Sunday, June 24, 2007

Admire Moon takes Takarazuka

Third favorite Admire Moon got home in the muddy Hanshin course to win the 2007 Takarazuka Kinen Sunday afternoon. He got the better of second favorite Meisho Samson by a 1/2-length. Another 2-length behind, Pop Rock was third with Admire Fuji fourth and Fast Tateyama fifth in the strong field of 18. Race favorite Vodka was done in the final 300 meters or so, fading into the eighth place.

Meisho Samson, ridden by Mamoru Ishibashi, borke away from the pack in the last 200 meters, but Yasunari Iwata-steered Admire Moon quickly drew on him. The two engaged a brief duel before Admire Moon powered his way to the winning post. Final time for the 2,200-meter distance was 2 minutes 12.40 seconds.

This was the third victory, including the Dubai Duty Free(g1) in late-March, of the year for Admire Moon, who has now registered his 9th win in 15 career starts. The 135+ million yen first purse brought his career earnings to more than 933 million yen. The 4-year-old colt is trained by H.Matsuda and owned by R.Kondo. Northern Farm in Hayakita, Hokkaido is the breeder of the bay colt by End Sweep out of the Sunday Silence mare My Katies.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Vodka early favorite for Takarazuka

As of Saturday, Vodka has been installed as the early favorite for the Takarazuka Kinen at odds of 3.0. The Japanese Derby heroine seeks another historical victory. Note that no 3-year-old has won the Takarazuka in the past 47 runnings.Tenno Sho Spring winner Meisho Samson was the second favorite at 5.1. The 6.2 third favorite was Daiwa Major, who comes here with an impressive victory in the Yasuda Kinen. International grade one winner Admire Moon was the fourth favorite at 6.9, followed by Pop Rock at 8.4 and Kawakami Princess at 9.4.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Field set for 2007 Takarazuka

The 2007 Takarazuka Kinen field has been drawn today. It is quite some lineup of the g1 premier event, for which 16 top class runners have been entered. The post time of the 2,200-meter turf will be at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday, June 24.

The field is as follows:

pp/Horse/AgeSex/Weight(in kgs)/Jockey
1/Swift Current/6h/58/N.Yokoyama
3/My Sole Sound/8h/58/K.Tsunoda
4/Makihata Cyborg/5g/58/R.Wada
5/Pop Rock/6h/58/Y.Take
6/Admire Moon/4c/58/Y.Iwata
7/Kawakami Princess/4f/56/K.Take
8/Inti Raimi/5h/58/T.Sato
9/Admire Fuji/5h/58/Y.Fukunaga
10/Admire Main/4c/58/Y.Kawada
11/Daiwa Major/6h/58/K.Ando
12/Tokai Trick/5h/58/H.Miyuki
13/Fast Tateyama/8h/58/F.Komaki
14/Shadow Gate/5h/58/K.Tanaka
15/Asakusa Kings/3c/53/M.Matsuoka
16/Cosmo Bulk/6h/58/F.Igarashi
17/Meisho Samson/4c/58/M.Ishibashi

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

2007 Takarazuka Kinen

The 48th running of the Takarazuka Kinen will be run on Sunday, June 24 at Hanshin Racecourse. A total of 20 top-rated horses including Japanese Derby winner Vodka have been nominated for the 2,200-meter turf event.

Brief History
The first running of the Takarazuka Kinen took place in 1960 at the distance of 1,800 meters and the trip was lengthened to 2,000 meters the following year. In 1966, the distance was further extended to 2,200 meters. The race was open to foreign horses in 1999 and upgraded to the international grade one race two years later. The Takarazuka Kinen, the Spring edition of the Arima Kinen, is considered as the biggest finale race for the first half of JRA racing calendar.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Japan sends four to US

Four JRA runners will race at Hollywood Park on the fourth of July weekend.

Japanese Oaks winner Robe Decollete(USA) takes on the American Oaks on July 6th to seek a Japanese-American Oaks double. On the next day, Koiuta, Kiss to Heaven and Dia de la Novia run in the CashCall Mile.

