Monday, December 25, 2006

Deep Impact triumph in farewell race

The great crowd turned up Sunday afternoon at Nakayama Racecourse to see Deep Impact’s final run, and the colt did not disappoint them. The 4-year-old colt gained the Arima Kinen(G1) victory in great style.
Yutaka Take, who rode the colt for each race he ran, was the winning rider to stop the clock in 1 minute 31.9 seconds at the winning post to spare 3 lengths. Pop Rock was a 3/4-length better than third-placed Daiwa Major to take second. Dream Passport was fourth with Meisho Samson fifth in the field of 14.

After ranking far off the pace in the early stages, Deep Impact began to pick up ground on the final bend to get down to business. Coming into the final stretch, Take drove him into contention. Outside 200 meters from home, Deep Impact quickened up into front as Take drew a whip. The rest were left behind.

Deep Impact has now collected the seventh grade one title and ended his glorious career with record of 14-12-1-0 and more than 1.45 billion yen in career earnings for trainer Yasuo Ikee and owner Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co.Ltd.
Deep Impact, a 4-year-old bay colt by Sunday Silence out of the Alzao mare Wind In Her Hair, who has been syndicated for 5.1 billion yen(60 shares), will now be retired to stud at Shadai Stallion Station.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Update on Arima Kinen

Deep Impact concluded his glorious career with victory in the Arima Kinen(G1) Sunday afternoon at Nakayama. The Sunday Silence colt won it by a 3-length from Pop Rock. Third, another 3/4-length back, was Daiwa Major with Dream Passport fourth in the 14-horse field.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Field set for Arima Kinen

The field is set for the 2006 edition of the Arima Kinen(known as the Grand Prix), held this Sunday at Nakayama. The 14 contestants will go to the post for the 2,500-meter premier event. The field in post position order with weights(in kgs) and jockeys is:

1 POP ROCK h5 57 O.Peslier
2 DELTA BLUES h5 57 Y.Iwata
3 DREAM PASSPORT c3 55 H.Uchida
4 DEEP IMPACT c4 57 Y.Take
5 DAIWA MAJOR h5 57 K.Ando
6 SWEEP TOSHO m5 55 K.Ikezoe
7 COSMO BULK h5 57 F.Igarashi
8 MEISHO SAMSON c3 55 M.Ishibashi
9 TOSHO KNIGHT h5 57 T.Bushizawa
10 ADMIRE MAIN c3 55 Y.Shibata
11 SWIFT CURRENT h5 57 N.Yokoyama
12 ADMIRE FUJI c4 57 K.Take
13 WIN GENERALE h6 57 M.Ebina
14 TOSEN SHANA O c3 55 M.Katsuura
The post time will be at 3:25 p.m.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2006 Arima Kinen nominations

A total of 16 runners have been on the nomination list of the Arima Kinen(G1) to be run this Sunday at Nakayama. The Arima is the biggest finale race of the year in JRA calendar and its starters are basically decided based on public voting poll.
The major players are: Admire Moon, Daiwa Major, Deep Impact, Delta Blues, Dream Passport and Pop Rock.

Brief History
The inaugural race was to be run over 2,600 meters under the name of the Nakayama Grand Prix in 1956. The Arima Kinen, named after the founder Yoriyasu Arima, was first used as the name race the following year. In 1966, the distance was shortened to 2,500 meters. Since the first run, the Arima Kinen(known as the Grand Prix) has been well-known to many as the biggest season-ending race. Arima starters are basically decided by voting from racing fans.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Field for Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes

A field for the 2006 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes(G1) has been drawn. The 15 juvenile colts will go to post for the 1,600-meter turf event at Nakayama on Sunday. The field in post position order with jockeys is:

1 Jungle Techno H.Shii
2 Gold Aguli K.Ando
3 Dream Journey M.Ebina
4 Meiner Rainier M.Matsuoka
5 Meiner Sanibel K.Tanaka
6 Arromanches M.Katsuura
7 Flying Apple(USA) H.Kitamua
8 Admire Hokuto N.Yokoyama
9 Laurel Guerreiro M.Honda
10 A Shin B L(USA) H.Miyuki
11 Osumi Daido O.Peslier
12 Meiner Segal H.Goto
13 Coreles Racer Y.Shibata
14 Admire Head Y.Iwata
15 Meiner Fogo H.Uchida
All starters carry 55 kgs.
The post time will be at 3:25 p.m.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Vodka storms home in Juvenile Fillies

Vodka stormed home on the outside to land the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies in last stride Sunday afternoon at renovated Hanshin Racecourse. Hirofumi Shii took the winning mount. The final time for the 1,600 meters on grass was 1 minute 33.1 seconds.

Heavy favorite Aston Machan made headway in the stretch and looked set to wrap things up. But, inch by inch, fourth favorite Vodka crept up after Shii switched her to the outside. Apparently, the better run of the two was Vodka. She just got up home in the nick of time. Beaten by a neck, Aston Machan ran for second. Third place, a 3 1/2-length further back, was second favorite Luminous Harbor, who led the field of 18 fillies before giving way in the stretch.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Deep Impact back on winning track

Great attendance Sunday at Tokyo. Many racing fans turned out there to see their hero coming right back on the winning track. That’s exactly happened when heavy favorite Deep Impact lived up to their expectations with a great triumph for the 2006 Japan Cup(g1).

Coming from the dead last, Deep Impact, confidently ridden by Yutaka Take, flashed up 10 rivals on his way to crossing the winning post in 2 minutes 25.1 seconds by two lengths over Dream Passport. Another 1/2-length back, third was Ouija Board. Cosmo Bulk and Fusaichi Pandora finished, respectively, fourth and fifth to complete the finishing order of money earners. Disappointment was second favorite Heart’s Cry, finishing 10th.

The 11 runners bunched up when they entered the stretch.
Right before the field reached the final turn, Deep Impact made an early move as Yutaka Take gave him a go-sign, and he exploded throughout the stretch when Take pulled him to the outside. Second-placed Dream Passport, taking over from Cosmo Bulk at around 300 meters to go, offered no resistance when overtaken by Deep Impact.Third-placed Ouija Board was blocked behind horses at top stretch, but Dettori switched her to the middle before finishing strongly.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Star on the rise in JCD

Alondite came from nowhere in the highest level when he beat the 14 strong rivals, claiming yesterday’s Japan Cup Dirt(g1) victory at Tokyo. The 3-year-old colt won the JRA biggest dirt event by a 1 1/4-length from favorite Seeking the Dia(USA). Another 1 1/4-length further back, Field Rouge ran third with Vermillion fourth, another 3/4-length further away. Hiroki Goto was aboard the winner to complete the 2,100-meter distance in 2 minutes 8.5 seconds on dirt.

As the field made the final turn into the stretch, it seemed that Goto and Alondite did not have a clear path, but, outside 400 meters from home, when the room was opened up for them, Alondite just split between Meisho Battler and the rail, quickening up into the front. On the outside, Yutaka Take’s Seeking the Dia came out of the crowd to challenge. A duel of the two was short-lived as Alondite just drew away from Seeking the Dia.

Alondite, once struggled in the maiden division, quickly climbed to the top level with victory in the Japan Cup Dirt, which was a five-straight-win for him. Just 5 months ago, he was a maiden. The El Condor Pasa colt, however, turned over a new leaf for switching to the dirt event to step up in class by leaps and bounds.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Stage set for 2006 Japan Cup

A stage is all set for the 26 running of the Japan Cup, held November 26 at Tokyo Racecourse. The post position order with weights(in kgs) and jockeys for the Japan Cup field is:

1 Heart's Cry 5h 57 C.Lemaire
2 Swift Current 5h 57 N.Yokoyama
3 Ouija Board(GB) 5m 55 L.Dettori
4 Yukino Sun Royal 9h 57 K.Tanaka
5 Tosen Shana O 3c 55 H.Goto
6 Deep Impact 4c 57 Y.Take
7 Dream Passport 3c 55 Y.Iwata
8 Fusaichi Pandora 3f 53 Y.Fukunaga
9 Freedonia(GB) 4f 55 T.Gillet
10 Cosmo Bulk 5h 57 F.Igarashi
11 Meisho Samson 3c 55 M.Ishibashi
The post time will be at 3:40p.m.

Japan Cup Dirt field

Saturday sees the 2006 Japan Cup Dirt at Tokyo over 2,100 meters. The post position order with weights(in kgs) and jockeys for the Japan Cup Dirt field is:

1 Vermillion 4c 57 C.Lemaire
2 Meisho Battler 6m 55 T.Sato
3 Fusaichi Richard 3c 55 H.Uchida
4 Alondite 3c 55 H.Goto
5 Gene Crisis(USA) 5h 57 F.Igarashi
6 Blue Concorde 6h 57 H.Miyuki
7 Seeking the Dia(USA) 5h 57 Y.Take
8 Alfajores 6h 57 S.Fujita
9 Osumi Hennessy 4c 57 K.Tanaka
10 My Sole Sound 7h 57 K.Tsunoda
11 Don Cool 4c 57 H.Kitamura
12 Sunrise Bacchus 4c 57 K.Ando
13 Hard Crystal 6h 57 N.Yokoyama
14 Pit Fighter 7h 57 L.Dettori
15 Field Rouge 4c 57 Y.Yoshida
The post time will be at 3:20p.m.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Small field for Japan Cup

The 2006 Japan Cup(g1), taking place November 26 at Tokyo, has only 12 nominations. It is certain that the field will be the smallest in JC history. The nominated horses for the world-famous Japanese race are as follows:

Cosmo Bulk
Deep Impact
Dia de la Novia
Dream Passport
Fusaichi Pandora
Heart's Cry
Meisho Samson
Ouija Board
Swift Current
Tosen Shana O
Yukino Sun Royal
[in alpahbetical order]

Monday, November 20, 2006

Daiwa Major takes Mile Championship

The 23rd Mile Championship(G1) was won Sunday afternoon in the drizzling Kyoto Racecourse by Daiwa Major(2.3 favorite), who broke from the pack in mid-stretch having tracked the pace. However, before a neck victory, the 5-year-old Sunday Silence horse had to deny the late challenging Dance in the Mood(6.7 second favorite) with Yutaka Take up. Third, a 1 1/4-length further back, was 8th favorite Symboli Gran(IRE).

