Thursday, July 10, 2014

Japan Dirt Derby: Kazenoko wins in photo finish

On the rainy Wednesday night, Kazenoko got up in the nick of time to win the 13-run Japan Dirt Derby in a phot finish at Ohi. Heavy favorite Happy Sprint lost to the winner by a hair.

Within 100 meters from home, Happy Sprint fought North Shore Beach off to take up the running. On the outside, Feel the Smart and Kazenoko were drawing up. The most exciting moment of the 2,000-meter race began when Kazenoko was approaching Happy Sprint stride by stride. They rushed to the line at the same level. A nose separated the two. 
Feel the Smart, a 1/2-length behind the runner-up, got up for third with North Shore Beach another neck back fourth.

Shinichiro Akiyama rode Kazenoko to stop the clock in 2 minutes 3.90 seconds on the sloppy track. Akiyama said, "I got a positive response out of him as I forced him to make a move before the final turn. He was going well throughout the stretch. It was a very close finish. I am happy with this win."

Kazenoko, a 3-year-old bay colt by Agnes Digital out of the Rugby Ball mare Toughness Star, is trained at JRA Ritto by K. Nonaka.

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