Japan Racing Hall of Fame

Author: Jana Nemeckova, published: 7th October 2017, updated: 10th April 2018

Error report

Japan Racing Association's Hall of Fame was founded in 1985, and is installed in JRA Horse Racing Museum in Fuchu, Tokyo. Horses are selected annually in April, and voted by newspeople who have been involved in horse-racing for more than ten years. However, there are certain rules for which horses can be voted:

Additional rule from 2004 also says that no horse retired for less than a year, or more than 20 years can be nominated.

So far, the Japanese racing Hall of Fame has 31 members. Their full list is included below the article.

Horses inducted in the year of creation - 1984

Kumohata

ch.c. 1936; Tournesol - Fairy Maiden, Gnome - Tuscan Maiden, Maiden Erlegh

Chestnut Kumohata, born in 1936, was a son of the Princess of Wales's Stakes winner and the Hardwicke Stakes second Tournesol, who was five times the champion sire in Japan with several classic winners, including another Hall of Fame member Kurifuji. His dam Fairy Maiden was also the third dam of another Hall of Fame member Hakuchikara, but Fairy Maiden herself came from a great family of Chateaugay, his full sister and great producer Primonetta and their close relative Little Current; another branch of the family blossomed much later with Desert Wine, Fasliyev, Menifee, or Albert the Great.

Kumohata himself won 9 of 21 starts, most importantly the Tokyo Yushun; he also placed in both runnings of the 1940 Teishitsu Goshoten, future Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Tenno Sho (Spring). But Kumohata was much better as a sire, being the Japanese champion sire for six years in a row from 1952 to 1957; he produced classic winners Yashima Daughter, Kiyofuji, New Ford, and Meiji Hikari, as well as double classic-placed Mitsuhata and Yodo Sakura, triple classic-placed fillies Queen Narubi and Takahata and other major winners in Katsufuji, Kiyo Strong, Hiya Kiogan, and Takahagi. Kumohata's blood not only ran to another Hall of Famer Oguri Cap, but has been still present in several top Japanese horses in the 21st century.

St. Lite

dkb.c. 1938; Diolite - Flippancy, Flamboyant - Slip, Robert le Diable

A dark bay colt St. Lite was born from both imported parents. His sire Diolite won the Two Thousand Guineas, and ran third to Blenheim in the Derby; after only two seasons at stud he was sent to Japan, leaving grandsons like Celadon, Dicta Drake, and Diatome, as well as German filly Esclave in Europe. He was very successful in Japan, siring classic winners Tairei, Tetsuzakura, Banner Goal, Dielec, Hamakaze, and Hide Hikari; he was also the damsire of the Triple Crown near-miss Bostonian and a double classic winner, Horse of the Year, and Hall of Fame member Kodama. The St. Lite's dam Flippancy was a granddaughter of Snip, the dam of St. Frusquin; Flippancy herself had ab exceptional record in Japan, producing a successful sire Taiho, dams of classic horses Daini Flippancy and Daisan Flippancy, the classic winner St. Lite, classic-placed Kuri Hikaro, the Tenno Sho placed grandson Daigo Flippancy, and another classic winner and Hall of Famer Tosa Midori.

St. Lite himself won 9 of 12 starts and placed in the other three; as the first horse ever he won the Japanese Triple Crown - the Satsuki Sho, the Tokyo Yushun, and the Kikuka Sho. However, his stud career was much weaker, as his best foals were only the Kikuka Sho winner Saint O, the Kikuka Sho third Oh Lite, and the Satsuki Sho third Tokino Daigo.

Kurifuji

ch.f. 1940; Tournesol - Kenfuji, Chapel Brampton - Tanemitsu, Rushcutter

As previously mentioned, another Tournesol's Hall of Fame member is a chestnut filly Kurifuji. Her family was never successful in Europe, and the only other viable branch emerged in the South Africa, leading to the 2017 G1 winning filly Star Express. However, the brown filly Astonishment, who was sent to Japan in 1907, was a great family founder in there, being a female ancestress of the Tokyo Yushun second Teh Mor, the same race third Happy Light, and the filly Athlete, the Yushun Himba winner Okan, the Yushun Himba second Katsuihai, the Satsuki Sho winner Ryuzuki, the Kikuka Sho winner Saint O, the Arima Kinen winner Yamato Kyodai, the Tenno Sho and the Meguro Kinen winner Hatakaze, and many, many others. Kurifuji herself was a three-quarters-sister to Happy Light, and a full sister to the Tenno Sho winner Happy Might and the Yushun Himba third Wald.

With such a blue blood, it's no surprise Kurifuji was unbeaten in 11 starts, winning the Tokyo Yushun over the Satsuki Sho second Fujihaya, the Yushun Himba over the Oka Sho winner Miss Theft and the Kikuka Sho over the Tenno Sho winner Hiro Sakura. At a broodmare, Kurifuji family didn't continue for too long, but she was able to produce the Oka Sho third and the Meguro Kinen second filly Ichijo, both the Oka Sho and the Yushun Himba winner and the Kikuka Sho third Yamaichi, and Homaremon, a rival of another Hall of Fame member Hakuchikara, who ran second in the Meguro Kinen or the Tenno Sho. Ichijo's son Shimofusa Homare later won the Yasuda Kinen.

Tokitsukaze

b.f. 1944; Primero - Daigo Manna, Shian Mor - Manna, Clackmannan

A bay filly Tokitsukaze was born in 1944 and started her career shortly after the war. She was a daughter of both the Irish Derby and the Irish St. Leger winner Primero, who stood in Japan for 19 years and had huge impact on local breeding; his best runners include the Tokyo Yushun winners Minami Homare and Tachikaze, the Triple Crown near-miss Kumono Hana and the double classic winners Kurino Hana and Tosa Midori. He is also a paternal grandsire of Hakuchikara and the damsire of Horse of the Year Kodama, both being Hall of Fame members. His son Yashima Manna, from the same family as Tokitsukaze, was the damsire of another Hall of Fame member Takeshiba O. As for family, Tokitsukaze is a close relative to the double classic winner Kumono Hana and his full sister, the Oka Sho winner Yashima Belle - they share the same sire and their dams are full sisters. In addition to that, their family of Daisan Frustrate produced the Tokyo Yushun winners Ieryu and Miharu O, the Tokyo Yushun second and the Kikuka Sho third Tayeama, the Oka Sho second and the Kikuka Sho third Shigefuji, and the Yushun Himba third Hideharu.