Daiwa Major, confidently ridden by Katsumi Ando, chased pace-setting Suteki Shinsukekun(USA) early on, and then the veteran jockey forced the horse to take up the running as the field entered the Kyoto stretch. From there, Ando and Daiwa Major were never behind in the rest of the way.

Yutaka Take brought Dance in the Mood into the middle to run through the crowd, and they became the last horse to challenge, but did not prevail.

Court Materpiece made a slow start and never got into contention, finishing seventh.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Field set for Mile Championship

A maximum field of 18 is set for the Mile Championship(g1) to be run Sunday at Kyoto.

Coming off a couple of grade victories, Daiwa Major has had a fabulous fall campaign and could be one of the major players here. Dance in the Mood has disappointed a bit last time out in the Tenno Sho Autumn, but she can get the best run at a 1,600-meter trip. The field for the 1,600-meter turf includes last year’s champion Hat Trick, multiple English group one winner Court Masterpiece.

The 18-horse field in post position order with weights(in kgs) and jockeys is:

1 Course Masterpiece(GB) h6 57 L.Dettori
2 Super Hornet c3 56 H.Miyuki
3 Precise Machine h7 57 M.Matsuoka
4 Logic c3 56 C.Lemaire
5 Telegnosis h7 57 M.Ebina
6 Camphor Best h7 57 T.Eda
7 Dance in the Mood m5 55 Y.Take
8 Hat Trick h5 57 Y.Iwata
9 Suteki Shinsukekun(USA) c3 56 F.Komaki
10 Daiwa Major h5 57 K.Ando
11 Meiner Scherzi c3 56 Y.Shibata
12 New Very h8 57 H.Shii
13 Kinetics h7 57 K.Ikezoe
14 Kinshasa no Kiseki(AUS) c3 55 S.Akiyama
15 Maruka Shenck c3 56 Y.Fukunaga
16 Symboli Gran(IRE) c4 57 Y.Shibayama
17 Agnes Raspberry m5 55 K.Tsunoda
18 Daring Heart f4 55 S.Fujita
The post time will be at 3:40 p.m.

Saturday's Tokyo feature

Saturday sees the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes(g3), a grade three race for 2-year-olds at Tokyo over 1,800 meters on grass. The field of 12 juveniles is:

1 Saratoga f M.Katsuura
2 Keiai My Ski(USA) c N.Yokoyama
3 Tosen Crown c H.Yoshida
4 Fusaichi Ho O c K.Ando
5 Elvis c E.Nakadate
6 Meiner Caro c M.Matsuoka
7 Weltmeister c L.Dettori
8 Dream Journey c M.Ebina
9 Sugano King c H.Kowata
10 Boss Amigo c I.Sugawara
11 Nishino Kondokoso c Y.Yoshida
12 Flying Apple(USA) c H.Kitamura
Weight: 55-kgs for colts, 54-kgs for fillies
Post time: 3:25 p.m.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Kawakami Princess disqualified; Fusaichi Pandora promotes to first

Kawakami Princess passed the finish line first in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto, but was disqualified for interfering with Yamanin Sucre in the stretch. She was demoted to 12th place.Fusaichi Pandora, beaten by a 1 1/2-length, promoted to first. Sweep Tosho got second after finishing a neck behind Fusaichi Pandora in third place. Dia de la Novia and Asahi Rising received promotion to third and fourth respectively.

The event took place about 300 meters from home. Masaru Honda used the whip in his left hand several times. When he did so, Kawakami Princess broke in on Yamanin Sucre’s way.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Only two foreigners to participate in JC

Cosmonaut of USA was withdrawn from the invitational list. As a result, the only two foreign horses will participate in the Japan Cup.

Ouija Board, winner of the Breeders' Cup F&M, is scheduled to arrive in Japan on November 13. Meanwhile, Freedonia of France will come to Japan on November 15.
(source: JRA)

Only three foreign horses for JC

The foreign horses for this year's Japan Cup could the smallest number in its race history. As of November 12, the only three foreigners are likely to run in the Japan’s most world famous race as follows:

Cosmonaut, Freedonia and Ouija Board[alphabetic order]

Note that Best Name was withdrawn from the invitational list.

With Kandidate’s withdrawal, there is no foreign horse, as of November, to participate in the Japan Cup Dirt.

The six Japanese horses have been selected for the 2006 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races, taking place December 10 at Sha Tin, as follows:

Admire Moon and Swift Current for the Cathay Pacific HK Cup
Admire Main and Delta Blues for the Cathay Pacific HK Vase
She is Tosho and Meisho Bowler for the Cathay Pacific HK Sprint

However, recent Melbourn Cup winner Delta Blues is likely to be withdrawn from the HK Vase because he will be heading for the Arima Kinen(g1).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Field set for QEII Cup

The field for the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup(g1) has been drawn. The 16 fillies and mares will go to the post for the 2,200-meter race at 3:40p.m. on Sunday. Kawakami Princess, undefeated 3-year-old filly who came into the race off an impressive victory in the Shuka Sho(g1), drew outmost post 16. Regular rider Masaru Honda takes the mount. Multiple grade one winner Sweep Tosho, who looks for back-to-back victory in the QEII Cup, drew post 8. Kenichi Ikezoe returns to ride her.

The field with weights(in kgs) and jockeys in post position order for the 2,200-meter turf is as follows:

1 Asahi Rising f3 54 Y.Shibata
2 Yamanin Sucre m5 56 H.Shii
3 Admire Kiss f3 54 Y.Take
4 Yamato Marion f3 54 H.Miyuki
5 Solid Platinum f3 54 F.Komaki
6 Shells Lei f3 54 C.Lemaire
7 Les Clefs d'Or m5 56 S.Fujita
8 Sweep Tosho m5 56 K.Ikezoe
9 Lailaps f4 56 R.Sameshima
10 Kiss to Heaven f3 54 K.Ando
11 Dia de la Novia f4 56 Y.Iwata
12 Winglet m5 56 K.Tanaka
13 Sanrei Jasper f4 56 T.Sato
14 Yamaninmerveilleux f4 56 K.Take
15 Fusaichi Pandora f3 54 Y.Fukunaga
16 Kawakami Princess f3 54 M.Honda

Thursday, November 09, 2006

2006 QEII Cup

A total of 20 fillies and mares have been nominated for the 31st running of the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup.

Brief History
The first Queen Elizabeth II Cup was run over 2,400 meters as the 3-year-old filly championship in 1976. The Cup was run over 2,200 meters for the first time in 1996. In the same year, the race was open to the older fillies and mares and has since then been established as the prestigious championship for female runners. The door was opened for foreign runners in 1999.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2006 Japan Cup

As of November 9, the four foreign horses have been accepted for an invitation of the 2006 Japan Cup as follows:

Ouija Board, Best Name, Freedonia* and Cosmonaut* [in random order]
*- additional invitees

Cacique, English Channel, El Segundo, Go Deputy, Hurricane Run, Laverock, Maraahel and Pride are all out of the JC.

For the 2006 Japan Cup Dirt, Kandidate is the only foreign horse, as of November 9, to accept the invitation.

Good Reward, Invasor, Jazil, Lava Man, Premium Tap and Utopia are all out of the JCD.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tosho Knight achieves first grade success

For the first time in 27 starts, Tosho Knight finally achieved the grade success when he took the Copa Republica Argentina(g2) Sunday afternoon at Tokyo. The 5-year-old horse won it by a neck from Eye Popper. Third, another neck further back, was Dragon Captain in the field of 14 for the 2,500 meters. It also provided jockey Tomoharu Bushizawa with the first grade victory in a 10-year riding career.

They came into half-way in the final stretch when Bushizawa drove Tosho Knight into the lead. Then, the great thrill began as the two challengers went after him. Around 100 meters to go, Eye Popper was drawing up on his right hand. On the further outside, Dragon Captain closed in on the two. The strong stride carried Eye Popper and Dragon Captain into contention, but Tosho Knight just held on to win the first prize.

Aston Machan romps Fantasy Stakes

The race for the juvenile fillies' Fantasy Stakes(g3) was decided Sunday afternoon at Kyoto in one-sided style by third favorite Aston Machan, ridden by Yutaka Take and trained by Sei Ishizaka. The Admire Cozzene filly won the 1,400-meter in record time from a commanding 5-length from second favorite Excuse with favorite Hello Speed another 1 1/2-length back in third. The final time was 1:20.3, a new course record for the 2-year-olds.

