Kokedera is Japan’s first winner

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

SV Photography


Graded stakes-placed freshman sire Japan was represented by his first winner Sept. 30 when the 2-year-old filly Kokedera romped to a six-length score after dueling early in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden claiming event at Finger Lakes.

Kokedera, trained by Michael Ferraro for Barry Schwartz, was ridden by Elias Peltroche and was a head off the lead through an opening :23.07 quarter-mile. The dark bay/brown filly pulled a head in front as three-eighths went in :48.39 and she was ridden out for a final time of 1:08.47 on fast track. She dusted six other fillies as the even-money favorite.

Kokedera picked up $7,800 for winning the $13,000 event and went unclaimed for a $12,500 tag. Monday’s race followed three efforts in maiden special weight company at Finger Lakes. She was third on debut and off the board in her next two outings.

Bred in New York by Cricket Slope Farm, Kokedera is the fourth foal out of the Orientate mare Holy Kuga. She was bought back for $9,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale when consigned by War Horse Place. She’s made $11,378 from her four starts on the track.

Japan, a 7-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro —Maya, by Capote, was also campaigned by Schwartz, who went to $300,000 to purchase him from Gainesway’s 2013 Keeneland September Yearling Sale consignment. The dark bay/brown horse was bred in Kentucky by Emory Hamilton. He is a full brother to Al Khali, winner of the Bowling Green Handicap (G2T) who was grade 1-placed six times.

Japan began his race career at 3 and broke his maiden third time out by seven lengths going 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs. Trainer Bill Mott then saddled the colt to victory in the WinStar Farm Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park and a third-place effort behind Texas Red and Frosted  in the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course.

While training toward a potential start in the 2015 Travers Stakes (G1), Japan suffered a fractured sesamoid in a morning workout at the Spa. He never raced again and retired with a 2-1-1 record in five starts and $189,000 in earnings. Mott trained the colt through his last four starts. It was announced in December 2015 that Japan would stand stud at Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, N.Y.

Japan stood at Waldorf from 2016-18 before he was sent through the auction ring at last year’s Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale with consignor Stuart Morris. Santa Escolastica, agent for Tupacireta Srlag, purchased the stallion for $50,000.

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