Tokitsukaze won the Satsuki Sho over Matsu Midori, but got beaten by him in the Tokyo Yushun; she went on to win the Yushun Himba over Theftess, who won both autumn and spring edition of the Meguro Kinen. Overall, she won 11 of 30 starts, and placed in other 8. As a broodmare Tokitsuzake produced O Tokitsu – the winner of the Tokyo Yushun, second from the Kikuka Sho and the Japanese Horse of the Year 1955. Another her foals was Onward There, who ran second in the Kikuka Sho and second to Hakuchikara in the Arima Kinen in 1957; a year later, he won the Arima Kinen, the Tenno Sho (Spring) and the Nikkei Sho, and was voted both the champion older male and the Horse of the Year of 1958. The third son Mineno Hikari was "only" placed in future G2 races, but worth mentioning is also one daughter of Tokitsuzake, Marianna by Gay Time - she's a direct female ancestress of not only the St. Lite Kinen G2 winner Sunday Well, but also the Yushun Himba winner from 1999 Umeno Fiber, and her grandson, the G2 winner of 2014 Verde Green.

Tosa Midori

b.c. 1946; Primero - Flippancy, Flamboyant - Slip, Robert le Diable

Tosa Midori was a bay half-brother to St. Lite by Primero, who was mentioned a few moments ago. He won 21 of 31 starts, including the Satsuki Sho and the Kikuka Sho over the Oka Sho second Shigefuji. Another good result came two years later from an unknown reason when Tosa Midori ran second in the Tenno Sho (Spring) to Takakura Yama but defeated Hatakaze, who was a winner of both the Tenno Sho and the Meguro Kinen. As a sire, Tosa Midori was second twice on general sires' list in 1958 and 1959; he sired the Kikuka Sho winner and both the Satsuki Sho and the Tokyo Yushun placed Kitano-O, the Tokyo Yushun winner Komatsu Hikari, the Kikuka Sho winners Kitano Oza and Hirokimi, a double classic-placed colt Matsukaze O, a triple classic-placed filly Tosa Mor, the Yushun Himba second Edohime or the Satsuki Sho second colt Shogun. Later he became the damsire of the classic-winning fillies I T O, Hatsuyuki, Tamami, Takaeno Kaori and Oyama Tesco, and the ancestor of classic winners Ines Fuijin and Erebus.

Tokino Minoru

b.c. 1948; Theft - Daini Tyrant's Queen, Soldennis - Tyrant's Queen, Phalaris

Tokino Minoru was a bay colt by Theft, a very unlucky horse, who lost the National Breeders' Produce Stakes only to Bahram; the same horse defeated him in the Two Thousand Guineas. In the Eclipse Stakes, Theft defeated Fair Trial, but ran only second to Windsor Lad; and in the Grand International d'Ostende, he was defeated by the Grand Prix de Paris winner Admiral Drake, and by great Corrida. Theft was sold to Japan after one year at stud, leaving probably only a few foals; in Japan, he produced numerous good horses, including the Oka Sho winners Miss Theft and Tosa Mitsuru, the Yushun Himba winners Yashima Hime, King Night and Koma Minoru, the Oka Sho and the Yushun Himba winner Swee Sue, the Kikuka Sho winner High Record and the Tokyo Yushun and the Satsuki Sho winner Bostonian. Also, his son Hayatake became the damsire of Shinzan. Tokino Minoru's family wasn't any particularly strong; Tyrant's Queen, who was sent to Japan, was a half-sister to Silver Mist, who produced Quibu's sire Meadow, and also Sol Oriens; in Japan, her daughters produced the Satsuki Sho third Tokino Daigo and only a good filly Komano Hana. Tokino Minoru's full sister Darling produced the Kikuka Sho third Shige Minoru, and the family of their half-sister Izutada leads from the double classic winner Max Beauty to Kokorono Ai, a G1-placed filly in 2014.

Tokino Minoru was undefeated in ten starts. He won the Asahi Hai Sansai Stakes at two over Issei; he defeated the duo Issei and Mitsuhata in both the Satsuki Sho and the Toyko Yushun. It's worth saying that Issei was able to win the Yasuda Kinen on the rare occasion when he wasn't beaten by the other two; Mitsuhata won both the St. Lite Kinen and the Mainichi Okan and added a spring editions of both the Tenno Sho and the Meguro Kinen the next spring. As for Tokino Minoru, both race record and his life were cut too short, as he succumbed to tetanus on the 20th June 1951, at the age of three.

Hakuchikara

ch.c. 1953; Tobisakura - Noborishiro, Diolite - Cleopatra Tomas, Campfire

Hakuchikara's sire Tobisakura was a son of Primero, who stood in Japan for 19 years and had a huge impact on Japanese breeding, and his dam hailed from the unsuccessful, yet the royally-bred branch of the family of Isinglass. Hakuchikara's own family was, on the other hand, very successful in Japan, with horses like the Oka Sho winner Hamakaze, the Tenno Sho winner Takakura Yama, the St. Lite Kinen winner Masamune, and above all, with the Tokyo Yushun winner and the Hall of Fame member Kumohata.

Hakuchikara placed in the Asahi Hai Sansai Stakes at two, and in his classic season, he won the Tokyo Yushun as his lone top success. But he returned in a great form at the age of four, winning the Arima Kinen, Tenno Sho (Spring), and several future G2 races - the Meguro Kinen, the Nikkei Sho, and the Mainichi Okan. He also placed in the Yasuda Sho. He was reportedly voted the champion older horse and the Horse of the year, and from 1955 to 1958, he won 20 of his 38 starts. In May 1958, Hakuchikara was sent to the United States with hopes to run him in the Hollywood Gold Cup; however, after some troubles with feeding, he ran last in his American debut and next-to-last in his second start. After that, he managed to finish fourth in the Sunset Handicap behind Gallant Man, and after a rest for a few months, he ran third in the San Gabriel Handicap, a future G3 race. On the 23rd February 1959, Hakuchikara made history as the first Japanese horse, who won the U.S. stakes race. It was the Washington's Birthday Handicap, later the San Luis Obispo Handicap G2, and the huge favorite for the race was the multiple champion and the previous Horse of the Year Round Table - but he injured himself in the race and finished last, leaving the way open for the giant longshot Hakuchikara, who defeated the Argentinian-bred Anisado, a future good turf runner and third from the Man o'War Stakes. In the same year Hakuchikara was sent back to Japan for stud duties; later he was sent to India. When the Japanese racing Hall of Fame was created, Hakuchikara was inducted among the first horses.

