Foaling season is always a time of hope and excitement, but this year is even more special at Runnymede, where what is believed to be the only foal outside Japan by multiple champion and two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Conduit arrived recently.
The exceptional chestnut filly was delivered on February 24 by Josette, the young black-type producing Danehill mare Runnymede owns in partnership with longtime friend Peter Callahan.
“She is a very attractive, well-conformed bundle of energy who bears a strong resemblance to her sire,” said Runnymede Vice President and General Manager Martin O’Dowd of the filly, who is marked with a distinctive stripe and one white sock. “She is one of a kind and we have high expectations.”
Conduit, who stands at Shigeyuki Okada’s Big Red Farm on the island of Hokkaido in Japan, vanquished all challengers in the 2008 and 2009 runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park. He also won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) and the classic St. Leger (G1) in England and earned $5,815,813. Honored as champion turf male in the United States in 2008, Conduit was a three-time highweight on the English Free Handicap for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Josette was bred to Conduit in his first season at stud. Big Red Farm has confirmed that Runnymede’s foal is the only one expected to be born beyond the borders of Japan this year.
“I was an admirer of Conduit when he raced and loved him when I went to see him at Big Red Farm,” O’Dowd said of the son of Dalakhani.
Runnymede returned Josette—a ten-year-old winning half sister to English stakes winner Entice and a granddaughter of Allicance, a half sister to international sire Blushing Groom—to the farm in Paris, Kentucky, last fall. Josette’s female family includes blue hen Runnymede mare Chancey Squaw, who produced Japanese champion Agnes Digital, an earner of $8,095,160, and two other stakes winners, all bred by Runnymede in partnership with Callahan.
Before the Conduit filly, Josette produced four foals in Japan, including Deep Sound, a three-year-old colt by Deep Impact who is a classic candidate this year. A winner as a juvenile, Deep Sound recently finished third in the Kyodo News Service Hai (G3).
Her other Japanese foals include winner Sound Ballad, a four-year-old colt by Singspiel, a juvenile filly by Deep Impact and a yearling filly by Fuji Kiseki. Josette’s first foal was Helena Bay, a filly by Johannesburg who won as a juvenile for Runnymede and Callahan and who produced her first foal, a filly by Arch, at Runnymede just hours after the birth of Josette’s Conduit filly.
Both Josette and her filly are thriving. Runnymede will breed Josette back to More Than Ready, who sired two winners of Breeders’ Cup races last year and who has been a leading sire in Australia while enjoying outstanding success with Danehill mares.