Sunday, March 29, 2009

Laurel Guerreiro lands Takamatsunomiya

A strong front running gave Laurel Guerreiro the Takamatsunomiya Kinen victory. Shinji Fujita guided the winning horse to race the 1,200-meter g1 in 1 minute 8 seconds.

Laurel Guerreiro kept running well at the front end until favorite Sleepless Night slightly came on top at around 200 meters remaining. Laurel Guerreiro was a step behind, but he fought back to retake the lead.

Sleepless Night was unable to match the winner's finishing stride to finish a half-length behind in second. Third, another 1 1/4-length behind, was Soldier's Song with Tosho Courage fourth in the field of 18 runners.

39th Takamatsunomiya Kinen, grade one
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Chukyo Race-11 3:40pm 18-ran
Fractional[final] time: 11.90-22.20-33.10-44.60-56.00-[1:08.00]

13 Laurel Guerreiro S.Fujita
4 Sleepless Night H.Uemura
2 Soldier's Song Y.Kitamura
5 Tosho Courage H.Uchida
1 Cosmo Bell(USA) T.Sato
margins: 1/2l, 1-1/4l, ns, 1/2l

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Early favorite for 2009 Takamatsunomiya Kinen

As of Saturday, Sleepless Night has been installed as the 3.5 favorite for the Takamatsunomiya Kinen. The 5-year-old Kurofune mare, who is in the midst of 5 winning streak, has not raced since last October when she landed the grade one Sprinters Stakes. Faridat(USA) was the second favorite at 6.5. The third favorite went to the Hankyu Hai winner B B Guldan at 8.2 followed by Kinshasa no Kiseki 8.7.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Field of 2009 Takamatsunomiya

18 horses will go for the Takamatsunomiya Kinen(g1) at Chukyo Racecourse on Sunday.

The 39th running of the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, grade one
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Chukyo Race-11 3:40pm JST
4yo+ International fixed-weight 1,200-meter turf left-handed
Total purse: 186.2
1st prize: 98.99; 2nd: 39.14; 3rd: 24.57; 4th: 14; 5th 9.5
(in millio yen)

1 Cosmo Bell(USA)/5m/55/T.Sato
2 Soldier's Song/7h/57/Y.Kitamura
3 Apollo Dolce(USA)/4c/57/M.Katsuura
4 Sleepless Night/5m/55/H.Uemura
5 Tosho Courage/7h/57/H.Uchida
6 Western Dancer/5m/55/Y.Kawada
7 Urban Street/5h/57/Y.Fukunaga
8 Faridat(USA)/4c/57/H.Shii
9 Kinshasa no Kiseki(AUS)/6h/57/Y.Iwata
10 Fine Grain/6h/57/H.Miyuki
11 I'll Love Again/7h/57/A.Tsumura
12 Halo Fuji/6m/55/Y.Iida
13 Laurel Guerreiro/5h/57/S.Fujita
14 Dragon Fang/4c/57/Y.Fujioka
15 Urbanity/5h/57/N.Yokoyama
16 B B Guldan/5h/57/K.Take
17 Spring Song/4c/57/K.Ikezoe
18 Joyful Heart/8h/57/K.Dazai

On Sunday, March 29, 2009, Nakayama features the March Stakes for 4yo+. 16 runners have been entered for the 1,800-meter dirt race.

Saturday's JRA graded races:
The Nikkei Sho, the grade two 2,500-meter turf race for which 14 horses have been entered will be held at Nakayama. Some of the entrants will prep as the Tenno Sho Spring.
Hanshin Racecourse hosts the Mainichi Hai. 14 three-year-olds will compete the grade three 1,800-meter on the Hanshin main course.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

2009 Takamatsunomiya Kinen

Sunday, March 29, 2009 sees the Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo. The g1 sprint has a total of 43 nominees. It looks like a wide-open race.

The favorites have won twice and placed second two times in the last 10 years. The Hankyu Hai runners have done well, winning 5 times in the last 10 runnings. Last 10 years, the off-pace runners have won 7 times and Shonan Kampf(2002) is the only winner to lead all the way to the finish line.