Shinzan

b.c. 1961; Hindostan - Hayanobori, Hayatake - Daiho Buchanum Beauty, Tournesol

Shinzan was a bay colt born in 1961. His sire Hindostan was a good two-year-old, running third to Abernant in the National Breeders' Produce Stakes; later he won the Irish Derby over the future St. Leger winner Brown Rover. Hindostan left only about 40 foals from six years at stud before being sent to Japan, where he became a leading sire from 1961 to 1965; he left many important horses, including the Tokyo Yushun winner Hakusho, the Oka Sho winner Kenho, the Yushun Himba winner O Hayabusha, the Satsuki Sho winner Wild More, and, of course, Shinzan. Shinzan's damsire was the Kikuka Sho winner and the Tokyo Yushun third Hayatake, a grandson of The Tetrarch; Shinzan's family was already in Japan for four generations and was doing great. Shinzan's dam was a half-sister to the Yushun Himba winner and the Oka Sho second Jitsu Homare; their dam Daigo Buchanum Beauty was a half-sister to the Tokyo Yushun runner-ups and half-brothers Richmond and Minami, and to a mare Dayion Buchanum Beauty, who produced the Kikuka Sho winner Hakuryo - she placed in both other legs of the Triple Crown, and became a granddam of another Kikuka Sho winner and the Hall of Fame member Meiji Hikari.

Shinzan won 15 of his 19 starts, and placed in other four; he became the second winner of the Japanese Triple Crown, in addition to a victory in the Spring Stakes. He earned the title of the champion three-year-old cold and the Horse of the Year 1964; the honor he easily repeated the next year, with another title of the champion older male after winning the Arima Kinen, the Takarazuka Kinen and the autumn editions of the Tenno Sho and the Meguro Kinen. Shinzan didn't become famous in the breeding shed, but sired several good horses, including the Kikuka Sho winner Minagawa Manna, the Satsuki Sho and the Kikuka Sho winner Miho Shinzan, the Yushun Himba second Speed Shinzan and the Kikuka Sho second Captain Namura.

Haiseiko

dkb.c. 1970; China Rock - Haiyu, Karim - Dalmogan, Beau Son

Haiseiko was born in 1970, by the John Porter Stakes winner China Rock, who already produced another Hall of Fame member Takeshiba O five years earlier; and from the family of the South Australian Derby winner Dauntless and the AJC Metropolitan Handicap winner Grand Fils.

Haiseiko was an undefeated juvenile in six starts; at the age of three, he won the Satsuki Sho but was defeated in both the Tokyo Yushun and the Kikuka Sho by Take Hope. Haiseiko won a pair of future G2 races in the Spring Stakes and the NHK Hai and finished third in the Arima Kinen behind Strong Eight and the Oka Sho winner and the champion three-year-old filly Nitto Chidori. As a four-year-old, he won the Takarazuka Kinen, as well as the Nakayama Kinen and the Takamatsunomiya Hai; in the Arima Kinen, he finished second to Tanino Chikara. At stud, Haiseiko's best runner was the Tokyo Yushun winner and the Satsuki Sho second Katsurano Haiseiko.

Tosho Boy

b.c. 1973; Tesco Boy - Social Butterfly, Your Host - Wisteria, Blue Cyprus

Tosho Boy was the youngest one of the original Hall of Fame inductees. A bay colt, born in 1973, was a son of Tesco Boy, who ran third in both the Sussex Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II. Stakes over one mile, and also third in the Champion Stakes over 10 furlongs. In his first and only year at stud in Ireland, he sired Super Honey, who ran second in the One Thousand Guineas; by the way, she was sent to Japan just like her sire. As for Tesco Boy, he became a six times leading sire in Japan - he sired the Satsuki Sho winner Land Prince; the Satsuki Sho and the Kikuka Sho winner and the Horse of the Year Kitano Kachidoki; the Oka Sho and the Yushun Himba winner Tesco Gaby; the Kikuka Sho winner Inter Gushiken, the Oka Sho winners Oyama Tesco and Horsemen Tesco, and also stallions Sakura Yutaka O and Jungle Boy, among others. Tosho Boy's dam Social Butterfly was a daughter of the Acorn Stakes-placed filly Wisteria; her son Social Climber won the Californian Stakes and was a good racehorse on the West Coast from 2 to 4. Social Butterfly produced 10 multiple winners in Japan, including the Yushun Himba second Social Tosho, the Nakayama Kinen winner Tosho Pit, and the St. Lite Kinen second Tosho Eleven.

Tosho Boy was unraced at the age of two. At three, he won the Satsuki Sho over Ten Point, the champion juvenile from the previous year and the future champion older male and the Horse of the Year 1977. He lost both the Tokyo Yushun to Climb Kaiser and the Kikuka Sho to Green Grass, a future winner of the Tenno Sho and the Arima Kinen, and the Horse of the Year 1979; however, he managed to defeat Climb Kaiser three times this season too, and won the Arima Kinen over Ten Point and the Tenno Sho winner Eyeful. Moreover, in the Kobe Shimbun Hai, Tosho Boy won in the new Japanese record time for 1 1/4 miles - 1:58.9, and was deservedly voted the Horse of the Year 1976. He didn't repeat it in the next year, but still won the Takarazuka Kinen and the Takamatsunomiya Hai, and ran second to Ten Point in the Arima Kinen. As for his stud career, Tosho Boy was the champion juvenile sire in 1982, and was second on the general list two times, third three times and got into the top ten 5 more times. He sired the Oka Sho winners Ara Hotoku and Sister Tosho, and third from the race Long Kitty and Wonder Resist; more importantly, his best son was Mr. C.B., the Japanese third Triple Crown winner, the Horse of the Year and another member of the Hall of Fame. Tosho Boy is also the third sire of Vodka - the first filly who won the Tokyo Yushun since Kurifuji in 1943; Vodka also ran second in the Oka Sho, won six G1 races including the Japan Cup, won the title of the Horse of the year twice, of course among other titles, and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 too.

