Slap Shot Second Japanese Winner for Air Force Blue
Air Force Blue’s Slap Shot (3c Air Force Blue x Laxfield Road, by Quality Road) became his sire’s second winner from two Japanese runners on Saturday with a maiden victory at Nakayama.
Racing over six furlongs on the dirt, Slap Shot was immediately among the front runners after the break. Racing just behind the leader throughout, Slap Shot was able to pass that rival in the stretch but still had his hands full with another horse running with him as he took the lead.
Slap Shot showed his determination in the final sixteenth of a mile as he dug deep to hold off the second place finisher by a nose for owner North Hills Co. Ltd and trainer Mashahiro Otake.
Bred by Sakurai Bokujo, Slap Shot was born in Japan after his stakes-placed dam was sold for $200,000 while carrying him. Slap Shot went on to sell as a yearling for ¥30,500,000 (approximately $305,000) at the JBBA Hokkaido Selection Yearling Sale.
Laxfield Road is a half-sister to Grade I-placed Zatter out of a half-sister to Grade I winner Monba. The family also includes Grade I Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty and Grade I winner Secret Hello.
Air Force Blue’s eight winners in 2021 puts him in the top three Second-Crop sires by winners this year while his 24 winners overall puts him second behind only Not This Time by cumulative winners.