Tuesday, October 30, 2007

2007 JBC Classic at NAR Ohi

Ohi will host the richest NAR race, the JBC Classic, on Wednesday night. A total of 16 including 5 JRA horses will go to post for the 2,000-meter dirt event on the NAR Ohi main track.

Blue Concorde, trained at JRA Ritto by T.Hattori, who came off the October 8 Nanbu Hai victory at NAR Morioka , seeks his 7th dirt G1 success and could be a major player. The main oppositions to Blue Concorde will be the Feburuary Stakes(g1) winner Sunrise Bucchus and Dubai World Cup fourth-placed Vermillion. Among the NAR entries, the Japanese Dirt Derby winner Furioso will be the top candidate.

The 100 million yen check is given to the winner of the the JBC Classic. The post time will be at 8:10 p.m. JST.

Right before the JBC Classic, the JBC Spring for which 16 horses have been entered will run over 1,200 meters on the Ohi dirt track. The two JRA horses, Limitless Bid and Meisho Battler, who finsihed first and second, respectively, in the Tokyo Hai in early-October, could be the strong contenders. The post time for the JBC Sprint will be at 7:25 p.m. JST.

NAR: The National Association of Racing

Monday, October 29, 2007

Seeking the Best retires and studs in US

Seeking the Best(IRE), by Seeking the Gold out of the Summer Squall mare Mackie, has been retired from racing and goes to stud at Hill 'N' Dale Farm for the next breeding season.Under the color of K.Yoshida, the 6-year-old horse raced 22 times, winning 9 of them with more than 73 million yen in career earnings. His career was highlighted by the 2006 Musashino Stakes (g3) victory. His breeder was Britton House Stud Ltd. in Ireland.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Meisho Samson romps home in Tenno Sho

Meisho Samson romped home in the Tokyo main course to win the Tenno Sho Autumn by a 2 1/2-length from Agnes Ark with Company another neck away third. Pop Rock and Cosmo Bulk finished, respectively, fourth and fifth to complete the money earners.

The 4-year-old colt by Opera House, Meisho Samson, became the fourth horse to sweep the Tenno Shos(Spring and Autumn editions) in the same year, joining the exclusive league of Tamamo Cross, Special Week and T M Opera O.

The clock stopped in 1 minute 58.40 seconds for the winning time after making the 2,000-meter trip on good ground.

Meisho Samson sailed along with the rail at sixth place. On front, Cosmo Bulk set the pace with the opening 1,000-meter in 59.60 seconds. As the field turned for home, the room was opened up for Meisho Samson to make a clear run in the inside passage. Right after completing the uphill stretch, at around 200 meters left, Yutaka Take asked Meisho Samson for the last effort. When the jockey did so, the colt just quickened up in front.

"He broke well and we got the best position early on. He made further acceleration as I drew the whips.", Winning rider Yutaka Take said.

Meisho Samson paid 290 yen for win as favorite.

Disapointments of the traditional race were Admire Moon and Daiwa Major, who received the stretch interference, finishing sixth and ninth respectively.

Meisho Samson has now scored 9 wins in 19 career starts for trainer S.Takahashi and owner Y.Matsumoto. The first prize of 135+ million yen for the Tenno Sho Autumn brought his career earnings to 894+ million yen. K.Hayashi is the breeder of the bay colt out of the Dancing Brave mare My Vivien.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Meisho Samson early favorite for Tenno Sho

Meisho Samson, after closing Saturday betting round, has been installed as the early 3.7 favorite for the Tenno Sho Autumn. Admire Moon was the 4.1 second favorite. Daiwa Major and Pop Rock shared the third favorite at odds of 5.8.

Friday, October 26, 2007

2007 Tenno Sho Autumn preview

Admire Moon tops the strong field of the Tenno Sho Autumn. The 4-year-old colt by End Sweep out of the Sunday Silence mare My Katies ran four times in the current season, winning three including the Dubai Duty Free(g1) and the Takarazuka Kinen(g1). A 4-month layoff could be a setback, but he can have the ability to run up to the finish line if he runs his race. This will be his first start under the color of Darley Japan.

The main oppositons to Admire Moon could be: Tenno Sho Spring winner Meisho Samson, who finished a second in the Takarazuka Kinen last time out; Daiwa Major, who seeks to repeat his 2006 success; Pop Rock, with O. Peslier up, coming off a good second in the Kyoto Daishoten; Mainichi Okan winner Chosan and Sekiya Kinen winner Company.