Take had Aston Machan reserved behind the leaders, until, outside 100 meters from home, the jockey called for the last effort. When he did so, Aston Machan just got past Excuse and Admire Pluto in the blink of an eye, pulling her way to the front and galloping to the line for an easy victory.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sunday's JRA Graded Races

A feature for Tokyo Sunday meeting will be the Copa Republica Argentina(g2) for 3yo+. 14 contestants will go to the post for the 2,500-meter handicap race. The field in post position order with weights(in kgs) and jockeys is as follows:

1 Advantage c3 50 S.Kawashima
2 Treowe of King h5 51 A.Tsumura
3 Grass Position h7 54 M.Ebina
4 Eye Popper h6 58 N.Yokoyama
5 Chaste Wing h5 54 K.Tanaka
6 Dragon Captain h5 51 S.Ishigami
7 Tokai Trick c4 56 C.Lemaire
8 Rubens Memory h6 55 Y.Shibata
9 Tosho Knight h5 57.5 T.Bushizawa
10 Mejiro Tonkinese f4 51 H.Gohara
11 Win Generale h6 57 M.Katsuura
12 Suzu Japan(USA) h6 53 H.Goto
13 Mejiro Corsair c4 53 H.Kitamura
14 Bullet Lane h7 53 M.Matsuoka
The post time will be at 3:35 p.m.

A field for the Fantasy Stakes(g3) has been drawn. 14 juvenile fillies will search for the first prize of more than 32.5 million yen. The post position order with jockeys for the 1,400-meter turf is as follows:

1 Top Comet R.Wada
2 Smart Custom Y.Fujioka
3 Meine Intima T.Sato
4 Nishino Mao K.Dazai
5 Hot Fashion Y.Fukunaga
6 Alhaja S.Akiyama
7 Meine Luce H.Miyuki
8 Admire Pluto K.Take
9 Excuse S.Fujita
10 Hagino Lucere H.Shii
11 Kanoya Zakura F.Komaki
12 Aston Machan Y.Take
13 Hello Speed H.Yoshida
14 Genius Y.Iwata
All starters carry 54kgs.
The post time will be at 3:45p.m.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Daiwa Major takes Tenno Sho Autumn

The 2006 Tenno Sho Autumn was won Sunday afternoon at Tokyo in a sensational stalking style by fourth favorite Daiwa Major, who beat seventh favorite Swift Current by a 1/2-length. Admire Moon came with a late run to snatch third, a 3/4-length behind, with Cosmo Bulk another 3/4-length away fourth. Sweep Tosho, the 3.9 favorite in the field of 16, finished fifth, another 3/4-length further back.

Inti Raimi set the pace. On several lengths back, Katsumi Ando settled Daiwa Major nicely, as head of the big pack. “The pace was an ideal one to my horse.”, said Ando. Inti Raimi was still in front as the field made the final turn into the stretch, but Daiwa Major took it up while climbing up the stretch hill.

On the inside, Swift Current loomed in the picture. Norihiro Yokoyama brought him almost the same level with Daiwa Major, but Ando asked for a final effort and Daiwa Major never gave up his position, coming at the winning post in 1 minute 58.8 seconds.

All the problems Daiwa Major had was left behind and the highest honor has been given again to his connection following his Satsuki Sho win two seasons ago. His next run is likely to be the Mile Championship.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Comeback win for Precise Machine in Swan

The Swan Stakes(g2) took place Saturday at Kyoto. In the 1,400-meter event, Precise Machine won by a half length having produced an impressive turn of foot throughout the stretch. Symboli Gran(IRE) was next home, a half length in front of third-placed Agnes Raspberry. The winning rider was Masami Matsuoka after completing the distance in 1 minute 20.3 seconds on Kyoto main surface.

This will be Precise Machine’s first win since December 2004 when he won the Chunichi Shimbun Hai at Chukyo. The 7-year-old horse by Mayano Top Gun out of the Sunday Silence mare Be Silent, has now won eight in 23 starts for trainer K.Hagiwara and ower S.Iketani.

Seeking the Best takes Musashino

Seeking the Best finally grabbed a grade victory when he won the Musashino Stakes(g3) in stalking fashion Saturday at Tokyo. Masaki Katsuura rode the winner, covering the 1,600-meter trip in 1 minute 35.3 seconds on dirt surface. Second was Sunrise Bacchus, a 3/4-length behind the winner and a 1 1/4-length before Field Rounge. Heavy favorite Fusaichi Richard finished fifth in the 16-horse field.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Saturday's Graded Races

Saturday sees the Musashino Stakes(g3), a major prep for the Japan Cup Dirt, for a feature of Tokyo meeting. The 16 runners will go to the post for the 1,600-meter dirt contest at 3:40 p.m.

Kyoto hosts the Swan Stakes(g2) for which the 18 horses have been entered. It runs over 1,400 meter on turf. The post time will be at 3:45 p.m.

Foreign invitees for Japan Cup

A total of 10 foreign invitees for the 2006 Japan Cup have been selected as follows:

Best Name
English Channel
El Segundo
Go Deputy
Hurricane Run
Ouija Board
(in alphabetic order)

Selected foreign invitees for the 2006 Japan Cup Dirt are:

Good Reward
Lava Man
Premium Tap
(in alphabetic order)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Field set for Tenno Sho Autumn

A field for the Tenno Sho Autumn has been drawn. The 17 horses have been entered for the g1 2,000-meter turf to be run this Sunday at Tokyo. The field in post position with weights(in kgs) and jockeys is:

1 Asakusa Den'en h7 58 S.Fujita
2 Company h5 58 Y.Fukunaga
3 Sakura Mega Wonder c3 56 H.Uchida
4 Dance in the Mood m5 56 H.Kitamura
5 Lohengrin h7 58 Y.Shibata
6 Trillion Cut(USA) h6 58 R.Wada
7 Sweep Tosho m5 56 K.Ikezoe
8 Cosmo Bulk h5 58 F.Igarashi
9 Inti Raimi c4 58 T.Sato
10 Swift Current h5 58 N.Yokoyama
11 Fast Tateyama h7 58 K.Take
12 Hat Trick h5 58 Y.Iwata
13 Osumi Grass One c4 58 H.Shii
14 Daiwa Major h5 58 K.Ando
15 Admire Moon c3 56 Y.Take
16 Great Journey h5 58 M.Ebina
17 Rosenkreuz c4 58 F.Komaki
Post time: 3:40 p.m.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kikuka Song

The sensational feature of the Sunday afternoon’s Kyoto meeting was the victory of Song of Wind in the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger), which he won in record time after a neck-and-neck battle. In the 3,000-meter turf, Song of Wind beat Dream Passport by a neck with Admire Main another 1 3/4-length away third. A 2 1/2-length further back favorite Meisho Samson got fourth with Axion fifth.

As expected, Yutaka Take let Admire Main go into the lead from start, and opened up, with a big pack of the 17 runners far back, coming into the stretch for the first time. Setting the pace for the first 1,000-meter in 58.7 seconds, Admire Main remained a big lead throughout the backstretch. Koshiro Take, a brother of Yutaka Take, allowed Song of Wind to sit on far back of the big pack until, going into the far turn for the second time, he was on the quick move outside.

Admire Main was still far ahead of the pack while turning for home for the second time. Within 300 meters to go, Meisho Samson moved into second on the inside, but he was done and his hope for the Triple Crown win was gone.

A thrilling finish began as Dream Passport and Song of Wind drove out of the pack to challenge. With a strenuous stride, the two traveled side by side and then proceeded to take Admire Main out of the picture at around 50 meters remaining. The exciting finish then completed when Song of Wind got a final stride, putting his neck into front at the line. The clock stopped at 3 minutes 2.7 seconds for the course record.

Koshiro Take said, “All I tried to do was to run him as relax as possible in the early pace. I got a good response out of him and a good harmony with him. We found ourselves running far back of the pack(third from last), but I decided to stay there for saving his best late stride.” “The leader was far in front at the final turn, so whether we could catch him was uncertain. I desperately pushed him thru the stretch.”

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fuji Stakes won by outsider

The g3 Fuji Stakes was won Saturday afternoon by outsider Kinetics, who rallied to take over in the top stretch en route to gaining a half-length victory. Air Shady ran second, finishing a neck in front of third-placed favorite Suzuka Phoenix in the field of 18.
The final time for 1,600 meters on turf was 1 minute 32.8 seconds.

Delta Blues finished a good third in the Caulfield Cup Saturday, while Pop Rock ran seventh. The two will be heading to the Melbourne Cup.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stage Set For Kikuka Sho

The eighteen 3-year-old colts have been entered for the 2006 Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger) Sunday at Kyoto over 3,000 meters on grass. The field in post position with jockeys is:

1 Toho Alan S.Fujita
2 Mistral Cruise K.Ikezoe
3 Silk Crusader S.Akiyama
4 Tagano Marshal R.Wada
5 Admire Main Y.Take
6 Never Bouchon S.Ishibashi
7 Maruka Shenck Y.Fukunaga
8 Manno Racing F.Komaki
9 Intelleto Y.Fujioka
10 Fusaichi Junk Y.Iwata
11 Tosen Shana O L.Innes
12 Meisho Samson M.Ishibashi
13 Dream Passport N.Yokomaya
14 Aperitif K.Ando
15 Axion K.Tanaka
16 Tosho Scirocco Y.Yoshida
17 Passing Mark H.Shii
18 Song of Wind K.Take
Weight: 57kgs
Post time: 3:40 p.m. JST

Tokyo features Fuji Stakes

Tokyo features the Fuji Stakes(g3) for 3-year-olds and up on Saturday. The field with weights(in kgs) and jockeys for the 1,600-meter turf is:

1 Mateor Burst h5 56 S.Fujita
2 Meiner Scherzi c3 56 Y.Shibata
3 Mejiro Meyer h7 57 K.Tanaka
4 Super Hornet c3 54 Y.Yoshida
5 School Boy h6 56 J.Ono
6 Camphor Best h7 57 T.Eda
7 Denshamichi c3 54 H.Goto
8 Telegnosis h7 58 T.Ono
9 Vril(AUS) h5 56 L.Innes
10 San Valentin h5 56 T.Sato
11 Fuji Silence h6 57 H.Kitamura
12 Kinetics h7 56 M.Katsuura
13 Suzuka Phoenix c4 56 Y.Take
14 Dance in the More c4 57 M.Ebina
15 Incentive Guy h5 56 N.Yokoyama
16 Air Shady h5 56 K.Ando
17 New Very h8 56 H.Shii
18 Tanino Martini h6 56 N.Sugai
Post time: 3:40 p.m. JST

Thursday, October 19, 2006

27 Nominees for Kikuka Sho

A total of 27 horses headed by dual classic winner Meisho Samson have been nominated for the 2006 Kikuka Sho, the last leg of Triple Crown series for 3-year-olds, held this Sunday at Kyoto over 3,000 meters on grass. The Kikuka Sho field will be drawn on Friday morning.

