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War Emblem

War Emblem
Sire Our Emblem
Dam Sweetest Lady
Grandsire Mr. Prospector
Damsire Lord at War
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1999
Country United States
Color Dark Brown
Breeder Charles Nuckols Jr. & Sons
Owner Russell L. Reineman
The Thoroughbred Corp.
Trainer Frank R. Springer
Bob Baffert
Record 13: 7-0-0
Earnings $3,491,000
War Emblem is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Sweetest Lady by Our Emblem. He was born around 1999 in the United States, and was bred by Charles Nuckols Jr. & Sons.
Major wins

Illinois Derby (2002)
Haskell Invitational Handicap (2002)

American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (2002)
Preakness Stakes (2002)
American Champion 3-Yr-Old Male Horse (2002)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on September 7, 2007

War Emblem (foaled 1999 in Kentucky) was the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2002. This Thoroughbred's time was 2:01.13 around the 1 1/4 mile track. Victor Espinoza was his jockey for the Derby, never having seen the horse until the morning of the race. And War Emblem, who went off at 21-to-1 odds, gave trainer Bob Baffert his third Derby winner in 12 tries. War Emblem beat the likes of Medaglia d'Oro (winner of the Travers Stakes, Jim Dandy Stakes, and Whitney Handicap among others), Perfect Drift (winner of the Stephen Foster, the Indiana Derby, and the Washington Park Handicap twice, among others), and Harlan's Holiday (winner of the Florida Derby, the Pennsylvania Derby, and the Donn Handicap among others).

War Emblem's sire was Our Emblem, and his dam was Sweetest Lady. He also won the Preakness Stakes, the Haskell Invitational Handicap and had prepped for the Derby with a win at the Illinois Derby.

The Kentucky-bred War Emblem, dark brown with a stark white demarkation between his eyes lost the Triple Crown bid to Sarava at the Belmont Stakes. Sarava had odds of 70-1. He stumbled and nearly fell to his knees out of the gate coming out in last place and surged to the lead in the final turn before fading quickly at the top of the stretch. The Belmont race had biggest crowd in the track's history with 103,222.[1]

Said Baffert of the Belmont, "He was so one-dimensional and such an irritable horse as it was, as soon as he was behind horses, I had to sit there for 2 1/2 minutes waiting for the race to be over." As he approached the quarter pole, Tom Durkin called, "And War Emblem is toiling as we turn for home."

Ahmed bin Salman bought a ninety percent interest in War Emblem for $1 million from the Russell L. Reineman Stable following the horse's April 6 win in the Illinois Derby, just three weeks before the Kentucky Derby.

Career as a sire

In September 2002, War Emblem was sold to the prominent Yoshida racing family of Japan for US$17.7 million to stand at stud at their renowned Shadai Stallion Station in Shiraoi, Hokkaido.

Expected to follow in the footsteps of Shadai's great sires Northern Taste and Sunday Silence, War Emblem has had problems in the breeding shed. His matings produced only four foals in his first year at stud, then after an extended vacation, more than forty in his second, then only two in his third. In 2007, it was reported that War Emblem has rejected nearly every mare presented to him for mating.

War Emblem was represented by his first career stakes winner when Shonan Alba (Xianlang (IRE), by Great Commotion) won the Kyodo News Service Hai, an 1,800 meter listed race on Tokyo Race Course's turf course. Nearly a month later, the filly, Air Pascale (Raffica, by Sunday Silence) scored in the listed Tulip Sho at Hashin Race Course. Then, on March 22, another filly, Black Emblem (Vin de Noir, by Hector Protector), became War Emblem's third stakes winner from 26 lifetime foals with an odds-on victory in the Flower Cup at 1,800 meters at Nakayama Race Course.

As of June 8, 2008 with the assistance of a stallion behavior team from the University of Pennsylvania, War Emblem is reportedly now breeding at least one mare per day and is responding to most mares presented.[citation needed]


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