In search of the 135.528 million yen first purse for the Tenno Sho Autumn, 16 runners will go to post at 3:40 p.m. JST on Sunday.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Field set for Tenno Sho Autumn

A strong field is set to run for the 2007 Tenno Sho Autumn at Tokyo on Sunday, October 28. 16 runners have been entered for the 2,000-meter traditional race. The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. JST on Sunday.

1 Meisho Samson 4c Y.Take
2 Eishin Deputy 5h Y.Shibayama
3 Cosmo Bulk 6h F.Igarashi
4 Delta Blues 6h Y.Kawada
5 Rosenkreuz 5h Y.Fujioka
6 Company 6h Y.Fukunaga
7 Silk Nexus 5h H.Shii
8 Bonneville Record 5h Y.Shibata
9 Agnes Ark 4c H.Yoshida
10 Bright Tomorrow 5h H.Goto
11 Sahdow Gate 5h K.Tanaka
12 Admire Moon 4c Y.Iwata
13 Chosan 5h N.Yokoyama
14 Daiwa Major 6h K.Ando
15 Pop Rock 6h O.Peslier
16 Matsurida Gogh 4c M.Ebina
All starters carry 59kgs.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tenno Sho(Autumn) trend

Favorites have won three times in the last 10 runnings. Occasional shocks. During the last 10 years, the longest-priced winner is Heavenly Romance(paid 7,580 yen for win as 14th pick) in 2005.
Good guidance in the last 10 years has been provided by the Kyoto Daishoten, which has produced 3 winners, 4 runner-ups and a third place. Seven of the last 10 winners have come into the Tenno Sho off the winning performances.
The 6-year-olds and up has won only once in the last 10 years, while the 4-year-olds have a good record, registering 6 firsts, 3 seconds and 5 thirds during the same period.

Major preps for Tenno Sho:

Kyoto Daishoten(g2): Sunday, October 7, 2007
Kyoto 2,400-meter turf
Final time: 2m 24.80s

6 Inti Raimi 2.4 T.Sato
3 Pop Rock 2.1f H.Shii
5 Al Nasrain 25.9 R.Wada
7 Dance a Joy 60.4 K.Tsunoda
2 Delta Blues 13.3 Y.Kawada
margins: nk, 1-3/4l, hd, ns

Mainichi Okan(g2): Sunday, October 7, 2007
Tokyo 1,800-meter turf
Final time: 1m 44.20s[record]

7 Chosan 44.4 M.Matsuoka
8 Agnes Ark 14.7 H.Yoshida
1 Daiwa Major 1.8f K.Ando
11 Erimo Harrier 50.8 Y.Yoshida
3 Bright Tomorrow 5.1 H.Goto
margins: 1l, 1/2l, nk, nk

Sankei Sho All Comers(g2): Sunday, September 23, 2007
Nakayama 2,200-meter turf
final time: 2m 12.50s

6 Matsurida Gogh 2.3f M.Ebina
12 Silk Nexus 13.3 Y.Kitamura
15 Erimo Harrier 17.8 Y.Yoshida
10 Chaste Wing 107.4 H.Yoshida
13 Daiichi Atom 19.1 S.Ishibashi
margins: 1/2l, 2-1/2l, 1-1/2l, 1-1/2l

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

2007 Tenno Sho Autumn

This Sunday sees the Tenno Sho Autumn at Tokyo. A total of 20 horses including 8 grade/group one winners have been nominated for the 2,000-meter traditional race.

Brief history of Tenno Sho Autumn
The Tenno Sho(Emperor’s Cup) is a biannual race, taking place in Spring at Kyoto and Autumn at Tokyo. The first running of the Tenno Sho Autumn edition was in 1937 at Tokyo over 2,600 meters and the distance extended to 3,200 meters the following year. The race was not run in 1944 due to war and continued to be abandoned over the next three years. In 1948, the traditional Autumn event was called as the Tenno Sho for the first time. The Tenno Sho Autumn was run over 2,000 meters for the first time in 1984. It was open to 3-year-olds in 1987. The door was opened for foreign-breds and foreign runners, respectively, in 2000 and 2005.