Early inductees: 1985 - 1990

Seiyu and Grand Marches

Seiyu would be a curiosity in any Hall of Fame all around the world. A son of the St. James's Palace second Rising Flame, who was a Japanese leading sire three times, Seiyu's dam was the Anglo-arabian mare Teimo, whose dam Teiei was a pure Arabian. Seiyu was not only the champion Anglo-Arabian in 1957 and 1958; he also did a totally unique act: he won the St. Lite Kinen - THAT future G2 Japanese race - against thoroughbred runners, in very modern times of the year 1957.

Sadly, no closer information can be found on the internet. The same applies to Grand Marches - even his breed and pedigree is a mystery.

Mr. C.B.

dkb.c. 1980; Tosho Boy - C.B. Queen, Topyo - Meido, Admiral Byrd

Mr. C.b. was a son of Hall of Famer Tosho Boy, and a grandson of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Topyo, who left only a few foals in Japan before his death at the age of eleven. The original female ancestress, who was sent to Japan, was a Wyndham daughter Chill Wind in the 1950s, and she became a successful dam, producing the Satsuki Sho second and the Tokyo Yushun third Meitai, as well as Meizui, who won both these classic races and ran second in the Arima Kinen, which earned him the title of the champion three-year-old colt and also the Horse of the Year honors. Chill Wind's daughter Meiwa became a granddam of C.B. Queen, who not only ran third in the Yushun Himba but also defeated colts in both the Mainichi Okan and the Keio Hai Spring Handicap at the age of four and five. Her only known offspring was Mr. C.B.

Mr. C.B. became the third Japanese Triple Crown winner, and won all these races over proven Japanese G2 horses Mejiro Mont Cenis, Bingo Kanta, and Shin Brown; he also added the Yayoi Sho over a former G1-placed juvenile Speed Tri. No need to say he was voted both the champion three-year-old colt and the Horse of the year 1983. As a four-year-old, Mr. C.B. still had a good season, winning the Tenno Sho (Autumn) over the Arima Kinen second Tudenham King and the champion older mare Long Grace; he added second places in the Mainichi Okan and the Sankei Osaka Hai. In the Arima Kinen, he met another Triple Crown winner Symboli Rudolf - and finished third behind him and Tudenham King. However, Mr. C.B. wasn't any successful sire, leaving only the Satsuki Sho second Shako Grade, and the Japan Cup Dirt winner Wing Arrow.

Mejiro Ramonu

br.f. 1983; Mogami - Mejiro Hiryu, Never Beat - Amazon Warrior, Khaled

Mejiro Ramonu was the first filly, who won the Japanese Fillies' Triple Crown, and the only one who won its original version with the Queen Elizabeth II. Commemorative Cup as its final leg - it has been replaced by the Shuka Sho in 1996, ten years after Mejiro Ramonu's victory. Her sire was Mogami, a minor stakes winner and only fourth in the Prix Jean Prat. Mogami was sent to Japan immediately after his retirement, and he sired two classic winners in the first two crops - and only two other G1 winners in the next 15 years. Except for Mejiro Ramonu, who was the member of his second crop, Mogami was the sire of Sirius Symboli, the Tokyo Yushun winner, who went to race in Europe thirty years before it became usual. His biggest success there was the classic Prix Royal-Oak, where he finished third to Mersey; one year later, he finished second to her in the Prix Foy. However, Sirius Symboli competed in many races, which are worth listing: the King George VI. and Queen Elizabeth Stakes , where he finished eighth; the Grosser Preis von Baden G1 - fourth to Gold And Ivory; the Prix d'Hedouville - fifth to Baby Turk; the Gran Premio di Milano G1 - fifth to Tommy Way; the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - fourteenth; the Prix du Conseil de Paris G2 - fourth to Altayan; the Prix Edmond Blanc - fourth to Highest Honor; and the Prix Ganay - seventh to Triptych. Sirius Symboli spent two years in Europe and returned to Japan in 1987 - still good enough to finish second in the Mainichi Okan to the double champion Oguri Cap. That's for quite a special horse, who certainly deserves to be mentioned when speaking about Mogami. Mejiro Ramonu was out of a multiple winner Mejiro Hiryu, by Hethersett's half-brother Never Beat, who was another Japanese leading sire; the family traces back to the French classic winner Diavolezza, but never was too successful.

Mejiro Ramonu was the Japanese champion two-year-old filly, with her biggest success being the Tokyo Sansai Himba Stakes; at the age of three, she was simply undestroyable, winning not only all legs of the fillies Triple Crown but also G2 trials for all of them, from seven furlongs to a mile and a half. Overall she won 9 of 12 starts. As a broodmare, she produced five winners, and her family is still alive. Its best member is Field Rouge, who was a G1 winner and two-times placed in the Japan Cup Dirt, to Alondate and Vermilion.

Symboli Rudolf

b.c. 1981; Partholon - Sweet Luna, Speed Symboli - Dance Time, Palestine

A bay colt Symboli Rudolf was the fourth Triple Crown winner after St. Lite, Shinzan, and Mr. C.B., but was the first one who finished the series unbeaten. His sire was Partholon, the former British top juvenile, but later only a good stayer; his biggest victory, aside from the National Produce Stakes, was the Ebor Handicap over 1 3/4 miles. However, he became the three times champion sire in Japan - in 1971 for the first time, and again 13 years later thanks to Symboli Rudolf. His winning dam Sweet Luna was a daughter of Speed Symboli, who won not only the Tenno Sho (Spring) and the Takarazuka Kinen but also two editions of the Arima Kinen - and placed in another two, in the span of five years of his racing career. It's worth mentioning that a granddam of Sweet Luna was Samaritaine, a full sister to the Prix Royal Oak winner Samaritain.

