Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dream Journey triumphs Arima Kinen

Second favorite Dream Journey triumphed the Arima Kinen by a 1/2-length from favorite Buena Vista. Air Shady, another 4-length behind, finished third with Forgettable fourth and Meiner Kitz fifth. In the 2,500-meter trip on the Nakayama turf course, the winner got the line in 2 minutes 30.00 seconds. It was the emotional victory for Kenichi Ikezoe, who was crying on Dream Journey right after getting past the winning post.

As the field entered the stretch, Buena Vista was about to take the lead and subsequently broke away from the rest. Her lead was short-lived as Dream Journey flew on the outside. Buena Vista fought all the way down the line, but Dream Journey's final stride was much better at this time.

Three Rolls did't complete the race due to leg injury.

Trained at Ritto by Y. Ikee and owned by Sunday Racing Co. Ltd., Dream Journey has now won 9 of his 24 races. With the 183+ million jp yen first purse of the Arima Kinen, his career earnings brought to 769+ million jp yen. Shadai Corporation Shiraoi Farm was the breeder of Dream Journey, a 5-year-old bay horse by Stay Gold out of the Mejiro McQueen mare Oriental Art.

Friday, December 25, 2009

2009 Arima Kien preview

Dream Journey, who won the Takarazuka Kinen(g1) early this season, skipped the Japan Cup to concentrate on this prestegious event. His recent run was sixth in the Tenno Sho Autumn.

Matsurida Gogh, the Nakayama specialist who has won 8 in 12 starts at Nakayama, aims at the second Arima Kinen victory following his success in 2007. This race will be his farewell race.

Three Rolls comes into the Arima Kinen with plenty of time to prepare for this event by bypassing the Japan Cup after winning the Kikuka Sho(Japanese St. Leger). The 3-year-old colt looks to be ready to run on Sunday.

Dual filly classic winner Buena Vista has a chance to achieve the feat with victory. If she wins, she becomes the first 3-year-old filly Arima kinen winner in 49 years since Star Roch won it in 1960. She has a new partner Norihiro Yokoyama.

Forgettable, a well-bred 3-year-old colt, has good momentum with the Stayers Stakes(g3) victory three weeks ago. The runner-up in the Kikuka Sho likes to bring his stamina into play.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Field of 2009 Arima Kinen

The field of the 2009 Arima Kinen has been drawn. Despite the absence of the Japan Cup winner Vodka and the Tenno Sho Autumn winner Company, the strong field of 16 horses is set to run for the 2,500-meter grade one on the Nakayama main course. The post time will be at 3:25 p.m. JST on Sunday, December 27.

The Arima Kinen(known as the Grand Prix race) is the biggest season-ending race, held on the final meeting day in the JRA calendar.

The 54th running of the Arima Kinen, Grade One
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Nakayama Race-10
3yo+ international 2,500-meter turf right-handed

H#(pp)/Horse Name/AgeSex/Weight(in kgs)/Rider
1/Unrivaled/3c/55/Mirco Demuro
2/Buena Vista/3f/53/Norihiro Yokoyama
3/Miyabi Ranveli/6h/57/Hayato Yoshida
4/Meiner Kitz/6h/57/Kosei Miura
5/Cosmo Bulk/8h/57/Fuyuki Igarashi
6/Air Shady/8h/57/Hiroki Goto
7/Matsurida Gogh/6h/57/Masayoshi Ebina
8/Reach the Crown/3c/55/Yutaka Take
9/Dream Journey/5h/57/Kenichi Ikezoe
10/Three Rolls/3c/55/Suguru Hamanaka
11/I Ko Piko/3c/55/Hiroyuki Uchida
12/T M Precure/6m/55/Shigefumi Kumazawa
13/Shadow Gate/7h/57/Katsuharu Tanaka
14/Seiun Wonder/3c/55/Shini Fujita
15/Never Bouchon/6h/57/Hiroshi Kitamura
16/Forgettable/3c/55/Christophe Lemaire

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rose Kingdom triumphs Asahi Hai FS

Rose Kingdom locked up the JRA Best 2-year-old Colt Award when he triumphed the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes at Nakayama on Sunday. A 1 1/4-length behind the winner, Eishin Apollon(USA) finished second with another 2-length back Daiwa Barbarian third.