Brief history of Takamatsunomiya Kinen
The first run was in 1971 to start with the 2,000-meter contest under the name of Takamatsunomiya Hai. In 1996, the race was upgraded to g1 and run over 1,200 meters for the first time. In the same year, the newly g1 event was to be first seen in Spring. The name was changed to the Takamatsunomiya Kinen in 1998. The race gained international status in 2001. The Takamatsunomiya Kinen is the biggest race and main objective for sprinters in Spring season. This event is the only g1 race hosted by Chukyo.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Race favorite Unrivaled gained a 1/2-length victory in a 16-colt field for the Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes jpn g2) at Nakayama on Sunday afternoon. Yasunari Iwata rode the winning colt to complete the 1,800-meter event in 1 minute 50.80 seconds. Unrivaled displayed clearly that he had the best finishing speed in the grade two event. No doubt that he will be one of the main casts for the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas).

You can see the race video on YouTube at

The Hanshin Daishoten was at Hanshin on Sunday afternoon won by Asakusa Kings, who beat Hikaru Kazabue by a nose. Screen Hero finished fourth and favorite Oken Bruce Lee was 7th in the 3,000-meter turf race.

You can see the race video on YouTube at

Veteran jockey Katsumi Ando will ride Casino Drive in the Dubai World Cup. Yutaka Take will take the mount on Vodka(Dubai Duty Free) and Bamboo Ere(Dubai Golden Shaheen).

58th Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Nakayama Race-11 16-ran
3yo 1,800-meter turf
12 Unrivaled Y.Iwata
7 Red Spada H.Kitamura
2 Fifth Petal Y.Take
14 San Carlo Y.Yoshida
16 Sacred Valley M.Katsuura
margins: 1/2l, 3/4l, hd, nk

57th Hanshin Daishoten
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Hanshin Race-11 12-ran
4yo+ 3,000-meter turf
7 Asakusa Kings H.Shii
8 Hikaru Kazabue S.Akiyama
11 Namura Crescent F.Komaki
10 Screen Hero N.Yokoyama
2 Tokai Trick R.Wada
margins: ns, 1-3/4l, 3l, nk

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fields of Spring Stakes and Hanshin Daishoten

Unrivaled, who won the Wakagoma Stakes in great fashion on his last outing, could be the one to follow in the Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes for which 16 colts have been entered. Fifth Petal, who finished never worse than second in 4 starts, could be a formidable opponent.

The field for the 1,800-meter Spring Stakes at Nakayama on Sunday is as follows:

pp/horse name/rider
1/Request Song/Hiroki Goto
2/Fifth Petal/Yutaka Take
3/Top Cliford/Yoshitomi Shibata
4/Meiner Elf/Akihide Tsumura
5/Respect Cat(USA)/Katsuharu Tanaka
6/Executive/Masami Matsuoka
7/Red Spada/Hiroshi Kitamura
8/Sei Crimson/Hideaki Miyuki
9/Tsukuba Hokuto O/Hayato Yoshida
10/Meisho Dontaku/Shinji Fujita
11/Meisho Dagda/Masayoshi Ebina
12/Unrivaled/Yasunari Iwata
13/Kitasan Gaisen/Katsumi Ando
14/San Carlo/Yutaka Yoshida
15/Scion/Kosei Miura
16/Sacred Valley/Masaki Katsuura

The Hanshin Daishoten for 4-year-olds and upwards has 12 runners to run at Hanshin over 3,000 meters on grass. The main contenders are Asakusa Kings winning the Kyoto Kinen(g2) last month, the 2008 Japan Cup winner Screen Hero and the 2008 Kikuka Sho winner Oken Bruce Lee.

The Hanshin Daishoten field is as follows:

pp/horse name/agesex/weight/rider
1/Air Zipangu/6g/58/Yuichi Fukunaga
2/Tokai Trick/7h/57/Ryuji Wada
3/Nihonpillow Regalo/6h/57/Manabu Sakai
4/T M Precure/6m/56/Takuma Ogino
5/Delta Blues/8h/58/Yuga Kawada
6/Go with Wind/10h/57/Shigefumi Kumazawa
7/Asakusa Kings/5h/58/Hirofumi Shii
8/Hikaru Kazabue/4c/56/Shinichiro Akiyama
9/Tokai Elite/9h/57/Hiroyuki Uemura
10/Screen Hero/5h/59/Norihiro Yokoyama
11/Namura Crescent/4c/56/Futoshi Komaki
12/Oken Bruce Lee/4c/58/Hiroyuki Uchida

Viva Vodka led all the way to win the Flower Cup by a neck from heavy favorite Dear Geena, who chased the winner in the stretch.