Symboli Rudolf was the absolute king of Japanese racing seasons 1984 and 1985, winning not only the championship titles for his age but also the Horse of the Year honors both times. As a three-year-old, he added the Arima Kinen over Katsuragi Ace and Mr. C.B. to his Triple Crown score; it's worth saying that Katsuragi Ace was the horse who defeated him in the Japan Cup, together with Bedtime; he was a G1 winner this season by himself. Another defeat Symboli Rudolf suffered was at the age of four in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), to virtually much weaker Gallop Dyna, who was going to win his only other G1 race in the next season; aside from that, Symboli Rudolf won the Tenno Sho (Spring), the Arima Kinen and the Japan Cup, to make it pretty clear who's the best horse in the country. Symboli Rudolf was no great sire either, but he did sire Tokai Teio, the Horse of the Year 1991 after winning both the Satsuki Sho and the Tokyo Yushun; he added the Japan Cup triumph over great Australian colt Naturalism in 1992, and the Arima Kinen over the champion three-year-old colt and the Horse of the year Biwa Hayahide in 1993.

Kodama

ch.c. 1957; Bouffleur - Shiraoki, Primero - Daini Star Cup, Diolite

A chestnut colt Kodama was a son of Bouffleur, by Prince Chevalier, who was unable to place in his only start. He was sent to Japan directly after his racing career, but it seems to left only three crops of foals there. He sired several good foals, including Helios, Edelweiss or Emroan, but Kodama, a member of his first crop, was far the best. Kodama's dam was Shiraoki, who placed in both the Tokyo Yushun and Yushun Himba. Shiraoki was the descendant of a very strong family - she was a half-sister to another classic-placed colt Homare Ichi, and her dam Star Cup was a half-sister to another two classic-producing broodmares, including Tokino Takara, whose daughter Kenho was the Japanese champion three-year-old filly. The fourth dam of Kodama was Flora Cup, who produced influential local sire Hakuryu by Rushdear. Other branches of the family lead to Tokyo Yushun winners Minami Homare and Matsu Midori. As for Shiraoki herself, she also produced Satsuki Sho winner Shin Tsubame, and her family is still active today, having no troubles in producing such horses like the Oka Sho winner Sister Tosho, the Kikuka Sho winner Matikanefukukitaru, the Tokyo Yushun and Japan Cup winner Special Week or mighty champion Vodka in the process.

Kodama, who was born good fifty years before his family's co-Hall of Famer Vodka, won 12 of 17 starts, including both the Satsuki Sho and Tokyo Yushun, in addition to the Takarazuka Kinen and several G2 races. He was voted both the champion three-year-old colt and the Horse of the year 1960. He spent several years at stud with limited success. His far the best foal was the Oka Sho winner Hide Kotobuki, and he was a grandsire of Inter Gloria, who won the Oka Sho and Queen Elizabeth II. Commemorative Cup in 1977; at the age of four, she added the Milers Cup against males and the second-place finish in the Arima Kinen. She was voted the Japanese champion filly both these seasons. And finally, Kodama is also the third sire of the Kikuka Sho winner and the Tokyo Yushun second Leo Durban.

Maruzensky

b.c. 1974; Nijinsky - Shill, Buckpasser - Quill, Princequillo

A bay colt Maruzensky, who resembled his sire Nijinsky a lot despite his much darker coat, was a regally-bred colt born in 1974 in Japan, after being imported in utero. There's no need to comment on the Triple Crown winner and excellent sire Nijinsky, and so it's for Maruzensky's granddam Quill, the U.S. Champion two-year-old filly, whose immediate family is well known and includes horses like Count Amber, Traffic, Run the Gantlet, One For All, Caucasus or Vettori. Things sometimes don't work for the blue-blooded horses, but that was not the case for Maruzensky, who exited his racing career unbeaten in 8 starts and earned the title of the champion 2-year-old colt in Japan after winning several stakes races, including the most important one, the Asahi Hai Sansai Stakes. At the age of three, he added Nikkei Sho to his score.

This would be too little for his Hall of Fame induction, but Maruzensky turned out to be a very influential sire, with the Kikuka Sho winners Horisky and Leo Durban, the Tokyo Yushun winner Sakura Chiyono O, the Satsuki Sho third Ancestry, and the Oka Sho second Hokuto Venus, in addition to being a damsire of the Kikuka Sho winner Rice Shower, the Tokyo Yushun winners Winning Ticket and Special Week, the Satsuki Sho and Kikuka Sho second Royal Touch, the Tokyo Yushun and Kikuka Sho third Mejiro Bright, the Kikuka Sho third Mega Stardom and Erimo Brian, the Satsuki Sho second Take Mikazuchi and Sakura President, the Yushun Himba second Yuki Vivace and the Oka Sho winner and the Yushun Himba third Primo Ordine, to name only successful classic runners. It's worth noting that Special Week, a son of Sunday Silence and double classic-placed colt, and also the Japan Cup winner aside of his Derby victory, was a successful sire on his own, best known for great fillies Buena Vista and Cesario, who had unique record of being Japanese Oaks winner and the 'American Oaks' winner in one season - and despite the fact that this is no recognizable classic double, it's still not usual to win G1 race in the United States in the first try, right off the classic victory in Japan. However, it's safe to say that Maruzensky's blood will continue for a while in Japan bloodlines.

Meiji Hikari

br.c. 1952; Kumohata - Shirahata, Primero - Daiyon Buchanum Beauty, Diolite

Out of five inductees in 1990, Meiji Hikari was the oldest one, born in 1952. He was a son of the oldest Hall of Fame member Kumohata, by both the year of birth and the year of induction, and not only his dam was a full sister to the Yushun Himba second Kaneyuki and the Triple Crown spoiler Hakuryo, but he also shares the third dam Buchanum Beauty with another Hall of Famer Shinzan. Another interesting fact that his dam had exactly the same combination of Primero, Diolite and Shian Mor in her pedigree like the dam of Kodama, who was born five years later.

