The run of successes by US-bred yearlings in Russia and her republics is now translating to the next stage: broodmares exported there (or to Russian owners in Europe) in foal to US sires are producing locally bred winners. More to the point, US bloodstock appears to be dominating the bloodlines imported from Europe, mostly because racing in Russia is on dirt or in some cases on all weather, but not on turf—the preferred surface for European sires. This was evident Monday, Aug. 8, in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, where the local Derby at 2400 meters on dirt was staged at the Nalchik Hippodrome, and the winner was by the Walmac horse Successful Appeal.
Earlier this year the winner of the prestigious President of the Russian Federation Stakes was sired by Gainesway’s Afleet Alex. That race, too, was held at 2400 meters on dirt.
Prince Lama, the Kabardino-Balkaria Derby winner, is a homebred for Zaur Sekrekov, one of the more prominent owners in Russia. The Kingmambo dam of Prince Lama, Princess Cha Cha, was sold for $37,000 (carrying the future Derby winner) at the 2007 Keeneland November sale by Four Star Sales to GEO S.L., an entity known for buying for Russian owners. Prince Lama was foaled in Germany.
Click here for the chart of the Kabardino-Balkaria Derby. Note that the third-place finisher, Chercess, is a Russian-bred son of Montjeu.
There’s a Wild West atmosphere to many of these Russian Republic tracks, and last year a bomb from an assassination attempt went off at the Nalchik Hippodrome, injuring at least 27 people including several government officials.
Below is a video of the 2010 Kabardino-Balkaria Derby. Note the dirt that kicks back off the track.