Thursday, May 31, 2007

Colts hurt out of season

Admire Aura, third in the Japanese Derby last Sunday, will be sidelined for the remaining of the year due to leg injury. The colt suffered a bone chip in a left front knee during his Derby run and will undergo surgery.Coconut Punch had injury of his left rear leg during his third finish in the Meguro Kinen. It will take at least 6 months for him to recover from the injury.

Other brief news

NHK Mile Cup winner Pink Cameo is out of the American Oaks and will take a rest at Shadai Farm during summer.

The recent Japanese Derby winner Vodka will take on the Arc de Triomphe this fall, her owner Tanimizu revealed. Before the world-famous French event, she may prep in a Longchamp race, either Prix Niel or Prix Vermeille.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

2007 Yasuda Kinen

The Yasuda Kinen, the final leg of the Asian Mile Challenge, will take place on Sunday, June 3 at Tokyo. A total of 31 horses including 4 Hong Kong-based runners remain at the final nomination stage of the g1 1,600-meter event.

Brief History
The Yasuda Kinen(initially called the Yasuda Sho) was named after Mr. Izaemo Yasuda, who rendered the distinguished support of racing industry in early days. The first run was in 1946. In introduction of grading system in 1984, the race was given a g1 status and established as the championship for milers in Spring season. Since the door was opened for foreign runners in 1993, three foreigners have gained the Yasuda glory.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Fillies to make a trip to Hollywood Park

Robe Decollete(USA) is out of the English group one Coronation Stakes. The Japanese Oaks winner may run instead in the July 7 American Oaks at Hollywood Park.

NHK Mile Cup winner Pink Cameo and Victoria Mile winner Koiuta will be also heading to Hollywood Park. Pink Cameo may run in the American Oaks, while Koiuta's next subject could be the CashCall Mile.

Sumii makes Derby-Meguro double

Trainer Katsuhiko Sumii made a Japanese Derby-Meguro Kinen double as Vodka and Pop Rock won, respectively, the Japanese Derby and the Meguro Kinen yesterday.

In front of 131,185 attendance, Vodka achieved the great feat that paid attention to public imagination. Her next action has not yet been decided, but the trainer may set his eyes on an overseas premier event for her future run. In fact, the recent Derby winner has been nominated at the first forfeit stage of the 2007 Arc de Triomph.

Pop Rock defied the top weight of 58.5 kgs, gaining his second Meguro Kinen victory in two years. His next run in the Takarazuka Kinen is planned.

Sumii known as a world traveling trainer has won three grade/group one races overseas with Cesario, Hat Trick and Delta Blues.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

2007 Japanese Derby; Filly Makes History

Vodka, trained by Katsuhiko Sumii and owned by Y.Tanimizu, became the first filly in 64 years to win the Japanese Derby when she came on top at the finish line of the 74th Derby at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. The only two other fillies to win the Derby were Hisatomo in 1937 and Kurifuji in 1943.

Hirofumi Shii took Vodka to settle nicely at the middle of the field early on, while Asakusa Kings with Sun Zeppelin right on his tail was a head of the 18-horse parade. The front two got going strong as the field came into the stretch, but the flying filly Vodka accelerated in the stretch uphill as if she had a mission to the great feat. When she did so, she just blew past the front runners and none of the colts were able to challenge.

With 200 meters to go, Vodka's neck was into front, and yet she won the race by a 3-length from Asakusa Kings. Another 1 3/4-length back Admire Aura came late to get third with Sun Zeppelin and Dream Journey finishing fourth and fifth respectively to complete the money earners.

Vodka paid 1,050 yen for win as third favorite.

Heavy favorite Fusaichi Ho O failed to settle nicely in the early going to finish a disappointing seventh. Second favorite Victory broke poorly and never recovered to end up in ninth place. Final time for the 2,400 meters on firm ground was 2 minutes 24.50 seconds.

Shii said, "I got a good response out of her on the final turn. I pushed her as hard as possibly as we broked away from the pack in the stretch. The plan was to save the ground and bring her to the outside going into the stretch. That's exactly happened in the race. It was the most honorable thing to ride a Derby winner as a jockey. I feel great."

Vodka, a 3-year-old filly by 2002 Derby winner Tanino Gimblet out of the Rousillon mare Tanino Sister, has now won 5 of her 7 races with 2 seconds, and the 190+ million yen first prize of the Derby brought her career eranings to 366+ million yen. Country Bokujo in Shizunai, Hokkaido is the breeder of the bay filly.