Meiji Hikari won 16 of his 21 starts and was both the champion three-year-old and four-year-old, as well as the Horse of the Year 1956. His victories included the Asahi Hai Sansai Stakes at two, the Kikuka Sho at three, and the Tenno Sho (Spring) at four. He also won the Nakayama Grand Prix in 1956, defeating the double champion Kitano-O, who was a rival to another Hall of Famer Hakuchikara. Meiji Hikari spent reportedly 20 years at stud, but sired only two classic-placed fillies Milford and Myosotis, and was the damsire of the Japanese champion filly Tomei.

Speed Symboli

dkb.c. 1963; Royal Challenger - Sweet Inn, Rising Light - Feenagh, Orthodox

A dark bay colt Speed Symboli was already mentioned as a damsire of Symboli Rudolf. Speed Symboli's sire was the Middle Park Stakes winner and later the Champion Stakes third Royal Challenger; his breeding career in Japan lasted 13 years, but Speed Symboli is actually the only horse worth mentioning. His dam Sweet Inn hails from the family of Irish classic-placed Beaucaire, who was later a G1 winner in Venezuela, and the Ascot Gold Cup winner Tiberius. Other branches of the family later produced horses like the St. Leger winner Commanche Run, the Irish Oaks winner Swiftfoot and the One Thousand Guineas winner Full Dress, or even the Argentinian-bred Pico Central, who won three G1 handicaps in the United States in 2004.

Speed Symboli was unique for his class and toughness. He was slightly below the top of his generation at the age of three, running third in both the St. Lite Kinen and Arima Kinen, and second in the classic Kikuka Sho behind the Tokyo Yushun third Nasuno Kotobuki. He won three G2 races, and also the Tenno Sho (Spring) at the age of four, which may seem too little to earn the championship honors, but the fact is that in three of these races Speed Symboli clearly defeated Kabuto Cito - a horse who won this year's editions of the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Arima Kinen, which says a lot. His five-year-old season was not so successful, but Speed Symboli won the Copa Jockey Club Argentina and ran third for the second time in the Arima Kinen. In 1969 he finally won this prestigious race, as well as the Meguro Kinen and some other starts, but he shone again at the age of 7, winning both the Takarazuka Kinen and the Arima Kinen, and defeating former Kikuka Sho winners Akane Tenryu and Date Tenryu, the Yasuda Kinen-placed Hakusetsu, the Tenno Sho-placed Ho-Un and the Meguro Kinen winner Takebue, which was enough to earn him another championship honors for the best older horse in the country. Speed Symboli was standing at stud for 16 years but left nothing more than a G2 winner Pure Symboli, and the Satsuki Sho-placed Material; and, of course, the mighty Symboli Rudolf.

Ten Point

ch.c. 1973; Contrite - Wakakumo, Cover Up Nisei - Kumowaka, Theft

An impressively-looking chestnut colt Ten Point was a grandson of Never Say Die, sired by the Irish G2-placed horse by the name of Contrite. Despite the fact that his family was quite successful, it never produced a single good stallion, and Contrite didn't do any better in Japan. On the other hand, Ten Point's family of the U.S.-bred Peter Pan daughter Ima Baby was highly successful in Japan: Sunderland, a filly, ran second in the Tokyo Yushun, Kamiwaka ran third in the race behind no-one else than St. Lite, and another daughter Toyowaka ran second in the Kikuka Sho. The oldest of her Japanese-bred foals, Elegalla Thomas by Sir Gallahad, produced Hachi Akijawa, who ran third in the Yushun Himba behind Kurifuji, and Kumowaka, who ran second in the Oka Sho. It was Kumowaka who extended the family to Wakakumo, the Oka Sho winner and the dam of Ten Point, and also the granddam and the third dam of the classic-placed colts Waka Tenzan and Fujiyama Kenzan. Kumowaka's half-sister Okakumo is the third dam of Diana Tholon, who won the Oka Sho, ran second in the Yushun Himba and third in the Queen Elizabeth II. Commemorative Cup, which earned her the title of the champion three-year-old filly in 1984.

Ten Point himself earned the two-year-old championship honors after winning the Hanshin Sansai Stakes, but as a three-year-old, he met a better rival in Tosho Boy. Ten Point ran second in the Satsuki Sho behind Tosho Boy, and also in the Kikuka Sho behind Green Grass, with Tosho Boy back in the third place. But Tosho Boy ran second in the Tokyo Yushun and defeated Ten Point also in the Arima Kinen, which secured him the champion title for the three-year-old colt. However, cards turned once more the next season, when Tosho Boy won only the Takarazuka Kinen, and Ten Point ruled with several G2 victories and triumphs in both the Tenno Sho (Spring) and the Arima Kinen. He was voted both the champion older male and the Horse of the Year 1977. Ten Points was scheduled to race as a five-year-old, and he started his season right in January, in the Nikkei Shinshin Hai. Unfortunately, he broke down and had to be euthanized.

Inductees of 1990s

Oguri Cap

gr.c. 1985; Dancing Cap - White Narubi, Silver Shark - Never Narubi, Never Beat

Oguri Cap was a grey colt by both grey parents. His sire Dancing Cap was only a minor stakes winner by Native Dancer from a quite weak family, although his dam was the July Cup G2 winner. Oguri Cap's family was in Japan for six generations already and had its origin in Australia, where it produced the Australian Cup winner Heroic Prince. Once it came to Japan with a mare named Shrilly, it produced three-times classic-placed filly Queen Narubi, who ran third in the Derby and also was a winner of the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and second from the Tenno Sho (Spring) the next year. From some different branches, Aurora ran third in the Oka Sho, and Tosa Mitsuru won this classic race. Queen Narubi wasn't any great mother, and it took the family five more generations before it produced three G1 horses - Oguri Cap in 1985, his half-sister Oguri Roman in 1991, and Kyoei March in 1995. Both fillies were the Oka Sho winners.