Best Member gained a neck victory in the Wakaba Stakes having engaged in a ding-dong battle with Triumph March.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Final major prep for Japanese 2000 Guineas

The Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes(jpn g2), the final major prep for the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas), will be held on Sunday, March 22 at Nakayama. A total of 26 three-year-old colts have been nominated for the 1,800-meter turf race. Having prepped the Spring Stakes, the three colts(Meisho Samson in 2006, Daiwa Major in 2004 and Neo Universe in 2003) went on to the Satsuki-Sho glory.
On the same day, Hanshin hosts the Hanshin Daishoten for 4yo & up. The 3,000-meter event is considered as the important prep for the Tenno Sho Spring.

Saturday sees the 1,200-meter Falson Stakes(g3) for 3yo at Chukyo, the 2,000-meter Wakaba Stakes at Hanshin and the 1,800-meter Flower Cup(jpn g3) for 3yo f at Nakayama.

The Wakaba Stakes is one of the trials for the Satsuki Sho.

The Flower C is not considered the prep for the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas), but the Cup has produced the subsequent g1 winners such as Black Emblem(Shuka Sho winner in 2008), Kiss to Heaven(Oka Sho winner in 2006), Cesario(Japanese Oaks winner in 2005), Dance in the Mood(Oka Sho winner in 2004) and Smile Tomorrow(Japanese Oaks winner in 2002).

Casino Drive and Bamboo Ere arrived at Dubai on March 18. The former will run in the Dubai World Cup, while the latter will take part in the Dubai Golden Shaheen.
Vodka, who aims at the Dubai Duty Free, prepped in the Jebel Hatta(g2) and finished fifth on March 5.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

One Carat takes Fillies' Revue

One Carat sailed behind the leading pack and broke away from the rest in the stretch to win the Fillies' Revue at Hanshin on Sunday. No sooner did the field turn for home, Yusuke Fujioka drove One Carat between the rail and La Verita(USA). That set the stage for the filly's leading position.
I Am Kamino Mago, a 1 1/4-length behind the winner, finished second with another 1 1/2-length back Lady Rouge third. Heavy favorite Mikrokosmos took fourth place.

43rd Fillies' Revue, grade 2, 16-ran
3yo 1,400-meter turf
final time: 1m 22.40s
7 One Carat Y.Fujioka
6 I Am Kamino Mago Y.Fukunaga
13 Lady Rouge R.Sameshima
11 Mikrokosmos Y.Take
10 Eilenberg K.Watanabe
margins: 1-1/4l, 1-1/2l, 3-1/2l, 1/2l

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wide-open Fillies' Revue

16 fillies go to post for the Fillies' Revue at Hanshin Racecourse at 3:35 pm JST on Sunday. The g2 event looks like a wide-open contest.
The field in post position order for the 1,400-meter turf is as follows:

pp/Horse Name/Jockey
1/Kiri Concert/Sho Ueno
2/Pearl Shadow/Yasunari Iwata
3/A Diaphon/Futoshi Komaki
4/Special Queen/Suguru Hamanaka
5/Suirinka/Koshiro Take
6/I Am Kamino Mago/Yuichi Fukunaga
7/One Carat/Yusuke Fujioka
8/Ange Aile/Hayato Yoshida
9/Shonan Kassai/Hideaki Miyuki
10/Eilenberg/Kunihiko Watanabe
11/Mikrokosmos/Yutaka Take
12/Hukilau Song/Shinji Fujita
13/Lady Rouge/Ryota Sameshima
14/Koei Heart/Yuga Kawada
15/ Charm Pot/Ryuji Wada
16/La Verita(USA)/Hirofumi Shii

Two Days Notice(by Hector Protector out of Universe, by Dancing Brave) posted an impressive 2-length victory in the Anemone Stakes at Nakayama to gain a spot for the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas).

Dual grade winner Peer Gynt(7yo, Sunday Silence - Twinkle Bride, by Lyphard) has been retired from racing and will enter stud in France.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Final major trial for Japanese 1000 Guineas

The Fillies' Revue(jpn g2) will run this Sunday at Hanshin Racecourse. A total of 39 fillies remains in the final nomination stage of the 1,400-meter turf contest. The Revue is considered as the final major trial for the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas). Last 10 years, the two fillies(Rhein Kraft in 2005 and Reginetta in 2008) went on to winning the first filly classic after prepping the Fillies' Revue.

On a day before the Fillies' Revue, the Anemone Stakes, a prep for the Oka Sho in East, will be carried out at Nakayama Racecourse.