Past 10 winners:
2006 Daiwa Major
2005 Heavenly Romance
2004 Zenno Rob Roy
2003 Symboli Kris S
2002* Symboli Kris S
2001 Agnes Digital
2000 T M Opera O
1999 Special Week
1998 Offside Trap
1997 Air Groove
* at Nakayama

Sunday, October 21, 2007

2007 Kikuka Sho: Asakusa Kings wins in good style

The Kikuka Sho, the last leg of the Triple Crown Races for 3-year-olds, was triumphed in good style Sunday afternoon by fourth favorite Asakusa Kings, trained by R.Okubo and owned by K.Tahara, who beat sixth favorite Al Nasrain by a head with favorite Roc de Cambes(NZ)third, another 1 1/2-length back. Fourth place, another 1 1/2-length further back, was 12th favorite A Shin Dardman, followed by second favorite Dream Journey fifth place. Hirohumi Shii was aboard the winner to run the 3,000-meter turf race in 3 minutes 5.10 seconds on firm ground.

As the field entered the Kyoto stretch for the second time, Asakusa Kings, the Japanese Derby runner-up, got into the lead with Al Nasrain chasing him on the outside. A thrilling finish began when the two had a head-to-head battle, and they continued to fight it out to the line.

"We were collared by the second-placed horse, but I thought my horse fought back as he is a tough horse.", Shii said referring to the dual battle in the stretch. "He was in good shape. The longer distance is much suited by him."

Asakusa Kings, a 3-year-old colt by White Muzzle out of the Sunday Silence mare Croupier Star, has now registered four wins in 10 starts. The 152+ million yen first purse for the Kikuka Sho brought his career earnings to 309+ million yen. Shadai Farm is the breeder of the bay colt.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Roc de Cambes early favorite for Kikuka Sho

As of Saturday, Roc de Cambes(NZ) winning 4 races in as many starts has been installed as the 3.5 favorite for the 2007 Kikuka Sho. The 5.9 second favorite was Kobe Shimbun Hai winner Dream Journey. Satsuki Sho winner Victory was the 7.4 third favorite followed by Asakusa Kings(9.3).

Friday, October 19, 2007

2007 Kikuka Sho: Major Players

The major players in the 2007 Kikuka Sho could be:
St. Lite Kinen winner Roc de Cambes(NZ), who never got behind in 4 starts; Dream Journey coming off an impressive victory in the Kobe Shimbun Hai; Japanese Derby runner-up Asakusa Kings coming here with a respectable second in the Kobe Shimbun Hai; Satsuki Sho winner Victory and Hokuto Sultan who came from third and fourth, respectively, in the Kobe.

Kikuka Sho trend:
Favorites have recently struggled; Deep Impact in 2005 is the only winning favorite in the last 10 years. A prep race is essential. The last 10 winners have prepped at least once in the Autumn season. Kobe Shimbun Hai provides a good guidance. Five of the last 7 winners have run there.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

2007 Kikuka Sho field

The 2007 Kikuka Sho field has been drawn. A total of 18 3-year-old colts will go for the classic at Kyoto Racecourse on Sunday, October 21. The post position order with weights and jockeys for the 3,000-meter turf event is:

1 Hirakubo Royal 57 K.Take
2 Wake Island 57 H.Miyuki
3 Blue Materu 57 H.Tanaka
4 Roc de Cambes(NZ) 55 Y.Shibayama
5 A Shin Dardman 57 K.Tsunoda
6 Caught Euphoria 57 Y.Kawada
7 Tascata Sorte 57 Y.Fukunaga
8 Manhattan Sky 57 F.Komaki
9 Sun Zeppelin 57 M.Matsuoka
10 Asakusa Kings 57 H.Shii
11 Fusaichi Ho O 57 K.Ando
12 Al Nasrain 57 R.Wada
13 Rose Prestige 57 S.Akiyama
14 Duotone 57 S.Fujita
15 Bering Boy 57 K.Watanabe
16 Dream Journey 57 Y.Take
17 Hokuto Sultan 57 N.Yokoyama
18 Victory 57 Y.Iwata
The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. JST on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

2007 Kikuka Sho

The 2007 edition of the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St.Leger) will run this Sunday at Kyoto over 3,000 meters on turf. A total of 22 colts remain for the Kikuka Sho on the final nomination stage.

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

Last 10 winners
2006 Song of Wind
2005 Deep Impact
2004 Delta Blues
2003 That's the Plenty
2002 Hishi Miracle
2001 Manhattan Cafe
2000 Air Shakur
1999 Narita Brian
1998 Seiun Sky
1997 Machikanefukukitaru

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Daiwa Scarlet claims best filly in Shuka

Daiwa Scarlet claimed the best 3-year-old filly in the country as she landed the Shuka Sho(g1) Sunday afternoon at Kyoto. Katsumi Ando on Daiwa Scarlet had a perfect ride to complete the 2,000-meter turf trip in 1 minute 59.10 seconds.