Pop Rock takes Meguro Kinen

Less than 2 hours after Vodka's great Derby victory, trainer Katsuhiko Sumii saddled another graded stakes success when his trainee Pop Rock won the g2 2,500-meter Meguro Kinen at the Tokyo night cap. The 6-year-old horse by Helissio won it in 2 minutes 31.40 seconds by a neck from Coconut Punch, a 3-year-old colt who made his first start against the older stakes company.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fusaichi Ho O, Derby favorite

As of Saturday, Fusaro Sekiguchi-owned Fusaichi Ho O has been installed as the heavy favorite for the 2007 Japanese Derby at odds of 1.8. His winning streak ended last time out when finishing a close third in the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas). The Derby would be his optimum trip and he could run up to the finish for the comeback. The 11.4 second favorite was the Satsuki Sho winner Victory, who could make or chase the pace to seek another classic glory. Admire Aura, who finished fourth in the Satsuki as favorite, was the 14.9 third favorite. Vodka, the only filly of the Derby field, was the fourth favorite at 16.6 followed by the Principal Stakes winner Golden Dahlia at 18.6. The rest of the field was 20.0 or higher price.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stage set for 2007 Japanese Derby

The 2007 Japanese Derby(Tokyo Yushun) field has been drawn. A total of 18 three-year-olds will run in the prestigeous race at Tokyo on Sunday, May 27.

The field for the 2,400-meter premier classic is as follows:

1/Tascata Sorte(Jungle Pocket)/Y.Take
2/Gold Aguli(Tanino Gimlet)/M.Katsuura
3/Vodka(Tanino Gimlet)/H.Shii
4/Golden Dahlia(Fuji Kiseki)/Y.Shibata
5/Tosen March(French Deputy)/H.Uchida
6/Meiner Fogo(Star of Cozzene)/Y.Kawada
7/Finistere(Dance in the Dark)/S.Fujita
8/Dream Journey(Stay Gold)/M.Ebina
9/Hiraboku Royal(Tanino Gimlet)/K.Take
10/Plateado(Silver Deputy)/H.Kitamura
11/Namura Mars(Chief Bearhart)/Y.Fujioka
12/Sun Zeppelin(Tenby)/M.Matsuoka
13/Laurel Guerreiro(King Halo)/K.Ikezoe
14/Admire Aura(Agnes Tachyon)/Y.Iwata
15/Fusaichi Ho O(Jungle Pocket)/K.Ando
16/Asakusa Kings(While Muzzle)/Y.Fukunaga
17/Victory(Brian's Time)/K.Tanaka
18/Flying Apple(USA)(Rahy)/N.Yokoyama

All starters except Vodka will carry 57kgs. Vodka, the only filly in the field, will carry 55kgs.
The post time will be at 3:40p.m. JST.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Filly to run in Derby

Oka Sho runner-up Vodka, considered one of the best fillies in the country, will run in the Japanese Derby on Sunday. It is the first time in 11 years that a filly will take on the Derby since Biwa Heidi in 1996.

In Derby history, there are the only two winning fillies, Hisatomo in 1937 and Kurifuji in 1943.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

2007 Japanese Derby

25 horses remained in the 2007 Tokyo Yushun(known as the Japanese Derby) after the final nomination stage. A maximum field of the Derby is 18.

Brief history
This classic's first six runs were known as the Tokyo Yushun Daikyoso. For the first time in 1938, the race was called as the Tokyo Yushun Kyoso and continued that name until 1947. It was carried out under the name of the Yushun Kyoso in 1948 and 1949. In the following year, the race name was changed again to the Tokyo Yushun. The first two runs were held at Meguro Racecourse(which no longer exists).
The Derby, frequently called the racing festival, has been the greatest of all races and established as the biggest race for 3-year-olds since the first run in 1932. It is the most glory and honor for any racing person to have a Derby winner. The Japanese Derby is combined with the Satsuki Sho and Kikuka Sho to complete the Triple Crown Races.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Robe Decollete wins Oaks in photo finish

Robe Decollete(USA) won the Yushun Himba(Japanese Oaks) in photo finish to become the first foreign-bred Oaks winner in JRA racing history. She nosed out favorite Bella Rheia at the post. Third, a 3/4-length behind, was Love Caerna with another neck further back Minty Air fourth. Yuichi Fukunaga was aboard the winner to complete the 2,400-meter distance in 2 minutes 25.30 seconds, the fastest time of the Oaks races.

