(This story was published in 2003).

By: Norm Kent

Article reprinted by permission from The Express

War Emblem, the stunning stallion that captured the heart and soul of America’s racing community in 2002 when he won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness may be gay.

The homosexual hoofing of the horse is costing his new owners, a Japanese investment group, hundreds of thousands of dollars in stud fees.

The Daily Racing Form has reported that Bob Baffert’s powerful colt has been presented with over 200 mares since “the breeding shed was open,” but the gallant galloper has repeatedly been claiming a headache, covering less than five mares.

A notoriously aggressive colt during his racing career for the late Prince Ahmed Salman, War Emblem apparently has little interest in the mares. His difficulty, trainers say, clearly stems from a lack of libido.

The wire-to-wire Derby winner was on his way to winning the Triple Crown last year, but stumbled coming out of the gate at the Belmont, the last of the three major races on the horse party circuit. The slip did not impair the colt’s sale value, as he was marketed after the race for more than $17 million to a Japanese group. But now they are hopping mad.

Representatives of the Japanese are so downtrodden over the mustang’s pronounced chastity that they are making an insurance claim against the colt who won’t, uh, cover the mares. But the Racing Insider reports they may have a tough go. It seems that libido problems are not usually written into insurance policies for horses.

According to one local racing insurance source, policies for colts would cover “infertility, not homosexuality.”

The Insider interviewed Steve Johnson, a prominent horse farm owner, who indicated libido problems are not unheard of in young stallions, “but it is unusual for such issues to linger.”

At press time, it is unknown to The Express if War Emblem will be asked to cure his homosexuality at the newly opened ranch for human ex-gays in Orlando. Earlier this year, The Express reported that more and more gay animals are coming out of the closet. The Zurich Zoo also features a walking tour of Congressman Mark Foley’s office in Washington, D.C.

Johnson noted there are many techniques racing enthusiasts have to stimulate and excite young colts, including stabling the horse within view of arriving mares or the breeding shed, where he can see mares in heat and watch other stallions at work.

Mike Peters, the internationally acclaimed night club owner of the newly reopened gentleman’s club Solid Gold, at the corner of Oakland Park Boulevard and Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, has reportedly invited War Emblem to come this week to a show of his many fashionable females.

The Racing Insider says War Emblem is not the first stallion to be standoffish. The 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, apparently also played hard to get. But the horse farm’s management eventually got him to breed, thereby enabling its owners to earn millions of dollars in stud fees. That fact might give hope to the Yoshida family that now owns the celibate War Emblem.

The farm has suffered the loss of two stallions last year, including the renowned Sunday Silence. When they acquired War Emblem, son of the famed Our Emblem, in 2002, for their Hokkaido-based farm, they commented, “We need a good horse to replace the ones we lost. This is a very good horse.” Had they only known their stallion would be spending evenings at the Copa!

“Sexual behavior is a learned thing,” Johnson said. “A lot of times it just takes patience and time.”

This year’s near Triple Crown winner, Funny Cide, won’t have any sexual dysfunction problems. A gelding from Sackatoga Farms in New York State, Funny Cide is a eunuch horse; he has no testicles. The horse didn’t have the balls to win the Belmont, but it all shows that sexual diversity is alive and well in the thoroughbred world.

Perhaps the telling audition for War Emblem’s Japanese investors should have been that 2002 Belmont when the studly stallion went limp after it broke from the starting gate, and gimped home 30 lengths off the pace, finishing eighth. The horse could not get it up then, and even now in Japan is still not getting it up today.


Article reprinted by permission from The Express