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Korean horses begin 2014 racing campaign in United States

Korean Derby and Oaks winner Speedy First and Minister’s Cup winner Major King are in the United States where they will be trained and raced for at least the first part of the year.

The pair, who between them won 3 of the 4 Korean Classic races in 2013, arrived at JFK Airport last week and are currently in quarantine. They are then expected to transfer to Laurel Park in Maryland to enter training.

. . . They are by no means the first Korea bred horses to run Stateside. In 2008, a horse called Pick Me Up went to the US and ran – extremely unsuccessfully - at Charles Town, Laurel and Delaware Park. A year later, 2007 Korean Oaks winner Baekpa also went across and ran similarly poorly.

That prompted the Korea Racing Authority to change their approach a little and to send a small group of yearlings and 2-year-olds to Florida each year in the hope of proving their belief that it wasn’t necessarily that Korean-bred horses could compete if trained the same way as their American counterparts.

They got their reward when Feel So Good won a race at Calder in September 2012. Now they’ve decided to try again with established horses.

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