With around 200 meters to go, Bella Rheia broke from the pack and looked like she was marching on to the finish line, but Robe Decollete quickly drew up on her on the outside right after taking the lane between Love Caerna and Minty Air. The best run of the two was Robe Decollete, who just got up to home by a nose in front of Bella Rheia.

Fukunaga rode the third Oaks winner following Daiwa El Cielo in 2004 and Cesario in 2005.

Trained by Shigeki Matsumoto and Koji Maeda, Robe Decollete is a 3-year-old daughter of Cozzene out of the Seeking the Gold mare Color of Gold. Mr. & Mrs. Larry D. Williams is the breeder of the grey filly.

Hong Kong invades Yasuda

JRA revealed on May 19 that four Hong Kong-based runners will arrive in Japan on May 23 to take on the grade one company of the June 3 Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo. The foreign invaders are Able One, Good Ba Ba, Joyful Winner and The Duke.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

2007 Japanese Oaks

A field of 18 fillies is set for the 68th running of the Yushun Himba(Japanese Oaks) to be run at Tokyo on May 20. In the absences of Daiwa Scarlet and Vodka, Flora Stakes winner Bella Rheia is likely to be the favorite. She drew post 7. Pink Cameo, who drew post 8, seeks another grade one glory after winning the NHK Mile Cup two weeks ago.Other leading contenders include Flora Stakes runner-up Minty Air and Oka Sho third Katamachi Botan, who will break from post 5 and 11 respectively.

The field of the Japanese Oaks is:

1/Smart Storm/K.Hasegawa
2/Robe Decollete(USA)/Y.Fukunaga
3/Meine Luce/T.Ohno
4/Hello Speed/M.Matsuoka
5/Minty Air/M.Ebina
6/Milk Toreru/D.Matsuda
7/Bella Rheia/S.Akiyama
8/Pink Cameo/H.Shii
9/Rain Dance/R.Sameshima
10/Tokai Oscar/H.Goto
11/Katamachi Botan/S.Fujita
12/Love Caerna/T.Kikuzawa
13/Vienna Waltz/I.Murata
14/Last Vega/Y.Yokoyama
15/Amano Cherry Run/K.Ikezoe
16/Admire Space/Y.Shibata
All starters carry 55 kgs. The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday, May 20.

Two prominent fillies out of Oaks

Daiwa Scarlet and Vodka are out of the Japanese Oaks. Daiwa Scarlet will not run in Sunday's filly classic due to fever, while Vodka will instead run in next week's Japanese Derby.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Koiuta springs surprise Victoria Mile

Koiuta, a 60.3 outsider, sprung a surprise in the 1,600-meter Victoria Mile Sunday afternoon at Tokyo. The 12th favorite won it in 1minute 32.50 seconds by a half-length from Asahi Rising(33.6 ninth favorite). It was another nose behind that Daring Heart(32.6 eighth favorite) finished third in the field of 18 fillies and mares. Masami Matsuoka rode the first grade one winner to gain his biggest win in his 5-year jockey career.

No sooner had Matsuoka angled inside at around half-way sterch than Koiuta made rapid headway, and she just ketp running to get up to the winning post. Asahi Rising, who set the pace from the outset, hung on tough to get second.

Koiuta, a 4-year-old daughter of Fuji Kiseki out of the Dr Devious mare Violet Love, has now earned more than 236 million yen with five wins in 16 starts. M.Okuhira and Maekawa Kikaku Co. Ltd. trains and owns her respectively. Shadai Farm in Chitose, Hokkaido is the breeder of the dark chestnut filly.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Kawakami Princess favored for Victoria Mile

As of Saturday, dual g1 winner Kawakami Princess has been installled as the 2.3 favorite for the Victoria Mile in which she makes her debut of 2007 season. Sweep Tosho, considered one of the top-rated mares, was the 4.1 second favorite. The 10.3 third favorite was Dia de la Novia, followed by Admire Kiss 10.9 and Jolly Dance 11.8.

Four overseas runners have been selected for the Yasuda Kinen, run on Sunday, June 3 at Tokyo, as follows:
Able One, Good Ba Ba, Joyful Winner and The Duke

2007 Victoria Mile

A field of 18 fillies and mares is set to start in the Victoria Mile(G1) at Tokyo over 1,600 meters on grass.

