The Japan Racing Association (JRA) announced that Grade 1-winning New Yorker A Shin Forward, bred by Vivien Malloy’s Edition Farm, has been retired to stud in Japan. The second highest all-time New York-bred earner bankrolled a total of $US 3,421,360 – just $100,000 and change shy of top-earner, Grade 1 Kentucky Derby hero Funny Cide ($3,529,412).
A Shin Forward retired officially on December 30 and will stand as a stallion at Lex Stud in Hokkaido. The January 4, 2012 announcement appeared exclusively on the Japanese-language version JRA website. A representative from the JRA said that A Shin Forward’s trainer Masato Nishizono commented, “We have a lot of memories with him. With his speed and American pedigree, he will be a good stallion.” According to breeder Vivien Malloy, A Shin Forward retired sound, but his connections decided the time was right to send him to the breeding shed after a winless campaign in 2011 fell well short of his 2010 triumphs.
Mrs. Malloy expressed no regrets that A Shin Forward fell short of Funny Cide’s earnings benchmark. “I’m just excited we got so far with him. He ran for a much longer time than Funny Cide and he’s going to be a stallion and will be able to pass on his genes. Funny Cide was a wonderful, wonderful horse, but A Shin Forward will have the opportunity that Funny Cide didn’t have to leave a legacy.” She praised A Shin Forward’s final performance on December 28, one of only three career dirt starts, when he finished fourth. “He came flying at the end. It shows just how much talent he has.” Mrs. Malloy added, “He ran on no medication. No Lasix. No drugs are allowed on race day in Japan. He was all natural!”
A dark bay or brown 7-year-old son of Forest Wildcat, A Shin Forward is the first foal out of multiple stakes-winner Wake Up Kiss (Cure the Blues/Good Morning Smile), 2003 New York Champion Turf Female. Edition purchased Wake Up Kiss in foal for $380,000 at the 2004 Keeneland November Sale. A Shin Forward sold as a Fasig-Tipton New York Select yearling in 2006 for $125,000 before being purchased by Hirotsugo Hirai the following March at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select Two-Year-Olds in Training sale for $290,000. He raced for five seasons in Japan for Eishindo Co. Ltd. (which prefixes many horse names with “A Shin” or “Eishin”), running almost exclusively on the turf at distances between six furlongs and one mile.
After winning his first two starts late in his 2-year-old year, at three A Shin Forward captured two consecutive stakes-placings in the Arlington Cup at Hanshin and New Zealand Trophy at Nakayama. At four over the Hanshin turf, he finished third in the Dotombori Stakes and won the Rokko Island Stakes and Final Stakes.
Although A Shin Forward broke through the million-dollar earnings threshold in the final days of 2009, he reserved his greatest triumphs for his 5-year-old campaign. After a second-place finish in the New Year Stakes at Nakayama and a third in the Grade 3 Tokyo Shimbun Hai, he won the the Grade 3 Hankyu Hai at Hanshin before going on to his greatest triumph: a victory in the Grade 1 Mile Championship at Kyoto, where he crossed the wire in stakes record time under Yasunari Iwata at odds of 52-to-1. He also ran third by a neck in the Grade 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo.
A Shin Forward retired with three stakes victories, a total of eight stakes placings, a record of 31-6-3-3 and US$3,421,360 in earnings.