Brief History
The first running of the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger), not so-called until 1947, was in 1938. This is one of the rare marathon races in the country, held at Kyoto where contestants run over the third corner hill twice in 3,000-meter trip to be tested their stamina. In combination with the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) and Japanese Derby, Kikuka Sho is the last leg of the Triple Crown Races.

Two JRA horses run at Down Under

Two JRA horses will take on the Australian group one company when they run in the Caulfield Cup Saturday at Caulfield. Delta Blues with the top weight of 56kgs has drawn post 17 and Nash Rawiller takes the mount, while Pop Rock with Damien Oliver on his back will break from post 11.

Good luck!  Delta Blues and Pop Rock

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

K Princess Confirms Best 3YO Filly

The 2006 Shuka Sho(g1) was won Sunday afternoon by Kawakami Princess, ridden by veteran jockey Masaru Honda, who confirmed the best 3-year-old filly in the country. Second was Asahi Rising and beaten by a half length. Another 1 1/4-length back, third was Fusaichi Pandora. Race favorite Admire Kiss was fourth with Shells Lei fifth in the field of 18.

Toshi the Sansan was out in lead leaving the second corner with Koiuta and Shells Lei following. As the first three were far in front, Asahi Rising was at fourth. On far back, Kawakami Princess was lying about 9th.

As they made the final turn into the stretch for home, Shells Lei was into the lead and Asahi Rising just trailed. At around 300 meters from home, Asahi Rising took over. Kawakami Princess was trailing by five or six lengths with Fusaichi Pandora laboring on the inside of her.

For the rest of the way, Honda asked for a big effort and Kawakami Princess came rapidly, closing the gap at every stride. She forged ahead, stride by stride, just prevailing for the winning post.

Honda said, "I though we had no chance of winning at final turn, but she got up to the line just in time. She has an excellent finishing kick."

Following the Japanese Oaks, this was the second g1 victory for Kawakami Princess, who remained undefeated in five starts. The King Halo filly out of the Seattle Slew mare Takano Secretary has now earned more than 255.6 million jpy for owner and breeder of Mitsuishi Kawakami Bokujo. Katsuichi Nishiura trains the bay filly at Ritto. Her next action will be the Queen Elizabeth Commemorative Cup(g1) on November 12 at Kyoto to face the older females.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Foreign nominees for Japan Cup

A total of 50 foreign horses have been preliminarily nominated for the Japan Cup which is to be run Sunday November 26 at Tokyo. In the meantime, the Nov. 25 Japan Cup Dirt has 17 foreign nominees. (source: JRA)

Field set for Shuka Sho

A field of 18 three-year-old fillies is set for the Shuka Sho(g1) Sunday at Kyoto over 2,000 meters on turf. The field in post position with jockeys is as follows:

1 Kiss to Heaven K.Ando
2 Solid Platinum F.Komaki
3 Touch the Peak K.Ikezoe
4 Shells Lei Y.Iwata
5 Fusaichi Pandora Y.Fukunaga
6 Blumenblatt S.Kawashima
7 Secret Code M.Yokomaya
8 Hosho Ruby(USA) Y.Fujioka
9 Admire Kiss Y.Take
10 Yamato Marion H.Miyuki
11 Keep Your Smile K.Tanaka
12 Kawakami Princess M.Honda
13 Cendrillon S.Akiyama
14 Broncone R.Wada
15 Nishino Fujimusume S.Fujita
16 Asahi Rising Y.Shibata
17 Toshi the Sansan S.Kumazawa
18 Koiuta H.Yoshida
All starters carry 55kgs.
The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. JST.

The 18 fillies and mares will go to the post for the Fuchu Himba Stakes(g3) Sunday at Tokyo. The field with jockeys in post position is:

1 Yamaninmerveilleux m5 M.Katsuura
2 Ribbon Art m5 M.Matsuoka
3 Daring Heart f4 H.Goto
4 Yamanin Sucre m5 H.Shii
5 Les Clefs d’Or m5 M.Ebina
6 Hozan Glamour m7 T.Tanaka
7 Mlle de Paris m5 N.Onishi
8 Dia de la Novia f4 H.Kitamura
9 Lofty Aim f4 S.Ishibashi
10 Winglet m5 H.Kowata
11 Coreless Patio m5 T.Kikuzawa
12 Spring Drew m6 Y.Shibayama
13 Jacky Taste m5 T.Eda
14 Lailaps f4 R.Sameshima
15 Cosmo Marvelous f4 L.Innes
16 Sanrei Jasper f4 E.Nakadate
17 Eishin Tender f4 K.Take
18 Princess Dolce f3 Y.Yoshida
Weight: 55kgs for 4yo+, 54kgs for 3yo
The post time will be at 3.30 p.m. JST.

Saturday Kyoto meeting features the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes(g2) for which the 13 two-year-olds have been entered. The field with jockeys for the 1,600-meter event is:

1 Crown Princess f F.Komaki
2 All Right Now c K.Ando
3 Maruka Hannibal c Y.Fukunaga
4 Osumi Daido c Y.Take
5 Laurel Guerreiro c M.Honda
6 Cool Superior g H.Shii
7 King’s Delight c T.Koike
8 Snark Tomokun c R.Wada
9 Al Sirat(USA) c S.Fujita
10 Meisho Baldr c 55 M.Ishibashi
11 Meiner Soliste c Y.Iwata
12 Alhaja f S.Akiyama
13 Keiai My Ski(USA) c H.Miyuki
Weight: 55kgs for colts and geldings, 54kgs for fillies
The post time will be at 3:45 p.m. JST.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Deep Impact to retire end of this season

Deep Impact will be retired from racing the end of this season and go to stud at Shadai Stallion Station, his trainer Yasuo Ikee announced in the press Wednesday on behalf of owner Makoto Kaneko. The Sunday Silence 4-year-old colt will be syndicated into 60 shares for 5.1 billion yen.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thrilling Mainichi Okan goes to Daiwa Major

The Mainichi Okan(g2) was won in a thrilling head-to-head battle Sunday afternoon at Tokyo by Daiwa Major, ridden by veteran Katsumi Ando. The 2004 Satsuki Sho winner won it by a neck from Dance in the Mood. The third went to Lohengrin with Maruka Shenck finishing another nose behind in fourth. Disappointment for the 1,800-meter race was Asakusa Den’en, finishing 13th in the field of 16. The final time was 1 minute 45.5 seconds, 0.1 second slower than the course record.

Third favorite Daiwa Major saved the ground to chase pace-setting Mejiro Mantle early on. As the field came around the turn into the straight, Ando forced Daiwa Major into the front. On the outside, Second favorite Dance in the Mood challenged. The International stakes winner was then in the lead, but Daiwa Major fought back. A 200-meter from home, neither of the two yielded and they traveled side by side. An exciting finish, however, ended when Daiwa Major put his neck into front at the line.

Sweep Tosho bests a male grade company

Sweep Tosho with Kenichi Ikezoe up bested a grade company of 10 males to win the Kyoto Daishoten(g2) Sunday afternoon at Kyoto. After the second favorite traveled the 2,400-meter distance on firm ground, the final time was 2 minutes 31.5 seconds.

A 3/4-lengh behind the winner, seventh pick Fast Tateyama got second with fifth pick Tosho Knight another neck away third. Inti Raimi, who backed as the favorite, was a disappointing seventh.

As the field made the final turn into the stretch, Sweep Tosho was placed on the inside. Ikezoe had been made to come inside. It seemed impossible that she could split between horses, but once Ikezoe found the room, she just got up to the line with an eye-catching turn of foot.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mood in Mainichi Okan

CashCall Invitational Stakes(g1) winner Dance in the Mood has been entered to the grade two Mainichi Okan at Tokyo Sunday. The Sunday Silence mare breezed the 1,000 meters in 64.2 seconds on Wednesday in her drill before the Sunday’s grade two event. She will face the 15 rivals of the strong stakes company.