They are scheduled to leave Japan for US on June 25.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Daiwa Major takes Yasuda in final stride

Second favorite Daiwa Major stormed home a neck victory in the 57th running of the Yasuda Kinen Sunday afternoon at Tokyo. the 6-year-old horse defeated third favorite Kongo Rikishio in final stride. A neck separated the two. Third, a 2 1/2-length behind, went to Jolly Dance with another neck back Admire Kiss fourth, who was a neck better than fifth-placed Suzuka Phoenix(favorite).

Katsumi Ando was aboard Daiwa Major to come at the winning post in 1 minute 32.20 seconds after traveling the 1,600 meters on firm ground. "I am so relieved(to win the race). He proved that he is the best runner at this distance.", Ando quoted.

Kongo Rikishio retained a comfortable lead, at least three length ahead of the big pack, leaving the 200-meter marker, but Daiwa Major quickly drew on the leader having broken away from the pack on the inside. From there, the gap of the two narrowed as Daiwa Major strode at every step. Daiwa Major powered his way toward the line in doing so that he just put his neck in front at the post.

Disappointments for the grade one event were Hong Kong hopes; Good Ba Ba(seventh finish), Joyful Winner(ninth), Able One(12th) and The Duke(15th).

Daiwa Major, trained at Miho by Hiroyuki Uehara, has now enhanced his resume to the fourth g1 succes with record of 23-8-4-3.The Yasuda first prize of 103+ million yen improved his career earnings to more than 896 million yen. Daiwa Major, a son of Sunday Silence out of the Northern Taste mare Scarlet Bouquet, raced under the color of K.Oshiro. Shadai Farm in Chitose, Hokkaido was the breeder of the chestnut horse.

Friday, June 01, 2007

2007 Yasuda Kinen Preview

Hong Kong invaders took the first and third places last year in the Yasuda Kinen, and with a strong entry of four this year, they have a good chance to repeat it. Able One, Good Ba Ba, Joyful Winner and The Duke, who are all coming off the good form of run in the Champions Mile at Sha Tin, could dominate the Japanese g1 event for Hong Kong if they have their run.

Local racegoers will focus their hopes and expectations on Daiwa Major and Suzuka Phoenix. Daiwa Major, who had his career best runs last fall with a couple of g1 victories, makes his only second start of the year. His sole race this season was the Dubai Duty Free where he finished a respectable third. Late-striding Suzuka Phoenix, coming off the Takamatsunomiya Kinen(G1) victory, could show his best run at his favored course.

Sunday, June 3, 2007
The 57th running of the Yasuda Kinen, grade one
Tokyo Race 11, 3:40 p.m.
3-year-olds and upward, International
1,600-meter, left-handed, turf
Added moneny(in million yen):1st; 100, 2nd; 40, 3rd; 25, 4th; 15, 5th; 10

PP/Horse/AgeSex/Weight(in kgs)/Jockey
1/Sakura Mega Wonder/4c/58/Ryota Sameshima

2/Daiwa Major/6h/58/Katsumi Ando
3/Admire Kiss/4f/56/Yuga Kawada
4/Good Ba Ba(USA)/5g/58/Eric Saint-Martin
5/Kongo Rikishio(IRE)/5h/58/Shinji Fujita
6/The Duke(AUS)/8g/58/Robert Fradd
7/Orewa Matteruze/7h/58/Hiroki Goto
8/Suzuka Phoenix/5h/58/Yutaka Take
9/Joyful Winner(AUS)/7g/58/Gerald Mosse
10/Eishin Dover(USA)/5h/58/Yuichi Fukunaga
11/Meiner Scherzi/4c/58/Yoshitomi Shibata
12/Kiss to Heaven/4f/56/Hiroyuki Uchida
13/Air Shady/6h/58/Norihiro Yokoyama
14/Dia de la Novia/5m/56/Yasunari Iwata
15/Super Hornet/4c/58/Yusuke Fujioka
16/Symboli Escape/6h/58/Masayoshi Ebina
17/Able One/5g/58/Noel Callow
18/Jolly Dance/6m/56/Shinichiro Akiyama