Second favorite Daiwa Scarlet got into front leaving the backstretch. From that point, she was never behind and just galloped the rest of the way. Second, a 1 1/4-length back, was seventh favorite Rain Dance. Race favorite Vodka and third favorite Bella Rheia, who rallied from far behind in the stretch, finished third and fourth respectively.

Following her Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) success earlier this season, Daiwa Scarlet picked up her second g1 glory of the year to make a Oka Sho - Shuka Sho double.

Quote from winning jockey Ando:
I just sat on her and let her run whatever she wanted to do. She stayed well on the 2,000-meter trip and finished strongly. She is a really good horse.

Daiwa Scarlet, an Agnes Tachyon chestnut filly out of the Northern Taste mare Scarlet Bouquet, raced under the color of Keizo Oshiro and her record has now improved to 7-5-2-0. The 92+ million yen first prize of the Shuka Sho brought her career earnings to 318+ million yen. Shadai Farm in Chitose Hokkaido is the breeder of Daiwa Scarlet, who is trained at Ritto by Kunihide Matsuda.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Daiwa Scarlet favored for Shuka Sho

The Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas) winner Daiwa Scarlet, a half sister to multiple g1 winner Daiwa Major, has been installed as the early favorite for Sunday's Shuka Sho. After closing Saturday betting round, she was at odds of 3.0. The Japanese Derby heroine Vodka was at 3.2 for second favorite, followed by Bella Rheia at 3.5. The rest of the field was at 10.0 or higher.

Foreign nominations for 2007 JC and JCD

A total of 45 foreign runners have been preliminarily nominated for the 2007 Japan Cup. In the meantime, the 2007 Japan Cup Dirt has 14 foreigners. Selection process for the invitees on the both races is just under way after closing the foreign nomination dated on October 9. The 2007 Japan Cup will run on Sunday, November 25 at Tokyo. The date for the Japan Cup Dirt will be on Saturday, November 24.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Field set for 2007 Shuka Sho

A field is set for the 2007 Shuka Sho(g1). A total of 18 fillies will go to post for the 2,000-meter turf event at Kyoto on Sunday, October 14. The post time will be at 3:40 p.m. JST.

The 12th Shuka Sho, grade one
3-year-old fillies, 2,000 meters, turf, right-handed
Added money(in million yen):
1st; 89, 2nd; 36, 3rd; 22, 4th; 13, 5th; 8.9

1/Hishi Aspen(USA)/Kenichi Ikezoe
2/Minty Air/Masayoshi Ebina
3/Britomartis/Hideaki Miyuki
4/Zarema/Yuga Kawada
5/Love Caerna/Hayato Yoshida
6/Karenna Sakura/Tomoharu Bushizawa
7/Pink Cameo/Hiroki Goto
8/Meine Luce/Takuya Ono
9/Arco Senora/Eiji Nakadate
10/Hello Speed/Masami Matsuoka
11/Bella Rheia/Yutaka Take
12/Hokulele/Yusuke Fujioka
13/Daiwa Scarlet/Katsumi Ando
14/Tagano Premiere/Yoshizumi Hashimoto
15/Queen Spumante/Ryota Sameshima
16/Vodka/Hirofumi Shii
17/Rain Dance/Koshiro Take
18/Robe Decollete(USA)/Yuichi Fukunaga
All starters carry 55kgs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Shuka Sho trend

Either favorites or second favorites have won 8 of the last 10 runnings. Two shock results in the last decade, Buzen Candle in 1999 and Tico Tico Tac in 2000. Rose Stakes runners have a good record, finishing 6 firsts, 7 seconds and 4 thirds in the last 10 years.

Sunday, September 16, 2007
Rose Stakes at Hanshin
Final time: 1m 46.10s

5 Daiwa Scarlet1 Bella Rheia
7 Rain Dance
8 Pink Cameo
6 Nihonpillow Cherie
margins: 1/2l, 1/2l, 1-3/4l, 1/2l

Daiwa Scarlet led the field of 14 fillies and was never behind during the 1,800-meter trip. Bella Rheia produced an excellent late charge to get second, a half-length behind the winner.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Brief history of Shuka Sho

As a part of racing program modification, the Shuka Sho was established for the third g1 event for 3-year-old fillies of the year in 1996. It is considered to be the final leg of the filly Triple Crown Series for fillies. The top-class runners assemble for the 2,000-meter race before
going for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup against older females.

