One-time Kentucky Derby hopeful Nadal joins Shadai stallion roster in Japan

Horse Racing Nadal joins Shadai in Japan
Nadal: taking up stud duties in Japan after career cut short by injury. Photo: Coady

By Jon Lees

Japan: Nadal, a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby until his career was halted by a leg fracture, has arrived in Japan after being bought to stand at the Yoshida family’s Shadai Stallion Station.

The three-year-old son of Blame, who was trained by Bob Baffert, was undefeated when he suffered a condylar fracture of his near-foreleg in training.

He had won four out of four – three of them Graded stakes – including Div II of the G1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on May 2 and was being pointed at the rearranged Belmont Stakes in June when injury struck. 

His owners announced the immediate retirement of the colt who then underwent surgery.

News of his acquisition was announced by Shadai after Nadal arrived on Tuesday at the Hokkaido island base, previously the home of champions Deep Impact and Sunday Silence. He will stand alongside the likes of Lord Kanaloa, Orfevre and Heart’s Cry.

Nadal was purchased as a two-year-old by Kerri Radcliffe for $700,000 to race for a partnership that included George Bolton and Barry Lipman, and named after Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal, who last weekend won the French Open.

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