Other JRA grade races on this week:
Chukyo Kinen(g3) at Chukyo on Saturday
Nakayama Himba Stakes(g3) at Nakayama on Sunday

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Logi Universe romps Yayoi Sho

Logi Universe romped the Yayoi Sho by making all the running on the Nakayama 2,000-meter course. The odds-on favorite beat Mikki Petra by a 2 1/2-length to get home in 2 minutes 3.50 seconds. Third, another half-length behind, was Moere Expert. Second favorite Seiun Wonder finished a disappointing 8th.

As jockey Norihiro Yokoyama brought Logi Universe into front before main stand, spectators gasped in surprise. Because the colt had never got the leading position in his past runnings. From there, no rivals got a step in front.

You can see the race(in Japanese) on YouTube at

The 46th Yayoi Sho, grade 2
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Nakayama Race-11 3:45pm 10-ran
3yo 2,000-meter turf good cloudy
10 Logi Universe f N.Yokoyama
2 Mikki Petra K.Tanaka
7 Moere Expert M.Matsuoka
3 Kitasan Amigo Y.Kawada
9 Keiai Raijin H.Uchida
margins: 2-1/2l, 1/2l, nk, 3/4l

Logi Universe remains undefeated in 4 starts with 3 straight grade victories before going for the Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas). He will be certainly the major player in the first leg of the triple crown races for 3-year-olds.

Logi Universe is a bay colt by Neo Universe, winner of the 2003 Japanese Derby and the Satsuki Sho, out of the Cape Cross mare Acoustics.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Two top colts meet in Yayoi Sho

Seiun Wonder and Logi Universe meet for the first time in the grade 2 Yayoi Sho.
Seiun Wonder has won three in 4 starts. Last time outing, the Grass Wonder colt won the grade 1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes last December to get the Best 2-year-old Colt Award. Logi Universe remains undefeated in 3 starts. A sensational victory in the grade 3 Radio Nikkei Sho Nisai Stakes last December was his latest effort.
Seiun Wonder with Yasunari Iwata up breaks from post 6, while Logi Universe with Norihiro Yokoyama sitting on him breaks from post 10.

The starters with postpositions and jockeys for the Yayoi Sho are:

1/Realize Nash(NZ)/Yoshitomi Shibata
2/Mikki Petra/Katsuharu Tanaka
3/Kitasan Amigo/Yuga Kawada
4/Early Robusto/Yuichi Fukunaga
5/Moere Expert/Masami Matsuoka
6/Seiun Wonder/Yasunari Iwata
7/High Roller/Eiji Nakadate
8/Leo Wizard/Hayato Matoba
9/Keiai Raijin/Hiroyuki Uchida
10/Logi Universe/Norihiro Yokoyama

Buena Vista had no trouble posting a victory in the grade two Tulip Sho. Many have been impressed by her performance. No doubt that she will be favored for the next month's Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas).

Friday, March 06, 2009

G3 Tulip Sho Field

The field of the Tulip Sho for 3-year-old fillies has been drawn. The major player will be Buena Vista, who makes her 2009 debut in the grade 3 race. Her late stride shown in the grade 1 Hanshin Juvenile Filles on her latest start was awesome. She gets lots of supports from bettors.

The field with post positions and jockeys is as follows:

1 Rouge Bamboo/Futoshi Komaki
2 Inazuma Amaryllis/Kenichi Ikezoe
3 Broad Street Shinji Fujita
4 Germinal/Yuichi Fukunaga
5 Buena Vista/Katsumi Ando
6 Virgin Sapphire/Takeshi Kimura
7 Sakura Mimosa/Yusuke Fujioka
8 Mikino Crescendo/Hideaki Miyuki
9 Kauai Lane/Yutaka Take
10 Make Deuce/Keisuke Dazai
11 Mighty Slew/Yutaka Yoshida
12 Happy Shuttle/Shinji Kawashima
13 Phase Shift/Ryuji Wada

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Yayoi Sho runs this Sunday

March 8, 2009 sees the Yayoi Sho, one of the major preps for the Satsuki Sho(Japaese 2000 Guineas) at Nakayama.

The Yayoi Sho has produced six Satsuki Sho winners in the last decade.Shocks are rare. In the last 10 runnings, the favorites and second favorites have won five and four times respectively.

As far as the jockey is concerned, Yutaka Take has a great record in the Yayoi Sho. He has ridden the four winners and placed second three times in the last 10. The Yayoi Sho runs the same distance and course as the Satsuki Sho.

On the day before the Yayoi Sho, Hanshin Racecourse hosts the Tulip Sho for 3-year-old fillies. The Tulip Sho is the major trial for the Oka Sho(Japanese 1000 Guineas).

Casino Drive is scheduled to leave Japan for Dubai on March 16th.