Past winners
2006 Kawakami Princess
2005 Air Messiah
2004 Sweep Tosho
2003 Still in Love
2002 Fine Motion
2001 T M Ocean
2000 Tico Tico Tac
1999 Buzen Candle
1998 Phalanopsis
1997 Mejiro Dover
1996 Fabulous La Fouine

Monday, October 08, 2007

2007 Shuka Sho

A total of 24 3-year-old fillies remain in the final nomination stage for the Shuka Sho(g1), held at Kyoto on Sunday, October 14. The nomination includes Japanese Derby winner Vodka, Oka Sho winner Daiwa Scarlet, Japanese Oaks winner Robe Decollete(USA) and Japanese Oaks runner-up Bella Rheia.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Outsider takes Mainichi Okan in record time

The rank outsider Chosan took the Mainichi Okan(g2) Sunday afternoon by a length from Agnes Ark with favorite Daiwa Major finishing another half-length back in third. Masami Matsuoka was aboard the winner to come home in 1 minute 44.20 seconds, the record time for the Tokyo 1,800-meter turf course.

Sending off the 8th favorite at odds of 44.4, Chosan traveled well off the pace and ran on strongly in the stretch having taken the lead inside 100 meters from home. Held up early on, Agnes Ark chased the winner without threatening in the final stage. Daiwa Major took a good position and looked to take the command in the early stretch, but was not able to match the pace of the first two in the end.

It was the first grade success for Chosan, a 5-year-old son of Dance in the Dark out of the SoccerBoy mare Stay Young who has now recorded 6 wins in 18 starts.

Inti Raimi late charge to take Kyoto Daishoten

Coming off his Asahi Challenge Cup victory in early last month, Inti Raimi picked up another grade sucess when he won the Kyoto Daishoten(g2) Sunday afternoon at Kyoto by taking an explosive late charge. The winner's final time for the 2,400-meter distance was 2 minutes 24.80 seconds on firm ground. Tetsuzo Sato was the winning rider. Pop Rock took the inside lane and had every chance, but came in a neck short to take the second place. Al Nasrain took third followed by Dance a Joy fourth and Delta Blues fifth.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pop Rock favorite for Kyoto Daishoten

As of Saturday, Pop Rock, winner of the Meguro Kinen(g2), has been installed as the favorite for the Kyoto Daishoten at odds of 2.5. Inti
Raimi was second favorite at 2.7, followed by Fast Tateyama 7.3 and Tosho Knight 7.5. The post position order with odds and jockeys for
the Kyoto Daishoten is:

1 Tosho Knight 7.5 T.Bushizawa
2 Delta Blues 13.2 Y.Kawada
3 Pop Rock 2.5 H.Shii
4 Makihata Cyborg 57.1 F.Komaki
5 Al Nasrain 19.0 R.Wada
6 Inti Raimi 2.7 T.Sato
7 Dance a Joy 38.8 K.Tsunoda
8 School Boy 71.3 Y.Fukunaga
9 Fast Tateyama 7.3 K.Take
10 Higher Game 28.7 S.Akiyama
The post time for the 2,400-meter grade two will be at 3:45 p.m. JST on Sunday, September 7.

The post position with odds and jockeys for the Mainichi Okan(g2) is as follows:

1 Daiwa Major 1.9 K.Ando
2 Pisa no Patek 45.4 H.Kitamura
3 Bright Tomorrow 4.9 H.Goto
4 Tosho Voice 39.2 J.Kobayashi
5 Stormy Cafe 36.0 E.Nakadate
6 Eishin Deputy 12.5 K.Tanaka
7 Chosan 41.6 M.Matsuoka
8 Agnes Ark 11.5 H.Yoshida
9 Top Gun Joe 26.1 M.Ebina
10 Camphor Best 39.8 T.Eda
11 Erimo Harrier 38.2 Y.Yoshida
12 Kongo Rikishio(IRE) 6.3 S.Fujita
13 Big Planet 139.3 S.Ishibashi
14 Vril(AUS) 93.5 H.Tanaka
The post time for the 1,800-meter race will be at 3:35 p.m. JST on Sunday, September7.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

This Week's JRA graded races

Delta Blues and Pop Rock, who were out of the Melbourne Cup, are among 14 nominations for this Sunday's Kyoto Daishoten(g2) at Kyoto. The two horses, both trained by Sumii, were originally scheduled to return to the world famous race, but epidemic flu in early-September ruined their plans to make a trip Down Under.

In the meantime, Tokyo hosts the Mainichi Okan(g2), a major prep for the Tenno Sho Autumn(g1), to be run on Sunday.