1/Sayonara/6/Masayuki Nakamura
2/Dia de la Novia/5/Yasunari Iwata
3/Asahi Rising/4/Yoshitomi Shibata
4/Koiuta/4/Masami Matsuoka
5/Fusaichi Pandora/4/Yuichi Fukunaga
6/Kawakami Princess/4/Koshiro Take
7/Sweep Tosho/6/Kenichi Ikezoe
8/Kiss to Heaven/4/Norihiro Yokoyama
9/Spring Drew/7/Hiroyuki Uchida
10/Agnes Raspberry/6/Koichi Tsunoda
11/Solid Platinum/4/Futoshi Komaki
12/Blumenblatt/4/Shinji Kawashima
13/Cosmo Marvelous/5/Masayoshi Ebina
14/Admire Kiss/4/Yutaka Take
15/Sanrei Jasper/5/Tetsuzo Sato
16/Daring Heart/5/Shinji Fujita
17/Jolly Dance/6/Katsumi Ando
18/Venus Line/6/Shinichiro Akiyama
All starters carry 55kgs.
The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday, May 13.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Pink Cameo big surprise in Mile Cup

Pink Cameo, one of the two fillies in the field of 18, exploded in the stretch, storming home a half-length victory in the NHK Mile Cup Sunday afternoon at rainy Tokyo Racecourse. Race favorite Laurel Guerreiro got second, a half-length before another long-shot Muramasano Yoto. NAR jockey Hiroyuki Uchida was aboard the winner to clock 1 minute 34.30 seconds for the 1,600-meter turf distance.

By they came into the stretch, long-shot Pink Cameo looked struggling in the rear, but in the next moment the filly produced a sensational bursting run as Uchida pulled her to the outside of the wide Tokyo course. She just outran horses one after another, and then her exposive run was more than enough to get past Laurel Guerreiro a few stride from the finish line. This victory was certain to ease the miserable finish of the Oka Sho in early-April.

In the color of Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. Ltd., Pink Cameo has now recorded 4 wins in 7 starts with more than 139 million yen in earnings. Sakae Kunieda trains the French Deputy filly out of the Silver Hawk mare Silver Lane. Watership Down Stud in Niikappu, Hokkaido is the breeder of the bay filly.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Field set for 2007 NHK Mile Cup

A field of 18 three-year-olds is set to start in the 12th NHK Mile Cup at Tokyo over 1,600 meters on grass. The field for the NHK Mile Cup field
looks like this:

pp horse sex jockey
1 Asakusa Kings c Koshiro Take
2 Meiner Rainier c Masami Matsuoka
3 Osumi Daido c Yasunari Iwata
4 Meiner Fogo c Yuga Kawada
5 Meiner Segal c Hiroki Goto
6 Excuse f Norihiro Yokoyama
7 King's Delight c Kodai Hasegawa
8 Gold Aguli c Mitsuaki Ando
9 World Hunter(USA) c Masayoshi Ebina
10 Laurel Guerreiro c Shinji Fujita
11 Toho Racer c Hirofumi Shii
12 Siberian Bird(USA) c Katsuharu Tanaka
13 Direct Catch c Hiroshi Kitamura
14 Pink Cameo f Hiroyuki Uchida
15 High Society c Yuichi Shibayama
16 Shadow Stripe c Katsumi Ando
17 Danon Muro(USA) c Yutaka Take
18 Muramasano Yoto c Junichi Kobayashi
Weight: 57 kgs for colts, 55 kgs for fillies
The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, 2007.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fillies eye for overseas

Excuse, probably one of the main contenders for Sunday's NHK Mile Cup, may run in the July 7 American Oaks(g1) at Hollywood Park, her trainer K.Fujisawa revealed. As reported earlier, Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) winner Daiwa Scarlet will go for the American Oaks after the Japanese Oaks, according to her connections.

In the meanwhile, Robe Decollete(USA), fourth placed in the Oka Sho, has been nominated in the first stage of the June 22 Coronation Stakes at Ascot.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

2007 NHK Mile Cup

Sunday will see the NHK Mile Cup for which a total of 36 three-year-olds have been nominated.

Brief history
The NHK Mile Cup was introduced in 1996 as a jpn-g1 race and has since then come at the top of mile events for 3-year-olds. The first six runs have been won by foreign-breds. For this reason, the Cup was once known as the foreign-bred Derby. It has produced prominent runners such as Seeking the Pearl, El Condor Pasa, Kurofune, Tanino Gimlet and King Kamehameha.