The US-bred, Japan-trained dual Grade 1 winner, Tap Dance City sprang atop in 2003, winning the Japan Cup by 9 lengths which still stands the record margin of the race. Next year, after blowing up 14 rivals at Takarazuka Kinen, he flew to Longchamp. Even though the Arc-challenge ended in vain as is often the case with Japanese contenders (he finished 17 out of 19), earning as much as 14 million dollars in his entire racing career meant he'd been a hero at least for his 500 (no, that is not a typo) owners.
His five years' service as a sire could leave only poor result, so his stud-retiring news was not a big deal even for his Guinness-worthy number of owners, until the recent report tells he's missing. A thoroughbred is "missing" means that equine athlete is dead, as we know. We knew that from our experience. Now you can imagine a fuss when we see the internet piece titled "Grade One Winner Tap Dance City, Where is he?"
Let's see in chronological order; announcement of his stallion days are over came on May 13, 2011. At this point, it is said that his desitination is the famous Northern Horse Park, one of the best places to stay in Japan if you were a retired thoroughbred, or a mere horse racing fan.
Shortly after, some person wrote in his blog Tap is now at Ten'ei Horse Park, not at NHP (April 21, 2012) and mentioned Tap would go through training period at some university, then there he finally becomes a riding horse.
Wondering where is Tap actually, another writer made a couple of phone calls, asked for the current address, found nothing.
This reminded me a "Ferdinand Clause".
To tell the truth, as a Japanese who enjoy the international races via internet, I have to confess I'd been forgetting the name of the late Nijinsky's son until the-latest-Kentucky-Derby-and-the-Preakness-winner-had-been-sold-to-Japan-but-I-can't-stand-for-it voices aroused this early summer.
I feel really sorry for horses' misfortunes, and I'm happy that I can point out a special clause is valid now so you don't have to be anxious about the fate for our beloved I'll Have Another necessarily.
Wait. Does the special agreement only stand for stallions from foreign countries?
OK with foreign guests. What about "our" horses? Ran here in Japan, promoted and shared excitement with us? No laws, no protections for them?
As I know the answer that I just posted above, my belief always swings between the nobility of blood-horse-continuous-modifications-history-blah-blah and a simple sentiment. We can't afford every horse's life. The sport is deeply sinful and I love it nonetheless.
I almost forgot Tap Dance City.
He's fine (...what?) probably from the very start. The specific details are given nothing now, sources say the owners will make some announcement soon. The one to blame is the writer who can't hold his horses, right? Hello? Feel faint, don't you?