The Mainichi Okan field with weights(in kgs) and jockeys in post position order is:

1 Sidewider h8 57 K.Hasegawa
2 Daiwa Bandit(USA) h5 57 J.Ono
3 Mejiro Mantle h9 57 Y.Yoshida
4 Company h5 58 Y.Fukunaga
5 Osumi Grass One c4 57 H.Shii
6 Craft Work h6 57 N.Yokoyama
7 Asakusa Den'en h7 58 S.Fujita
8 Logic c3 57 Y.Take
9 Great Journey h5 57 M.Ebina
10 Dance in the Mood m5 56 H.Kitamura
11 Hat Trick h5 59 Y.Iwata
12 Maruka Shenck c3 55 Y.Shibata
13 Lohengrin h7 57 K.Tanaka
14 Sakura Mega Wonder c3 H.Goto
15 Telegnosis h7 58 T.Ono
16 Daiwa Major h5 58 K.Ando
The post time will be at 3:40p.m.JST

On the same day, Kyoto hosts the grade two Kyoto Daishoten for which the 11 runners have been entered. The post position with weights and jockeys for the 2,400-meter turf is:

1 Inti Raimi c4 57 H.Miyuki
2 Alfajores h6 57 Y.Fujioka
3 Nisshin Green m5 55 M.Higashikawa
4 My Sole Sound h7 57 M.Honda
5 Rosekreuz c4 57 F.Komaki
6 Stratagem h5 57 S.Kumazawa
7 Tosho Knight h5 57 T.Bushizawa
8 Fast Tateyama h7 57 K.Take
9 Sweep Tosho m5 56 K.Ikezoe
10 Key Volante h7 57 K.Uchida
11 Eye Popper h6 57 R.Wada
The post time will be at 3:50p.m. JST

Deep Impact, recent third in the Arc, will run either the Japan Cup or the Arima Kinen to wrap up his 2006 season, according to his trainer Yasuo Ikee. No determination has been made about that he continues to be in training next season.

Monday, October 02, 2006

On Target

Having engaged an early duel with Silent Witness of Hong Kong and Suteki Shinsukekun, Takeover Target of Australia fought them off and pulled clear at the top-stretch, winning the Sprinters Stakes(g1) Sunday afternoon at Nakayama. He won by a decisive 1 1/2-length from Meisho Bowler, who finished strongly in the inside for second. It was another neck behind that Tagano Bastille came with a strong late charge on the inside to deprive Silent Witness of third place. Benbaun of England was next in fifth in the field of 16. Jay Ford was aboard the winner after completing the 1,200-meter trip in 1 minute 8.1 seconds on good grass.

Silent Witness broke well and went into front, but his lead was short-lived when Takeover Target from the inside and Suteki Shinsukekun from the outside collared him. Thanks to the duel by the three, the pace was pretty fast, setting the opening 600-meter in 32.8 seconds.

By the time the field reached the third turn, Takeover Target took advantage of his inside position and had the slight lead with Silent Witness right next to him. On the outside of Silent Witness, Suteki Shinsukekun labored.

Takeover Target was ready to take off on the final turn. Coming into the stretch, he reserved plenty of power to shift into a second gear. When he did so, the rest was left behind. The Australian champion sprinter just galloped to the finish for an overwhelming victory.

With this victory, Takeover Target clinched the championship for the Global Challenge Trophy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Update on Sprinters Stakes

Takeover Target(AUS) of Australia pulled away in the stretch to win the Sprinters Stakes(jpn-g1) Sunday afternoon at Nakayama. A 1 1/2-length behind the winner, Meisho Bowler finished second with Tagano Bastille finishing another neck back in third. Silent Witness(AUS) of Hong Kong ran fourth, finishing another head behind. Benbaun(IRE) of England was fifth in the field of 16 runners. Jay Ford was aboard the winner to complete the 1,200-meter trip in 1 minute 8.1 seconds on good ground.

Three-straight-win for Meisho Batter in Sirius

It was a three-straight-win at g3 dirt event for Meisho Battler when she won the Sirius Stakes(g3) Saturday afternoon at Chukyo. “She got going very well and defied the imposed weight of 56kgs.”, said the winning jockey Tetsuzo Sato.

Meisho Battler, stalking the early pace in the 15-horse field, took the lead at around 200 meters from home to win the 1,700-meter Sirius S in 1 minute 43.1 seconds by a 1 1/2-length. Tsumujikaze(USA) finished second, a 1 1/2-length in front of Kinetics, who closed from the rear for third.

Meisho Battler, a 6-year-old mare by Meisho Homura, who is trained by Shigetada Takahashi, has now registered the eighth win of her 23 races. The 39+ million yen first purse for the Sirius Stakes brought her career earnings to more than 302 million yen.

Favorite wins Sapporo Nisai in good style

Race favorite Namura Mars got past the three rivals near the line, winning the Sapporo Nisai Stakes(g3) by a 1/2-length from Admire Head, who edged third-placed Excuse by a nose for second place in the field of 12 juveniles. Yusuke Fujioka steered the winner to complete the 1,800-meter distance in 1 minute 49.7 seconds on firm grass.

By Chief Bearhart out of the French Glory mare Bistro de Paris, Namura Mars, trained at Ritto by Nobuharu Fukushima, has now won three in seven starts with more than 60 million yen in earnings.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

High Expectations for Deep's Arc Run

Japanese racing fans will have high expectations and hopes for Deep Impact when the colt runs at Longchamp Sunday afternoon in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Deep Impact, the best horse in Japan, who gained impressive string of victories, including last year's Triple Crown races, on the highest level in his home land, had a series of good workouts at Longchamp since August.

Out of action for more than 3 months could be a negative material, but his connection reported him to be in a great shape for Sunday's premier race. It is hard to assess whether the course is suited by him, but the firm ground would be welcomed.

The formidable opponents could be Hurricane Run and Shirocco.

Takeover Target favored for Sprinters S

After closing Saturday betting round, Australia champion sprinter Takeover Target(AUS) has been installed as the favorite at odds of 4.2(16-5) for the Sprinters Stakes(g1). She is Tosho was the second favorite at 5.9(49-10). Hong Kong hero Silent Witness(AUS) was the third favorite at 6.1(51-10) followed by Orewa Matteruze at 6.6(28-5). Les Arcs(USA) of Enland was the 9.2(41-5) fifth favorite. The rest of the field was 10.0(9-1) or higher.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Stage Set for Sprinters Stakes

The 16 runners have been entered for the Sprinters Stakes(g1) Sunday at Nakayama.
The field in the post position with weights(in kgs) and jockeys for the 1,200-meter turf is:

1 Venus Line m5 55 S.Akiyama
2 Tagano Bastille c3 5 M.Katsuura
3 Les Arcs(USA) g6 57 E.Saint-Martin
4 Meisho Bowler h5 57 Y.Fukunaga
5 She is Tosho m6 55 K.Ikezoe
6 Golden Cast h6 57 F.Komaki
7 Orewa Matteruze h6 57 Y.Shibata
8 (b)Keeneland Swan(USA) h7 57 L.Innes
9 (b)Benbaun(IRE) g5 57 D.O’Donohoe
10 Blue Shotgun h7 57 Y.Fujioka
11 Tamamo Hot Play h5 57 K.Watanabe
12 Symboli Escape h5 57 M.Ebina
13 Takeover Target(AUS) g7 57 J.Ford
14 Silent Witness(AUS) g7 57 F.Coetzee
15 Suteki Shinsukekun(USA) c3 55 H.Goto
16 Cheerful Smile m6 Y.Iwata
(b) denotes blinkers.
The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. JST.

Saturday's JRA Graded Stakes

The Sapporo Nisai Stakes(g3) for 2-year-olds will be run at Sapporo over 1,800 meters on grass. The post position with jockeys is:

1 Swing Low f D.Matusda
2 B B Guldan c S.Akiyama
3 Nishino Pride c H.Shii
4 Admire Head c Y.Iwata
5 Black Schanze c Y.Tsukada
6 Meiner Bijou c T.Kikuzawa
7 Fusaichi Offtra c S.Fujita
8 Namura Mars c Y.Fujioka
9 Excuse f H.Kitamura
10 Glavanic c S.Kawashima
11 Win Bold c M.Honda
12 Clever Dragon
All starters carry 54kgs.
The post time will be at 3:30 p.m. JST

Chukyo hosts the Sirius Stakes, a g3 dirt handicap for 3-year-olds and up, going over 1,700 meters. The post position with weights(in kgs) and jockeys is:

1 Trust Star(USA) h5 52 Y.Fukunaga
2 Misho Battler m6 56 T.Sato
3 Sunrise King h7 57 R.Wada
4 (b)Nike Germane(USA) h6 52 S.Kumazawa
5 (b)Tsumujikaze(USA) h6 54 R.Sameshima
6 Osumi Hennessy c4 55 K.Take
7 En Dehors h7 57.5 H.Uemura
8 Kinetics h7 55 K.Ikezoe
9 Café Olympus(USA) h5 57.5 K.Ando
10 Silent Deal h6 57.5 K.Watanabe
11 Safety Emperor g7 55 K.Hasegawa
12 (b)Wonder Hayabusa h5 55 Y.Kawada
13 Moere Treasure h5 54 S.Kawahara
14 Meisho Suisei h7 51 Y.Iida
15 Hagino Bel Tempo(USA) h6 55 F.Komaki
(b) denotes blinkers.
The post time will be at 3:45 p.m. JST

Thursday, September 28, 2006

2006 Sprinters Stakes

A total of 25 runners including four foreigners have been nominate for the Sprinters Stakes which is to be run this Sunday at Nakayama. The field will draw on Friday.

Brief history
The race was founded in 1967 as the most important event for sprinters. In introducing grading system in 1984, the Sprinters gained a g3 status and was upgraded to g2 in 1987. A g1 status was given in 1990. As the JRA program was modified in 2000, the event was held in early October for the first time. It has been running as an international race since 1994.

The Sprinters Stakes, one of the two prominent sprint races(other is Takamatsunomiya Kinen), has built up its greatness as a sprint championship, and is the sixth leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, which is made up of the seven sprint races.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dream Passport storms home in Kobe

Dream Passport stormed home Sunday afternoon at Chukyo when he edged Meisho Samson for a neck victory in the Kobe Shimbun Hai(g2). A 1/2-length behind the runner-up, Song of Wind finished third with Fusaichi Richard another further 1/2-length back fourth in the field of 16 three-year-olds.

