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.