunday Silence stood until his death last month.

Negotiations between the Yoshidas, who want War Emblem as a stallion, and representatives of the late Prince Ahmed Salman's The Thoroughbred Corporation, which owns War Emblem, were taking place this week at the Keeneland yearling sales in Lexington, Ky. An agreement to sell War Emblem as a stallion prospect was imminent, according to Richard Mulhall, the president of The Thoroughbred Corporation. Mulhall said on Wednesday that he expected to make a formal announcement of the deal on Thursday.

"It's not done yet," Mulhall said from Lexington. "It's in the works. It's probably going to get done in the next day or two."

Mulhall said the brothers Teruye and Katsumi Yoshida would take possession of War Emblem upon the completion of War Emblem's racing career. War Emblem is currently scheduled to race just once more this year, in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington Park on Oct. 26. Assuming the sale is completed, the Classic would be War Emblem's final career start.

A person close to the negotiations said the sales price would be between $17 million and $18 million. That would represent a windfall for The Thoroughbred Corporation, which acquired 90 percent of War Emblem for $900,000, plus commissions, following his victory in the Illinois Derby on April 6. The Thoroughbred Corporation purchased War Emblem from owner Russell Reineman, who acquired 90 percent of War Emblem for $900,000, plus commissions, following his victory in the Illinois Derby on April 6. The Thoroughbred Corporation purchased War Emblem from owner Russell Reineman, who retained a 10 percent interest the colt.

Sunday Silence was the linchpin in the Shadai Stallion Station's success over the past decade. Sunday Silence, the 1989 Horse of the Year, was purchased by the Yoshida family in 1990, and stood his first year at stud in 1991. He became the most successful stallion in the world, based on progeny earnings. But Sunday Silence was euthanized last month because of complications arising from laminitis.

War Emblem most recently finished sixth as the favorite in Del Mar's Pacific Classic on Aug. 25, his first try against older horses. War Emblem has won seven times in 12 starts and earned $3,491,000, including a $1 million bonus from Sportsman's Park for winning both the Illinois Derby and the Kentucky Derby.

War Emblem, a 3-year-old colt by War Emblem out of Sweetest Lady, by Lord at War, had a meteoric rise this spring. After winning the Illinois Derby for trainer Bobby Springer, who had War Emblem for his first seven starts, War Emblem was turned over to Baffert. War Emblem subsequently won the Derby, as a 20-1 longshot, and the Preakness.

But in an attempt to sweep the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, War Emblem stumbled at the start of the race, tired after 1 1/4 miles, and finished eighth.

A little more than one month later, Prince Ahmed died, reportedly from a heart attack, in Saudi Arabia, at age 43. His heirs now own War Emblem.

War Emblem came back this summer to score a front-running victory in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth before the Pacific Classic.

- additional reporting by Glenye Cain

WAR EMBLEM FILE

Dkb/br c 3, Our Emblem-Sweetest Lady

2001 DATESTRACKRACEFINISH
Oct. 4APMd Sp Wt1st
Oct. 20APManila7th
Nov. 23FGAllowance1st
2002 DATESTRACKRACEFINISH
Jan. 26FGLecomte5th
Feb. 17FGRisen Star-G36th
March 17SptAllowance1st
April 6SptIllinois Derby-G2 1st
May 4CDKentucky Derby-G1 1st
May 18PimPreakness Stakes-G11st
June 8BelBelmont Stakes-G1 8th
Aug. 4MthHaskell Handicap-G11st
Aug. 25DmrPacific Classic-G16th
Career Earnings: $3,491,000;
Record: 12-7-0-0