As for Oguri Cap, his racing career was long and impressive. He won five stakes races as a two-year-old, and at three, he received the JRA Award for the best three-year-old colt, but in the way that is really rarely seen. The Satsuki Sho this year was won by Yaeno Muteki, who won only another two G2 races this season. The Kikuka Sho was won by Super Creek, who only placed in a single other G2 race. Sirius Symboli, who won the Tokyo Yushun, went to race to Europe - and before his Derby victory, he got beaten by Oguri Cap in the Mainichi Okan G2. Oguri Cap, on the other hand, won three G3 races and three G2 races - in addition to the Mainichi Okan it was also the New Zealand Trophy and the Takamatsunomiya Hai, and lost the super fast edition of the Tenno Sho (Autumn) only to Tamamo Cross, who had a fantastic four-year-old season and was named the Horse of the Year. As if it wasn't enough, Oguri Cap managed to defeat Tamamo Cross in the Arima Kinen and ran third in the Japan Cup - behind proven U.S. G1 warrior Pay the Butler and Tamamo Cross. This was fairly enough to declare him the best three-year-old in the country. At the age of four, Oguri Cap wasn't the same kind of sensation he was the year before, but he won the Mile Championship in a fast time over the Yasuda Kinen winner Bamboo Memory and Hokuto Helios, who finished second in this race the previous year. He also won the All Comers and finished second to Super Creek in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). He was awarded the JRA Special award this season, but returned for another year, and after winning both the Yasuda Kinen in new Tokyo track record for one mile - 1:32.4, and the Arima Kinen over double classic-placed colt Mejiro Ryan, Oguri Cap was voted both the champion older horse and the Horse of the Year 1990. Oguri Cap also became a stallion, but once again, he left no important mark in Japan - his very best foal was probably a G3-placed filly named Aramasa Cap.

Mejiro McQueen

gr.c. 1987; Mejiro Titan - Mejiro Aurora, Remand - Mejiro Iris, Hindostan

Another grey colt in the Hall of Fame was the great-grandson of imported stallion Partholon. His sire Mejiro Titan won both the St. Lite Kinen and the Tenno Sho (Autumn), and his grandsire Mejiro Asama won the Yasuda Kinen and the Tenno Sho (Autumn), and ran second in the Arima Kinen, among many other great results. By the way, Mejiro Asama hailed from the family of La Troienne. As for Mejiro McQueen's own family, he shares also something else with Oguri Cap other than colour: long Japanese female line, tracing back 8 generations to the beginning of the 20th century. The original imported mare was Astonishment by Quickly Wise, from quite an unimportant family; her own family blossomed in Japan through her three daughters and produced many classic horses. Her daughter Daini Astonishment was the third dam of the Hall of Famer Kurifuji, as well as a dam of Augment, who was responsible for the widest and most successful part of the family. However, its only tiny and unimportant branch led to Asama Yuri, the third dam of Mejiro McQueen, who finally got the family some importance with a G1 winner and multiple G1-colt placed Regent Bluff, the Yushun Himba third Mejiro Heine and the Takarazuka Kinen and the Tenno Sho (Autumn) second Mejiro Thomas. Mejiro Thomas was actually three-quarters brother to the Kikuka Sho and Arima Kinen winner Mejiro Duren, as they shared the sire Fidion, and Mejiro Duren was, finally, a half-brother to Mejiro McQueen himself.

Mejiro McQueen won the Kikuka Sho as a three-year-old, but being an ultra stayer, his best form came much later: at the age of four, he won both the Kyoto Daishoten and the Hanshin Daishoten, the latter in the new course record; in addition to these smaller races, he won the Tenno Sho (Spring) and ran second in both the Takarazuka Kinen and the Arima Kinen. The former was won by Mejiro Ryan, who placed in all three classic races the previous year, before running second to Oguri Cap in the Arima Kinen. In the latter race, a previously G2-placed colt Dayiusaku needed a new track record to defeat Mejiro McQueen. At the end of the season Mejiro McQueen was voted the champion older horse of 1991 - the honor he never repeated, although he managed to win another edition of the Tenno Sho (Spring) in 1992, and lost the amazing treble in 1993 only to the classic winner Rice Shower, who needed another new track record in order to defeat Mejiro McQueen. Mejiro McQueen himself added another record for 1 1/2 miles in Kyoto when he won the Kyoto Daishoten G2 in 2:22.7 over the Japan Cup winner Legacy World. Mejiro McQueen also won the Takarazuka Kinen that season. Overall, Mejiro McQueen was a G1 winner four years in a row; and despite he wasn't any top stallion, he got two horses who made him unforgettable. The first one is the Japanese champion three-year-old colt Gold Ship, who inherited not only Mejiro McQueen's grey colour, but also a lot of talent, as he won both the Satsuki Sho and Kikuka Sho, and also the Arima Kinen in his classic season; later he added two editions of the Takarazuka Kinen, and he lost two more editions of the Arima Kinen to the greats like Orfevre and Gentildonna. Speaking of Orfevre, he's the second superstar grandson of Mejiro McQueen - and another Hall of Fame member, who will be mentioned in a while.

Tokai Teio

b.c. 1988; Symboli Rudolf - Tokai Natural, Nice Dancer - Tokai Midori, Faberge

Tokai Teio was a bay son of Symboli Rudolf, from the family of Alzada - a very special mare, who was imported in foal from the United States and gave birth to a chestnut colt named Tsukitomo, a son of Man o'War. Tsukitomo was unraced in Japan, but he was the foundation sire and ancestor of many classic horses. Only two years after Tsukitomo Alzada produced his half-sister by great Tournesol, and this bay filly by the name of Hisatomo won more than a half of her 31 starts, including the Tokyo Yushun 1937. However, Hisatomo's family survived in only one tiny branch, which led, after four generations, to Tokai Midori, a dam of the Yushun Himba winner Tokai Roman. Tokai Roman's half-sister Tokai Natural was unraced, but she produced at least six multiple winners, including Tokai Teio and much later also successful G2 runners and full brothers Tokai Oza and Tokai Elite by Sunday Silence.

Tokai Teio reportedly ran only twelve times in four years. He was a stakes winner at two, and the Satsuki Sho and the Tokyo Yushun winner at three, which earned him both the title for the champion three-year-old colt, and the Horse of the year honors. He also won the Japan Cup at the age of four, defeating Australian multiple G1 winner Naturalism and G1-winning globetrotter Dear Doctor. After he added the Arima Kinen at the age of five, defeating this year's champion three-year-old colt and the Horse of the Year Biwa Hayahide, he received the JRA Special Award. Just like his sire, Tokai Teio wasn't any successful sire, but he left a pair of classic-placed foals in Titanic O and Yamanin Sucre.

