WinStar Farm release:
Summer Bird, three-time Grade 1 winner and champion 3-year-old, has been purchased by the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders’ Association and will take up stud duty in Japan.
Summer Bird stood the 2012 season at WinStar Farm after beginning his career at Pauls Mill.
“While we think Summer Bird has a tremendous chance to be a successful stallion, we were approached by Japanese interests with a strong opportunity that the share holders felt they could not pass up, and ultimately voted to do,” said Elliott Walden, President & CEO at WinStar, where Summer Bird had resided and stood at stud. “We worked the deal out so that WinStar has the option of buying back Summer Bird at the end of his stallion career, and we’ll hold money in escrow to ship him back to the United States at that time so that he can enjoy the proper retirement.”
Walden said that Summer Bird will go into a required quarantine before leaving for Japan in early December. The JBBA owns multiple successful stallion stations in Japan, and stands such leading sires as Empire Maker and Johannesburg.
Summer Bird was the runaway winner of the 2009 Eclipse Award for Champion 3-Year-Old Male after becoming the first 3-year-old since Easy Goer to win the Grade I Belmont, Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup. By Birdstone out of the Summer Squall mare Hong Kong Squall, Summer Bird earned $2,323,040 on the track.
Summer Bird bred two strong books of mares his first two years at stud, including 148 mares in 2011 and 141 mares last season. His first foals will be yearlings in 2013.