Rose Kingdom completed the 1,600-meter distance under Futoshi Komaki in 1 minute 34.00 seconds on firm ground.

At around 200 meters from home, Eishin Apollon pulled away from the pack to take the lead, while Rose Kingdom trailed a few lengths behind. The better stride of the two was Rose Kingdom, who outran Eishin Apollon in the blink of an eye down the last 100 meters.

Rose Kingdom remains undefeated in three starts with more than 103 million jp yen in career
earnings. Bred by Northern Farm and owned by Sunday Racing Co. Ltd., the King Kamehameha colt out of the Sunday Silence mare Rosebud is trained in Ritto by K. Hashiguchi.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rose Kingdom goes for third straight win in Futurity Stakes

Rose Kingdom goes for the third straight win when he lines up in the field of 16 colts for the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes for 2-year-olds at Nakayama on Sunday. The undefeated King Kamehameha colt in 2 starts coming off victory in the grade three Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes in mid-November will break from post 8 under Futoshi Komaki.

The main opponents to Rose Kingdom could be Eishin Appolon(USA) winning the Keio Hai Nisai Stakes(g2), Tosen Phantom who finished second in the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes behind Rose Kingdom and King Leopold, an impressive winner of the Begonia Sho on the Japan Cup day.

The 61st running of the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes, Grade One
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Nakayama Race-11 15:25 p.m. JST
2yo 1,600-meter turf right-handed

Horse#(pp)/Horse Name(sire)/Rider
1/Battle Schliemann(by Fusaichi Concorde)/Tomoharu Bushizawa
2/Daiwa Barbarian(by Manhattan Cafe)/Masayoshi Ebina
3/Garbo(by Manhattan Cafe)/Hayato Yoshida
4/Hit Japotto(by Fuji Kiseki)/Yuichi Fukunaga
5/Dasher Go Go(by Sakura Bakushin O)/Tetsuzo Sato
6/King Leopold(by Fuji Kiseki)/Yoshitomi Shibata
7/Battle Red(by Boston Harbor)/Katsuharu Tanaka
8/Rose Kingdom(by King Kamehameha)/Futoshi Komaki
9/A Shin Whity(by Sakura Bakushin O)/Katsumi Ando
10/Tsurumaru Jupiter(by Manhattan Cafe)/Masaki Katsuura
11/Froh Reise(by New England)/Hiroki Goto
12/Eishin Apollon(USA)(by Giant's Causeway)/Kenichi Ikezoe
13/Escada(by Bago)/Anthony Crastus
14/Kyoei Asura(by Swept Overboard)/Kosei Miura
15/Tosen Phantom(by Neo Universe)/Hiroyuki Uchida
16/Nishino Meigetsu(by Durandal)/Hiroshi Kitamura
All starters carry 55 kgs.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Apapane wins Juvenile Fillies

Apapane won the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies by a 1/2-length from Animate Bio to have the JRA Best 2-year-old Filly award in her hand. Best Cruise, another 3/4-length behind, took third with Ranunculus fourth and Shimmei Fuji fifth.

Apapane, the 4.6 second favorite in the field of 18 fillies, drove swiftly between horses under the hands of Masayoshi Ebina, hitting into the front inside 200 meters from home and going on to winning the 1,600-meter grade one race in 1 minute 34.90 seconds.

Apapane is a 2-year-old bay filly by King Kamehameha out of the Salt Lake mare Salty Bid. Owned and bred by K. Makoto Holding Co., the filly has now earned 78.5+ million jp yen with a record of 4-3-0-1.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shimmei Fuji favorite for Hanshin Juvenile Fillies

As of Saturday, Shimmei Fuji has been installed as the 4.3 early favorite for the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies at Hanshin on Sunday. She displayed a sensational late stride on her last outing to win the Niigata Nisai Stakes(g3) in early-September.
Apapane, winner of the Akamatsu Sho, was the 6.1 second favorite. The third favorite went to the Fantasy Stakes winner Tagano Elisabeth(7.1) followed by Ranunculus(7.2). Animate Bio, a runner-up in the Keio Hai Nisai Stakes was fifth favorite(9.2).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Field of 2009 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies

Sunday sees the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies(g1) in which a total of 18 fillies will go to post at 3:40 p.m. at Hanshin Racecourse.