To be continued...

List of JRA Racing Hall of Fame inductees

Ind.NameBornPedigreeStatsMajor achievements
1984Kumohata1936Tournesol - Fairy Maiden, Gnome21 Starts: 9 - 5 - 3,
JPY 74,414
Japanese champion sire for six years in a row (1952 - 1957)
1984St. Lite1938Diolite - Flippancy, Flamboyant12 Starts: 9 - 2 - 1,
JPY 87,400
The first winner of the Japanese Triple Crown
1984Kurifuji1940Tournesol - Kenfuji, Chapel Brampton11 Starts: 11 - 0 - 0,
JPY 73,200
Second female winner of the Tokyo Yushun; successful dam
1984Tokitsukaze1944Primero - Daigo Manna, Shian Mor30 Starts: 11 - 4 - 4,
JPY 1,315,810
Classic winner and dam of two Horses of the year
1984Tosa Midori1946Primero - Flippancy, Flamboyant31 Starts: 21 - 4 - 0,
JPY 5,494,060
Double classic winner and successful sire
1984Tokino Minoru1948Theft - Daini Tyrant's Queen, Soldennis10 Starts: 10 - 0 - 0
?
Double classic winner; died of tetatnus in the middle of his three-year-old season
1984Hakuchikara1953Tobisakura - Noborishiro, Diolite49 Starts: 21 - 8 - 2,
JPY 14,950,000 + $57,050
Horse of the Year and the first Japanese horse who won a stakes race in the United States
1984Shinzan1961Hindostan - Hayanobori, Hayatake19 Starts: 15 - 4 - 0,
JPY 60,219,700
The second Japanese Triple Crown winner.
1984Haiseiko1970China Rock - Haiu, Karim22 Starts: 13 - 4 - 2,
JPY 219,539,600
Classic winner and double classic placed.
1984Tosho Boy1973Tesco Boy - Social Butterfly, Your Host15 Starts: 10 - 3 - 1,
JPY 280,774,800
Horse of the Year 1976.
1985Grand Marches
1985Seiyu1954Rising Flame - TeimoAngloarabian winner of the St. Lite Kinen
1986Mr. C.B.1980Tosho Boy - C. B. Queen, Topyo15 Starts: 8 - 3 - 1,
JPY 409,598,100
The third Japanese Triple Crown winner, Horse of the year
1987Mejiro Ramonu1983Mogami - Mejiro Hiryu, Never Beat12 Starts: 9 - 0 - 0,
JPY 311,920,100
The first Japanese Fillies' Triple Crown winner
1987Symboli Rudolf1981Partholon - Sweet Luna, Speed Symboli16 Starts: 13 - 1 - 1,
JPY 684,824,200
The first unbeaten Triple Crown winner
1990Kodama1957Bouffleur - Shiraoki, Primero17 Starts: 12 - 2 - 1,
JPY 18,162,300
Double classic winner
1990Maruzensky1974Nijinsky - Shill, Buckpasser8 Starts: 8 - 0 - 0,
$835,844
Influential sire
1990Meiji Hikari1952Kumohata - Shirahata, Primero21 Starts: 16 - 2 - 1,
JPY 10,427,040
Double champion and Horse of the Year
1990Speed Symboli1963Royal Challenger - Sweet Inn, Rising Light43 Starts: 17 - 5 - 5,
JPY 163,207,050
Double champion and Horse of the Year
1990Ten Point1973Contrite - Wakakumo, Cover Up Nisei18 Starts: 11 - 4 - 1,
JPY 328,415,400
Double champion and Horse of the Year
1991Oguri Cap1985Dancing Cap - White Narubi, Silver Shark32 Starts: 22 - 6 - 1,
JPY 912,512,000
Double champion and Horse of the Year
1994Mejiro McQueen1987Mejiro Titan - Mejiro Aurora, Remand21 Starts: 12 - 6 - 1,
JPY 1,014,657,700
Champion older horse
1995Tokai Teio1988Symboli Rudolf - Tokai Natural, Nice Dancer12 Starts: 9 - 0 - 0,
JPY 625,633,500
Champion three-year-old colt and Horse of the Year
1998Narita Brian1991Brian's Time - Pacificus, Northern Dancer21 Starts: 12 - 3 - 1,
JPY 1,026,916,000
The fifth Japanese Triple Crown winner, champion two-year-old colt, three-year-old colt and Horse of the Year 1994
1999Taiki Shuttle1994Devil's Bag - Welsh Muffin, Caerleon13 Starts: 11 - 1 - 1,
JPY 615,485,000 + Fr.1,000,000
Multiple champion and Horse of the Year 1998
2004Takeshiba O1965China Rock - Takatsunami, Yashima Manna29 Starts: 16 - 10 - 1,
JPY 113,654,200
Double classic-placed and runner in the Washington D.C. International
2004T M Opera O1996Opera House - Once Wed, Blushing Groom26 Starts: 14 - 6 - 3,
JPY 1,835,189,000
Double champion and Horse of the Year
2008Deep Impact2002Sunday Silence - Wind in Her Hair, Alzao14 Starts: 12 - 1 - 0,
JPY 1,454,551,000
The second undefeated Japanese Triple Crown winner, double Horse of the Year
2011Vodka2004Tanino Gimlet - Tanino Sister, Rousillon26 Starts: 10 - 5 - 3,
JPY 1,304,876,000 + $257,500
Female winner of the Tokyo Yushun and double Horse of the Year
2014El Condor Pasa1995Kingmambo - Saddlers' Gal, Sadler's Wells11 Starts: 8 - 3 - 0,
$3,567,444
Double champion and Horse of the year, G1 winner in France
2015Orfevre2008Stay Gold - Oriental Art, Mejiro McQueen21 Starts: 12 - 6 - 1,
JPY 1,344,084,000 + €2,159,880
Double champion and Horse of the Year