Because of his location, Sunday Silence never had the opportunity to have his best offspring compete in America's most iconic race, but a grandson may be in position to bring Sunday Silence's story full circle. Named Epicharis, the colt preserved his unbeaten record in Japan's Hyacinth Stakes to earn a guaranteed berth in the Kentucky Derby---Presented by Yum! Brands if his connections choose to avail themselves of it.
Although Japanese racing is conducted mostly on turf, the Hyacinth Stakes is raced on the dirt inner track at Tokyo Race Course, and there was reason to think Epicharis might take to the surface even before that, as his sire, Sunday Silence's son Gold Allure, won the 2002 Japan Dirt Derby. Stamina should be no issue for the colt, as his broodmare sire is 1994 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (FR-I) winner Carnegie. The next dam's sire, however, is Maruzensky (by Nijinsky II), who was the Japanese champion juvenile male of 1976 and who brings a dash of miler speed to the pedigree.
Epicharis has yet to prove himself over a route, but he showed a nice combination of tactical speed and determination in the 1600-meter Hyacinth after finding racing room on the inside in mid-stretch. His connections have indicated that he may resurface in the UAE Derby (UAE-II), and he would need to be a tough one indeed to ship to Dubai, win there, and then ship to Kentucky in condition to have a fighting chance in the Run for the Roses. Nonetheless, "tough" was always a word that described Sunday Silence, and if Epicharis is of the same stripe, look for him to be the hero of one of the more intriguing stories surrounding this year's Kentucky Derby.