Dream Passport completed the 2,000-meter turf race in 1 minute 581.seconds. The winning rider was Jun Takada, who said, “We took a good position earlier than usual. Right after I brought him to the outside, he was all-out.”

Coming into the stretch, Song of Wind took up the running with Meisho Samson chasing after him, and Fusaichi Richard found an opening between them to get into an even term with the two. At the mid-stretch, one of the three looked to be a winner, but in a flash Dream Passport had shot up to them on the far outside. Takada asked the colt for a final effort, and he caught his best late stride that came up front.

Balance of Game prevails in All Comers

The thrilling finish of the Sankei Sho All Comers(g2) was completed Sunday afternoon at Nakayama when Balance of Game came cross the line first by the skin of his teeth. Another extra stride would have given Cosmo Bulk the grade two victory. The two separated by a nose that was determined by a photo inspection.

Dia de la Novia ran third, a neck behind the runner-up and a nose before Swift Current. Another neck behind, Air Shady finished fourth in the 15-horse field. Katsuharu Tanaka was the winning rider after completing the 2,200-meter trip in 2 minutes 12.1 seconds on firm ground.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Foreign invaders for Sprinters

The foreign entries are quite a lineup of talent and as strong as ever when they contend the Sprinters Stakes(g1), held October 1 at Nakayama.

In the absence of a local super star, they could dominate the premier sprint event. The four foreign invaders are in alphabetical order:

Benbaun(IRE) of England - won Flying Five S(IRE-g1) and finished a couple of runner-ups at g1
Les Arcs(USA) of England - winner of July Cup(Eng-g1) and Golden Jubilee S(Eng-g1)
Silent Witness(AUS) of Hong Kong - Hong Kong sprint champion, winner of 2005 Sprinters S(Jpn-g1)
Takeover Target(AUS) of Australia - Australia spring champion, winner of Lighting S(Aus-g1), prepped successfully on the Japan turf when finishing 2nd in Centaur S

The Sprinters Stakes is the sixth leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Field Set For Kobe

A field is set for the grade two Kobe Shimbun Hai for 3-year-olds at Chukyo over 2,000 meters on grass. The field in the post positions with jockeys is:

1 Erimo Expire c T.Sato
2 Meisho Samson c M.Ishibashi
3 Aperitif c K.Ando
4 Open Sesame c R.Wada
5 Fusaichi Richard c Y.Fukunaga
6 Tenshino Concorde c M.Nakamura
7 Deep Air c K.Ikezoe
8 Chokai Sunday c F.Komaki
9 Tamamo Support c Y.Fujioka
10 Must Be True c S.Akiyama
11 Song of Wind c K.Take
12 (b)Rikisan Point c A.Nomoto
13 Dream Passport c J.Takada
14 Top of Sunday c Y.Kawada
15 Meiner Polite c M.Honda
16 Admire Main c Y.Take
All starters carry 56kgs.
Post time: 3:45 p.m. JST on Sunday
(b) indicates blinkers

15 entries for All Comers

Nakayama hosts the Sankei Sho All Comers(g2) on Sunday. The post positions with weights and jockeys for the 2,200-meter turf are:

1 Vita Rosa h6 57 H.Uemura
2 Spring Sion h9 57 S.Ishibashi
3 Swift Current h5 57 N.Yokoyama
4 Cosmo Bulk h5 59 F.Igarashi
5 Balance of Game h7 58 K.Tanaka
6 Grass Position h7 57 H.Miyuki
7 Win Generale h6 57 M.Katsuura
8 Tiger Cafe h7 57 L.Innes
9 Alfajores h6 57 M.Matsuoka
10 Dia de la Novia f4 55 Y.Iwata
11 Dream Partner g6 57 M.Ebina
12 Mejiro Mantle h9 57 Y.Yoshida
13 Robbery Genio g7 57 H.Kitamura
14 Air Shady h5 57 H.Goto
15 Meteor Burst h5 57 Y.Shobata
Post time: 3:35 p.m.JST

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hishi Atlas wins Elm S

Hishi Atlas stalked the pace and drew clear inside 200 meters from home, winning the Elm Stakes(g3) on Monday afternoon at Sapporo Racecourse.

Before a neck victory, Hishi Atlas had to deny challenge of Gene Crisis, who performed a flying finish, but it did not just prevail. Another 1 1/2-length back, August Bio was third with favorite Tosen Bright fourth in the field of 13.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Favorite wins Rose S

The Rose Stakes(g2), a major prep for the Shuka Sho(g1) was on Sunday afternoon at Chukyo by race favorite Admire Kiss, who completed the 2,000-meter trip under Yutaka Take in 1 minute 58.2 seconds.

Coming into the stretch, Hirofumi Shii on Shells Lei remained a comfortable lead and looked like a grade winner, but Take angled inside and Admire Kiss became a hot trailer.

The strongest run of the two was obiously Admire Kiss, who closed fast on Shells Lei at every step. Just before the line, Admire Kiss caught Shells Lei. The two separated a 1/2-length. Fusaichi Pandora, a 4-length behind the runner-up and a head before Nishino Fujimusume, ran for third in the field of 17 three-year-old fillies.

L Innes rides first winner in Japan

New Zealand jockey Leith Innes rode the first winner in Japan when he guided Tosen Shana O to the g2 St.Lite Kinen victory on Sunday at Nakayama.

Innes, who has been racing under the temporary license in Japan since September 9, had Tosen Shana O race just behind the pace, and then forced him to draw clear from the pack at top stretch for the winning run.

Tosen Shana O, a 67.8 outsider in the field of 17 three-year-olds, won the 2,200-meter in 2 minute 13.1 seconds, beating Tosho Scirocco by a 1 1/2-length with another 1/2-length further away Mistral Cruise third.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Two JRA horses to be heading to Australia

Delta Blues and Pop Rock will be heading to Australia to run in the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup. The two are scheduled to leave for down under on October 2.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Elm Stakes to run on Monady at Sapporo

The Elm Stakes(g3) will run on Monday at Sapporo. The 13 runners contests the 1,700-meter dirt race. The post positions are:

1 August Bio h5 56kgs MKatsuura
2 Hikaru Wish c4 56 HKitamura
3 Gene Crisis(USA) h5 56 RYamaguchi
4 Tai Gallant h9 TInoue
5 Time Paradox h8 59 YShibayama
6 Don Cool c4 58 YFukunaga
7 Saqalat h6 58 YTake
8 Tosen Bright h5 57 SFujita
9 Personal Rush(USA) h5 59 YIwata
10 Hishi Atlas h6 57 NYokoyama
11 Wild Wonder c4 56 HGoto
12 Lord Majesty c4 56 HShii
13 Tagano Guernica c4 57 KTake
post time: 3:35 p.m. JST

Friday, September 15, 2006

Field set for St.Lite

The 17 three-year-olds are all set to run for the St. Lite Kinen(g2), one of the trials for the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger), on Sunday at Nakayama. The field in the post positions with jockeys is:

1 Daiwa Baselard c HKitamura
2 Kiss to Heaven f KAndo
3 Tenshino Gold c NNakadate
4 Mistral Cruise c SFujita
5 Tosho Scirocco c YYoshida
6 Yukino Asakaze c JOno
7 Nishino Answer c TKikuzawa
8 Never Bouchon c SIshibashi
9 Tosen Shana O c LInnes
10 Nishino Freedom c YShibata
11 Matsurida Gogh c MEbina
12 Trophy Deal c KTanaka
13 Fusaichi Junk c YIwata
14 Intelleto c HGoto
15 Meiner High Up c HYoshida
16 Passing Mark c KTake
17 Millennium Wing(IRE) c NYokoyama
weight: 56kgs for colts, 54kgs for fillies
post time: 3:35 p.m. JST

Field for Rose Stakes

The Rose Stakes(g2) for 3-year-old fillies, a major prep for the Shuka Sho(g1), is to be run on Sunday at Chukyo. The post positions with jockeys are:

1 Peke J KSamashima
2 Perfect Joy KKawada
3 Solid Platinum FShibahara
4 Hundred Score KHasegawa
5 Saint Victoire YShibayama
6 Tiara Princess KDazai
7 Yamato Marion HMiyuki
8 Fusaichi Pandora YFukunaga
9 Chiffon Veil RSameshima
10 Shells Lei HShii
11 Chiyono Dragon MNakagawa
12 Stella Madlade SAkiyama
13 Admire Kiss YTake
14 Nishino Fujimusume HUemura
15 Y Cube TSato
16 Hosho Ruby(USA) YFujioka
17 Secret Code MYoshida
weight: 54kgs
post time: 3:45 p.m. JST

Monday, September 11, 2006

She is Tosho romps home in Centaur S

She is Tosho produced an eyecatching turn of foot, winning the Centaur Stakes(g2) at Chukyo. Australian sprint champion Takeover Target finished a 3-length behind the winner in second with another 1/2-length away Native Heart third.

Outside 200 meters from home, Takeover Target took the lead and looked like a winner, but She is Tosho stormed on the outside. Jockey Kenichi Ikezoe said, "I held off on the spurt as late as possible."

When Ikezoe asked She is Tosho for the last effort, she quickened up into the front 100 meters out by flying past the Austrailian star. "I drew a whip once.", said Ikezoe. She came home a clear lead with the final time of 1 minute 8.6 seconds for the 1,200-meter turf trip.

With the victory, She is Tosho became the first champ for the Summer Sprint series.

Shinsukekun goes all the way

Suteki Shinsukekun(USA) led from start and went all the way to win the Keisei Hai Autumn Handicap(g3) in photo finish at Nakayama on Sunday. Camphor Best was a nose short of winning the 1,600-meter grade three with Meiner Scherzi another 1 3/4-length away third. The final time was 1 minute 32 seconds on firm ground.