The 61st running of the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies, Grade One
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Hanshin Race-11 3:40 p.m. JST
2yo f 1,600-meter turf right-handed

Horse#(pp)/Horse Name(sire)/Rider
1/Meisho Dame(Manhattan Cafe)/Yuichi Fukunaga
2/Jewel of Nile(Durandal)/Kosei Miura
3/Motohime(Shonan Kampf)/Takuya Ono
4/Paris Doll(Silent Hunter)/Keisuke Dazai
5/Sariel(King Kamehameha)/Mamoru Ishibashi
6/Animate Bio(Zenno Rob Roy)/Hiroyuki Uchida
7/Ranunculus(Special Week)/Hirofumi Shii
8/Tagano Elisabeth(Special Week)/Yuga Kawada
9/Casque d'Or(Dance in the Dark)/Futoshi Komaki
10/Tagano Palme d'Or(Chief Bearhart)/Kota Fujioka
11/Stellar Lead(Special Week)/Mirco Demuro
12/Tagano Garuda(Neo Universe)/Suguru Hamanaka
13/Glory Step(Special Week)/Hayato Yoshida
14/Karenna Hohoemi(Taiki Shuttle)/Hiroyuki Uemura
15/Best Cruise(Kurofune)/Katsumi Ando
16/Shimmei Fuji(Fuji Kiseki)/Yasunari Iwata
17/Merveille d'Or(Fuji Kiseki)/Hideaki Miyuki
18/Apapane(King Kamehameha)/Masayoshi Ebina

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Vodka remains in training until March 2010

Vodka, recently winning the Japan Cup, remains in training until next March. The 2010 Dubai World Cup will be her prime target and farewell race.

In the meantime, Screen Hero has been retired from racing, his trainer Shikato revealed. The 5-year-old horse will stand at Lex Stud in Shinhidaka, Hokkaido.

Deep Sky stands at Darley Japan

Photo: Deep Sky
Photo Copyright(c)2009 Toward Horse. All Rights Reserved.

Deep Sky will stand at Darley Japan Stallion Complex for a fee of 3.5 million jp yen next breeding season. The 2008 Japanese Derby winner gave up his racing career due to tendon injury this Summer. He won 5 of his 17 races with 642+ million jp yen in career earnings. Deep Sky is a 4-year-old colt by Agnes Tachyon 5-out of the Chief's Crown mare Abi.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Espoir City romps Japan Cup Dirt 2009

Espoir City romped home for a 3 1/2-length victory in the Japan Cup Dirt on Sunday afternoon. Under regular rider Tetsuo Sato, the Gold Allure colt won the 1,800-meter grade one in 1 minute 49.90 seconds on Hanshin dirt track.
Silk Mobius and Golden Ticket, both whom came off the pace, finished second and third respectively. A 1 1/4-length separated the two.

Espoir City, the 3.1 favorite in the field of 16, took over the lead from Tizway(USA) on the first turn. From there, he was never behind and galloped all the way to the winning post.

Complete finishing order:
Espoir City, Silk Mobius, Golden Ticket, Success Brocken, Admire Subaru, Wonder Acute, Meisho Tokon, Vermilion, Makoto Sparviero, Daisho Jet, Tizway(USA), La Verita(USA), Suni(USA), Wonder Speed and Marubutsu Lead

Espoir City has now won the 3rd g1 victory following the Kashima Kinen(g1) at NRA Funabashi and the Nambu Hai(g1) at NRA Morioka. Before 2009 season, he was nowhere to be seen on the grade event, but he gained four grade victories this season.
With the 133+ million jp yen first prize of the JC Dirt, his career earnings brought to 390+ million jp yen with a record of 19-9-3-1.

