War Emblem to have new home at Old Friends
The 16-year-old stallion is being donated by Shadai Stallion Farm in Japan. Old Friends is currently raising funds to ship War Emblem back to Kentucky in time for the surge in visitors expected with the Breeders' Cup held at Keeneland in October.
War Emblem joins another dual classic winner trained by Bob Baffert, 1997 Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm, at Old Friends. Silver Charm also stood stud in Japan and settled at the farm late last year.
Like Silver Charm, War Emblem was voted champion three-year-old colt. In addition to his two classic wins, the son of Our Emblem scored victories in the Illinois Derby (G2) and Haskell Invitational (G1).
War Emblem stumbled leaving the gate in the Belmont S. (G1), thwarting his Triple Crown bid. Coincidentally, the winner of that Belmont, Sarava, also resides at Old Friends.
Bred by Charles Nuckols Jr. and Sons, War Emblem was originally owned by Russell Reineman and trained by Frank "Bobby" Singer. He was privately acquired by the late Prince Ahmed bin Salman's Thoroughbred Corporation following his Illinois Derby score, and made his first start for bin Salman and Baffert in the Kentucky Derby.
Retired with seven wins from 13 starts and earnings of $3,491,000, War Emblem's stud career was marked my frequent disinterest in breeding. Pensioned earlier this year after reportedly siring less than 120 foals, his most outstanding runner was Robe Tissage, the 2012 champion juvenile filly in Japan.
"It's just an embarrassment of riches," Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen said in a statement. "It has been mind-blowing to have one Kentucky Derby winner here, and now we are just thrilled and honored to also be able to retire War Emblem."
(War Emblem photo: Getty Images)