Winning jockey Hiroki Goto said, "He broke well and went well throughout the race."

Disappointment was race favorite Incentive Guy, who finished 14th in the field of 15.

It was for the first time in 21 years that the 3-year-old triumphed the Keisei Hai AH.

The November 18 Mile Championship(g1) will be a prime target for the Hideyuki Mori-trained Suteki Shinsukekun.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Upset victory for Trillion Cut in Asahi Challenge

Trillion Cut(USA), ridden by Ryuji Wada for the first time, gained an upset victory Saturday in the g3 Asahi Challenge Cup at Chukyo.

Wada said, “I was instructed to have him go after the front runner in the race. I thought that we would catch the leader(Kongo Rikishio) at the line.”

The 6-year-old American-bred sailed behind the front runners early on in the 2,000-meter race, and then caught the pace-setting Kongo Rikishio in the nick of the time. The final time was 1 minute 57.4 seconds. A neck separated the two.

Another 1/2-length back, Keiai Guard followed in third with another 3/4-length back Suzuka Phoenix fourth in the field of 12.

This was the first grade success and the 6th win in 33 starts for Trillion Cut, by Swain out of the Caerleon mare Sabeline, who has raced under the saddle of Hidetaka Otonashi and under the name of Carrot Farm.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Fields set for Sunday's JRA Graded Races

A maximum field of 18 is set for the Centaur Stakes(g2) at Chukyo over 1,200 meters on grass. The field in post positions with weights and jockeys is:

1 M S World c3 55 SAkiyama
2 Golden Cast h6 57 FKomaki
3 Maruka Kiseki h5 57 SKumazawa
4 Meisho Bowler h5 58 YFukunaga
5 Lord Ultima(USA) h6 57 YTake
6 Sachino Sweetie f3 53 NSuzuki
7 Gallant Arrow h6 57 HMiyuki
8 Limitless Bid h7 57 YIwata
9 (b)Precious Cafe h7 57 KAkagi
10 Ribbon Art m5 55 MIshibashi
11 Takeover Target(AUS) g7 59 JFord
12 (b)Native Heart h8 57 HUchida
13 (b)Keeneland Swan(USA) h7 57 HShii
14 Cosmo Fortune f4 55 KTsunoda
15 Eishin Hebe m5 55 RSameshima
16 Ceres Dynamic(CAN) c3 55 RWada
17 Win Legend c3 55 YKawada
18 She is Tosho m6 55 KIkezoe
The post time will be Sunday at 3:45 p.m.JST.
(b) indicates blinkers

As the main showcase, the Keisei Hai Autumn Handicap(g3) will run Sunday at Nakayama. The post positions with weights and jockeys for the 1,600-meter turf race are:

1 Lohengrin h7 58 KTanaka
2 School Boy h6 53 JOno
3 Focal Point h5 55 YYoshida
4 Meine Samantha m6 55 KAndo
5 Sidewinder h8 57.5 KHasegawa
6 (b)Camphor Best h7 57 TEda
7 Wadi Rum m5 53 ENakadate
8 Suteki Shinsukekun(USA) c3 54 HGoto
9 Meiner Hearty c4 55 HKowata
10 Meiner Morgen h6 57.5 HYoshida
11 Incentive Guy h5 57 NYokoyama
12 Stormy Cafe c4 56 MYoshinaga
13 Peer Gynt c4 55 MEbina
14 Meiner Scherzi c3 54 YShibata
15 Kinetics h7 55 MKatsuura
16 Daiwa Bandit(USA) h5 56 HKitamura
The post time will be at 3:35 p.m.
(b) indicates blinkers

JRA Autumn meeting kicks off on Saturday

JRA Autumn meeting will kick off on Saturday at Chukyo and Nakayama.

Due to renovation of Hanshin Racecourse, Chukyo hosts the Asahi Challenge Cup(g3) as the main event for the opening day.

The post positions field with weights and jockeys for the 2,000-meter Asahi Challenge are:

1 Sakura Gale h9 56 TSato
2 Ars Blance h7 56 KWatanabe
3 Tsurumaru Yokanise h6 58 FKomaki
4 Trillion Cut(USA) h6 56 RWada
5 Mejiro Meyer h7 57 SAkiyama
6 (b)Tiger Cafe h7 56 LInnes
7 Marble Balder h6 56 SKumazawa
8 Keiai Guard h5 57 KIkezoe
9 Black Tide h5 57 HMiyuki
10 Eishin Niizan c4 56 MIshibashi
11 Kongo Rikishio c4 58 YIwata
12 Suzuka Phoenix c4 56 YTake
The post time will be at 3:45 p.m. JST.
(b) indicates blinkers

Monday, September 04, 2006

Gold Aguli wins Niigai Nisai in final stride

Gold Aguli rallied in the long Niigata stretch to win the Niigata Nisai Stakes(g3) in photo finish on Sunday. He won the 1,600-meter turf race by a nose from Meine Luce with Meiner Rainier finishing another 2-length back in third.

Down the final stretch, Gold Aguli and Meine Luce, who were reserved off the pace early on, broke the pack and made a head-to-head battle. In the photo investigation, the winner went to Gold Aguli, whoes nose was in front at the finish.

"It was a close finish, but I thought things would work out for us in the last 10 meters. He has things to improve such as his behavior as he takes the lead. He can stay a longer trip.", said winning jockey Katsumi Ando.

A Machan romps home in Kokura Nisai

Aston Machan romped home in the Kokura Nisai Stakes(g3) Sunday at Kokura. Under the hand of Ryota Sameshima, the Admire Cozzene colt stalked the pace, and then took the lead entering the stretch before winning the 1,200 meters in 1 minute 8.4 seconds. It was a 2 1/2-length back that Nishino Mao took second with Susan Rider 1 1/4-length away third in the field of 14 juveniles.

Sameshima said, "She broke well, but I tried not to force her into the front. She responded very well while turning the corner. After drawing clear, she acted a bit shy. In spite of it, it was a strong finish for the win. She has plenty of speed. At present, a 1,200-meter race is at her best trip."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Takeover Target to run Centaur Stakes

Takeover Target(AUS), Australian sprint champion who arrived in Japan on August 31, will run in the Centaur Stakes(J-g2) at Chukyo before taking on the strong g1 company in the Sprinters Stakes. The 7-year-old gelding has lightly exercised at Shirai track. According to trainer J.Janiak, he will be given a strong training after moving to Chukyo where the Cetaur is held.

The Centaur Stakes is the fifth leg of the Global Sprint Challenge which Takeover Target has now 28 points for the lead.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Meiner Rainier favored in Niigata Nisai

After closing Saturday betting round, Meiner Rainier has been installed as the 3.1 favorite for Sunday's Niigata Nisai Stakes(g3). The Grass Wonder colt romped home last time out, winning the Dahlia Sho by a commanding 5-length. The second favorite was Gold Aguli(3.4) followed by Nishino Kondokoso(6.9). The rest was 10.0 or higher.

As of Saturday, Silver Stone, who scored a couple of victories including the Phoenix Sho early last month, has been installed as the favorte for the Kokura Nisai Stakes(g3) at odds of 2.2. Strategy was the second favorite at 3.4. The third favorite went to Aston Machan at 7.2 followed by Nishino Mao at 9.4. The rest of the field was 10.0 or higher.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Sunday's JRA Graded Races

Sunday sees a couple of graded stakes for 2-year-olds.

Kokura hosts the Kokura Nisai Stakes(g3).The 14 juveniles will go for the 1,200-meter grade three race. The post time will be on Sunday, September 3 at 3:35 p.m. JST.

A total of 18 juveniles assemble for the Niigata Nisai Stakes(g3) at Niigata over 1,600 meters on turf. The post time will be on Sunday, September 3 at 3:45 p.m.JST.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Foreign nominees for Sprinters S

The four foreign nominees for the Sprinters Stakes, the sixth leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, at Nakayama on October 1 are:

Les Arcs(USA) and Benbaun(IRE) of England, Silent Witness(AUS) of Hong Kong, Takeover Target(AUS) of Australia

Monday, August 28, 2006

Top Gun Joe wins Niigata Kinen in exciting finish

More than a 2-month layoff was not a setback for Top Gun Joe, who won the 2,000-meter Niigata Kinen(g3) under the good hands of Hiroki Goto Sunday at Niigata.
Goto switched Top Gun Joe to the outmost lane, running just off the stand side rail through the stretch.

“The pace was relatively slow, but he settled very well in the rear and was all out in the stretch. “, said Goto.

Inside the 200 meter out, the 4-year-old colt got into the front in the process crossing the line first in 1 minute 57.2 seconds.
Before a neck victory, Top Gun Joe had to deny the serious challenges from second-placed Sanrei Jasper and third-placed Vita Rose, who separated by a neck at the line.

The Niigata Kinen field was reduced to 17 because of Thaw Your Frost’s scratch immediately before the post time.

A come-from-behind victory for Cheerful Smile in Keeneland Cup

The chance of late runners improves when the race goes on at the strong pace. That’s exactly what happened on Sunday at Sapporo Racecourse as Cheerful Smile gained a come-from-behind victory in the Keeneland Cup(g3).
Yasunari Iwata-steered Cheerful Smile, the fourth favorite in the field, stormed home for her first grade success. Final time was 1 minute 8.4 seconds for 1,200 meters on grass.

Iwata said, “She produced an explosive turn of foot. The strong pace was very suitable for her.”