Espoir City, trained by A. Adachi and owned by Yushun Horse, is a 4-year-old colt out of the Brian's Time mare Eminet City. Ikuchise Bokujo(means Farm in English) was the breeder of the chestnut colt.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Espoir City early favorite for Japan Cup Dirt 2009

Public bettors like Espoir City, who has been, as of Saturday, installed as the early favorite for the 2009 Japan Cup Dirt at odds of 3.3. Vermilion was the second favorite at 4.3. Wonder Acute was the third favorite at 7.9 followed by Success Brocken at 9.5. The US invader Tizway(USA) was the 10th favorite at 28.9.

Screen Hero injured

Screen Hero, winner of the 2008 Japan Cup winner, suffered bowed tendon on his left front. No determination has been made about his future, but the injury may end his racing career.

Photo: 2008 Japan Cup

Photo copyright(c) 2009
Toward Horse. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 04, 2009

16 horses to contend Japan Cup Dirt 2009

Sunday sees the 2009 Japan Cup Dirt in which the 16 horses have been entered.

Chief contenders:
Espoir City is a runner of front running style which gave him a couple of NRA g1 victories on last 2 outings. Recently, this colt has won the Nambu Hai at NRA Morioka in mid-October.
Vermilion comes here with victory in the JBC Classic(g1) at NRA Nagoya after winning the Teio Sho(g1) at NRA Ohi. The winner in this race two seasons ago aims at his 9th g1 win at JRA/NRA. This horse likes to go with the pace or stay behind the leading pack.
Wonder Aucute is the midst of three-straight winning streak; his latest winning performance was the Musashino Stakes at Tokyo in which he led the field and went all the way to the line.

Other horses to watch are February Stakes winner Success Brocken, JBC Sprint winner Suni(USA) and JBC Classic runner-up Makoto Sparviero.

Tizway(USA), the only foreign entry who likes to go into the front, has to handle the right-handed course and the slope at Hanshin.

The 10th running of the Japan Cup Dirt, Grade One
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Hanshin, Race-11, 3:40 p.m. JST
3yo+, internatinal, 1,800-meter, dirt, right-handed
weight: 57 kgs for 4yo+, 56 kgs for 3yo, filly and mare allowed 2 kgs

Horse#(pp)/Horse Name/AgeSex/Jockey
1/Espoir City/4c/Tetsuzo Sato
2/Success Brocken/4c/Hiroyuki Uchida
3/Admire Subaru/6h/Masaki Katsuura
4/Vermilion/7h/Yutaka Take
5/Makoto Sparviero/5h/Katsumi Ando
6/Meisho Tokon/7h/Shinji Fujita
7/Tizway(USA)/4c/Rajiv Maragh
8/Daisho Jet/6h/Yuichi Shibayama
9/Golden Ticket/3c/Christophe Lemaire
10/Bonneville Record/7h/Fumio Matoba
11/La Verita(USA)/3f/Yasunari Iwata
12/Silk Mobius/3c/Hiroyasu Tanaka
13/Suni(USA)/3c/Yuga Kawada
14/Wonder Speed/7h/Futoshi Komaki
15/Marubutsu Lead/6h/Suguru Hamanaka
16/Wonder Acute/3c/Ryuji Wada

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Japan sends 3 horses to HK International Races

Japan will send the following three horses to the 2009 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races held on December 13 at Sha Tin.

Queen Spumante for HK Cup
Laurel Guerreiro for HK Sprint
Jaguar Mail for HK Vase

Vodka's future not yet determined

It has not yet been determined whether or not Vodka remains in training next season. For sure, she will not run this season.
Note that she suffered bleeding from her nose after winning the Japan Cup. The bleeding was found out in the post-race examination.

Photo: Vodka in 2009 Japan Cup

Photo copyright(c) 2009 Toward Horse. All Rights Reserved.
Thanks to pirloyan at Toward Horse, providing the photo.