Starlight Racing has acquired a part-interest in Yoshida, 5-2 favorite for Saturday's $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), from WinStar Farm, which campaigns the 5-year-old horse with China Horse Club International and Head of Plains Racing.
The addition of Starlight gives Yoshida the same ownership as 2018 Florida Derby winner Audible, who is 10-1 in the program odds for the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1).
Starlight founder Jack Wolf hopes to continue the mojo that followed after his group leased for racing part of SF Thoroughbreds' interest in Audible, with SF asking if Starlight would also like the same deal in a 2-year-old named Justify that had just won a maiden race. Clearly that turned out well, with Justify sweeping the Triple Crown.
As with Audible and Justify, Starlight is in only for the rest of Yoshida's racing career, with no ownership in the horse's breeding rights.
Wolf has followed Yoshida literally from the time he was born. Starlight campaigned Yoshida's dam, Hilda's Passion, who won eight of 14 races capped by Saratoga's Grade 1 Ballerina by 9 1/4 lengths.
“She was one of the most brilliant horses I've ever been around,” Wolf said.
Starlight sold her for $1,225,000 to Katsumi Yoshida, a member of the prominent Japanese breeding and racing family for whom Yoshida is named. WinStar subsequently bought her first foal, the Japanese-bred Yoshida by Heart's Cry, at auction for $761,400.
“Elliott offered us a piece of the horse right after he bought him in Japan,” Wolf said, referring to WinStar president and CEO Elliott Walden. “At the time, I thought it was a bit too much to pay for the horse. Obviously I was wrong.”
The Pegasus comes two days after the ownership group celebrated unbeaten Justify being crowned Horse of the Year and 3-year-old champion. Justify, the only unraced 2-year-old to win the Kentucky Derby, sustained an injury after the Belmont Stakes and ultimately was retired to stud.
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