Taking up the running at top stretch, race favorite She is Tosho got a clear lead but faltered late to finish second, beaten a 1/2-length by the winner.
It was another neck behind that Venus Line got third with another nose back Blue Shotgun following in fourth.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

She is Tosho favored in Keeneland Cup

In major support of the public bettors, She is Tosho has been installed, as of Saturday, as the heavy favorite of 2.1 when she faces the 15 opponents in the Keeneland Cup(g3) on Sunday at Sapporo Racecourse.

In the meantime, the wide-open Niigata Kinen is scheduled to be run Sunday at 3:45 p.m. at Niigata Racecourse.

Swift Current has been installed as the favorite at odds of 3.9 for the 2,000-meter handicap. With win on Sunday, he would wrap up the title of Summer 2000 Series. As of Saturday, Top Gun Joe was the second favorite at 5.0. Eishin Niizan was the 6.4 third favorite. The fourth favorite was Nishino Nurse Call at 7.5 followed by Osumi Grass One at 8.1.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Sunday's JRA Graded Races

The Niigata Kinen, a grade three handicap for 3-year-olds and upward, will be run Sunday at 3:45 p.m. The field, in post positions with weights(in kgs) and jockeys, for the 2,000-meter turf event, lines up as follows:

1 Thaw Your Frost 54 MTanaka
2 Lord Flag 53 TBushizawa
3 Nishino Nurse Call 52 YYoshida
4 Sidewider 58 KHasegawa
5 Top Gun Joe 57 HGoto
6 Nike Germane(USA) 52 IMurata
7 Shaadi Nice 49 TOno
8 Sanrei Jasper 51 TSato
9 Eishin Niizan 53 MEbina
10 Yamanin Alabaster 55 YShibata
11 Asakusa Kininaru(USA) 54 KTanaka
12 Osumi Grass One 57 HShii
13 Yamaninmerveilleux 53 MKatsuura
14 Tagano My Bach 56 ENakadate
15 Daiwa Raiders 57 NOnishi
16 Vita Rosa 58 HUemura
17 Trillion Cut(USA) 53 JOno
18 Swift Current 57 YFukunaga

The Keeneland Cup(g3) for 3-year-olds and up has the 16 entrants, who travel 1,200 meters on Sapporo main course. The post positions with weights(in kgs) and jockeys are:

1 Cosmo Lovesick 56 JSerizawa
2 Venus Line 54 SAkiyama
3 Meiner Solomon 56 ATsumura
4 Tsurugaoka Hayate 56 NYokoyama
5 Moere Espoir 56 FIgarashi
6 Thor Hammer 56 KAndo
7 Precious Cafe 56 YShibayama
8 Copano Fujin 56 SFujita
9 Samson Happy 56 HMatoba
10 Blue Shotgun 56 YFujioka
11 More Than Best(USA) 54 TKikuzawa
12 Gallant Arrow 56 KTake
13 Dance of Salome 54 MHonda
14 She is Tosho 55 KIkezoe
15 Daiwa Memphis 56 HKitamura
16 Cheerful Smile 54 YIwata
The post time will be at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Moon rises in Sapporo

Admire Moon made a big step toward fall campaign when the only 3-year-old in the field of 15 won the Sappro Kinen(G2) under Yutaka Take Sunday afternoon at Sapporo Racecourse. The End Sweep colt worked his way from the rear, and established the fastest finish of 33.5 seconds in the last 600 meters, winning it in 2 minutes 0.3 seconds for the 2,000-meter trip.

Take said, "I wished he could achieve his best run on the firm ground. That's exactly what happened. He is the top-rated colt of his generation that he displayed today."

In the very final stage, Take and Admire Moon, who were in the rear rank for a long time, shot out from Les Clefs d'Or with Machikane Kirara laboring on the inside. From this point, favorite Admire Moon was running as the strongest of the three. At the line he secured the verdict by a length from Les Clefs d'Or, who resisted Machikane Kirara's late effort by a half length.

According to trainer Matsuda, Admire Moon is scheduled to go straight forward to the Tenno Sho Autumn.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

M Kirara favorite in Sapporo

Machikane Kirara, who seeks his first grade victory, has been installed as the early favorite for the Sapporo Kinen at odds of 3.1(21-10). After closing Saturday betting round, Admire Moon was the second favorite at 3.2(11-5). The third favorite went to Erimo Harrier at 6.0(5-1) followed by Silk Famous at 9.2(41-5). The rest of the field was 10.0(9-1) or higher.

Because of Blue Tornade's scratch, the Sapporo Kinen field was reduced to 15.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Field set for Sapporo Kinen

The stage is set for the Sapporo Kinen, a feature race for Sapporo Sunday meeting. The post positions with weight(in kgs) and jockeys for the 2,000-meter grade two are as follows:

1 Spring Sion 57 JSerizawa
2 Bullet Lane 57 TKikuzawa
3 Fast Tateyama 57 KTake
4 Shake My Heart 57 YShibayama
5 Blue Tornade 57 SAkiyama
6 Safety Emperor 57 KHasegawa
7 Les Clefs d'Or 55 SFujita
8 Machikane Kirara 57 NYokoyama
9 Tiger Cafe 57 NSugai
10 Shilk Famous 57 FIgarashi
11 Admire Moon 54 YTake
12 Great Journey TSato
13 Tagano Dangerous 57 YIwata
14 Erimo Harrier 57 KAndo
15 Mayano Raijin 57 HShii
16 My Sole Sound 57 MHonda

The post time will be at 3:25 p.m.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Daring Heart takes Queen Stakes

Daring Heart picked up her second victory in 15 starts when she won the Queen Stakes(g3) Sunday afternoon at Sapporo. Under the hand of Shinji Fujita, the Sunday Silence filly took up the running in the top-stretch, and went on winning the 1,800-meter race for fillies and mares in 1 minute 46.7 seconds.

Yamanin Sucre came with a good rally, but her effort to get home proved of no avail, finishing a 1 3/4-length behind the winner in second, with Les Clefs d’Or another neck away third in the field of 14.

“The point was that I had to race her in good harmony. She stuck to a good pace and I thought things would work out when I was in good hand.”, said Fujita. “She got off a good start toward fall campaign.”

Cosmo Fortune upsets Kitakyushu

Cosmo Fortune, aggressively ridden by Koichi Tsunoda, gained an upset victory in the 1,200-meter Kitakyushu Kinen(g3) at the Kokura Sunday meeting. The 4-year-old filly won it in 1 minute 8 seconds by a 1 3/4-length from Golden Cast, who beat Homan Tequila by a neck in second place.

Going around the final bend, Tsunoda angled in as the rest took the wide turn. That gave Cosmo Fortune the sole lead when she came into the stretch, and worked her way into the winning post.

Tsunoda said, “She did break well and had a good race at front with taking advantage of the light weight. The leading contenders, I thought, took the wide turn, so I brought her to the inside. She has not performed well at a shorter trip before, but I am very pleased with this win."

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Favorite for Queen Stakes is Yamanin Sucre

After closing Saturday betting round, Yamanin Sucre, winner of the Nakayama Himba Stakes(g3) three starts back, has been installed as the early favorite for the Queen Stakes(g3) at odds of 4.0(3-1). Fukushima Himba S(g3) heroine Lofty Aim was the second favorite at 5.3(43-10). Meine Samantha, who is likely to set the pace for the 1,800-meter trip, was at 6.0(5-1) for third favorite, followed by Daring Heart at 6.6(28-5) and Blumenblatt at 8.0(7-1). The rest of the field was 10.0(9-1) or higher.

The early favorite for the Kitakyushu Kinen(g3) was Maruka Kiseki(4.0/3-1), who seeks his first grade success. Homan Tequila was the second favorite at 4.2(16-5). The third favorite was Sachino Sweetie at 6.8(29-5) followed by Limitless Bid at 9.7(87-10). The rest of the field was 10.0(9-1) or higher.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sunday's JRA Graded Races

Sunday sees a couple of JRA graded stakes, the Queen Stakes(g3) at Sapporo and the Kitakyushu Kinen(g3) at Kokura.

The 14 fillies and mares will compete the Queen Stakes, going over 1,800 meters on turf. The post positions with weights(in kgs) and jockeys are as follows:

1 Cheerful Smile 55 NYokoyama
2 Touch the Peak 52 YIwata
3 Les Clefs d'Or 55 YShibayama
4 Yamanin Sucre 55 HShii
5 Coreless Patio 55 TKikuzawa
6 Azuma Sanders 55 YFujioka
7 Lofty Aim 55 FIgarashi
8 Madonna Bravo 52 STakai
9 Daring Heart 55 SFujita
10 Tosen Jo O 55 HKitamura
11 Meine Samanth 55 KAndo
12 Blumenblatt 52 SKawashima
13 Choufleur 55 ATsumura
14 Hozan Glamour 55 SKato
It looks like a wide-open contest. The post time will be at 3:25 p.m.

The Kitakyushu Kinen has the 14 contestants. The post positions with weight(in kgs) and jockeys for the 1,200-meter turf are as follows:

1 Sachino Sweetie 52 NSuzuki
2 Cosmo Fortune 52 KTsunoda
3 Loulan Genereux(GB) 53 MTanaka
4 Eishin Hebe 53 RSameshima
5 Limitless Bid 58 YKawada
6 Maruka Kiseki 57.5 KSameshima
7 Ribbon Air 52 MIshibashi
8 Golden Cast 58 FKomaki
9 Spinning Noir 54 HUemura
10 Homan Tequila 56 TSato
11 K S Strong 51 KAkagi
12 Tamamo Hot Play 57 KWatanabe
13 Tagano Bastille 53 KIkezoe
14 Mayano Shadow 54 H
The post time will be at 3:35 p.m. The Kitakyushu Kinen is the third leg of the 2006 Summer Sprint Series.