Wajima (horse)

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Wajima
Sire Bold Ruler
Grandsire Nasrullah
Dam Iskra
Damsire Le Haar
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1972
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Claiborne Farm
Owner East-West Stable
Trainer Stephen A. DiMauro
Record 16: 9–5–0
Earnings US$537,837[1]
Major wins
Marylander Handicap (1975)
Monmouth Handicap (1975)
Travers Stakes (1975)
Governor Stakes (1975)
Marlboro Cup (1975)
Awards
American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse (1975)

Wajima (Mar 8, 1972–August 27, 2001) was an American Champion Thoroughbred racehorse.

Background[edit]

Wajima was bred by Bull Hancock's renowned Claiborne Farm of Paris, Kentucky. He was out of the French mare Iskra, a daughter of Le Haar, the Leading sire in France in 1963. Wajima was a son of one of America's greatest sires, Bold Ruler. Sold as a yearling for a then-record $600,000, he was purchased by a four-man syndicate comprising James Welch of Alexandria, Louisiana, James A. Scully of Lexington, Kentucky, Harold I. Snyder of Dover, Ohio, and leading Japanese breeder Zenya Yoshida.[2] The partners named the colt after Japanese sumo wrestler Wajima Hiroshi. They raced him under their nom de course, East-West Stable.

Wajima was conditioned for racing by trainer Stephen A. DiMauro,

Racing career[edit]

1974: two-year-old season[edit]

Wajima made four starts at age two in 1974, winning twice. His best result in an important stakes race was a second to L'Enjoleur in track record time in the November 3rd running of the Grade 1 Laurel Futurity.[3]

1975: three-year-old season[edit]

As a three-year-old in 1975, Wajima suffered leg problems at the beginning of the year and did not run in the U.S. Triple Crown series. He made his first start in June, finishing second in both the Saranac Stakes and the Dwyer Handicap. He then got his first stakes race win on July 19, 1975, doing it in dramatic fashion by setting a new track record for a mile and an eighth in winning the Marylander Handicap at Bowie Race Track. Wajima then won four more important stakes races in a row, next taking the Monmouth Handicap and the Travers Stakes. He then defeated that year's Kentucky Derby winner, Foolish Pleasure plus the 1974 American Horse of the Year, Forego, and future Hall of Fame inductee Ancient Title to win the Governor Stakes at Belmont Park.[4] In the most important race of his career, on September 13 Wajima defeated Forego again in winning the 1¼ mile Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park, which prompted a New York Times article titled Wajima Now Rated A $600,000 Bargain.[5]

In late September 1975, Wajima was syndicated for a world record price of $7.2 million. Organized by Leslie Combs II, the syndicate was made up of 36 shares of $200,000 each with the four members of the East-West Stables retaining 21 of the 36 shares.[6] Other share purchasers in the syndicate included prominent American and international breeders such as Cardiff Stud Farm, John C. Mabee, Aaron U. Jones, George R. Gardiner, Robert Sangster, and Bertram & Diana Firestone.[7]

After finishing second in the September 27, 1975 Woodward Stakes and in the October 25 Jockey Club Gold Cup, in early November Wajima's owners announced his retirement from racing. At year's end, Wajima was voted the Eclipse Award as the 1975 American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse.

Stud record[edit]

Wajima was sent to stand at stud at Leslie Combs II's Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. As a stallion, Wajima's progeny met with modest racing success. From his seventeen crops, he sired twenty-six stakes winners, including four graded winners, the best of which was Key to the Moon, a winner of the Queen's Plate in Canada and stakes races in the United States, who was voted the 1984 Canadian Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse.

In 1987, Wajima was moved to Stone Farm in Paris, Kentucky, where he was pensioned in 1992. He died on August 27, 2001 of old age and was buried at Stone Farm.[8]

Pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of Wajima
Sire
Bold Ruler
Nasrullah Nearco Pharos
Nogara
Mumtaz Begum Blenheim
Mumtaz Mahal
Miss Disco Discovery Display
Ariadne
Outdone Pompey
Sweep Out
Dam
Iskra
Le Haar Vieux Manoir Brantome
Vieille Maison
Mince Pie Teleferique
Cannelle
Fasciola Fastnet Pharos
Tatoule
Foxcraft Foxhunter
Philomene

References[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Mr. Prospector
Most expensive Thoroughbred colt yearling
July 1973 – July 1974
Next:
Kentucky Gold