Horse Racing in Japan


2009 News

May 22, 2009
Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) comments from runners' connections
Broad Street (3yo, filly) Broad Street
Broad Street
  Hideaki Fujiwara (trainer)
"We have to travel to Tokyo with only two weeks in between races, so our workouts have been about recuperation since the last race. She was slow to fill out her frame and we've lagged behind the others so far, but we always knew she had the ability. She worked out on her own, and because of the spacing in between races, I've had to worry about this horse the most of the three I have in this race. It's just difficult to tell how much she's recovered."
 

Buena Vista (3yo, filly) Buena Vista
Buena Vista
  Katsumi Ando
"From the moment she lost in her debut, I felt that the longer the better for her. She didn't know how to race then, but she's a much better ride at long distance without question. She's matured, breaks well now and has the ability to race toward the front, but I think she'll run the way she has, coming from behind or maybe from the middle. But I'm pretty certain she'll leave it all for the straight. I'm a firm believer in that the best horse wins in the 2,400 meters at Fuchu (Tokyo racecourse); there are no flukes under those conditions. I really don't have any concerns, but if I had to nitpick, it would be the going. Last week and even the week before when there have been Grade 1 races, a lot of horses at the front are hanging on. I'm riding at Fuchu both on Saturday and Sunday this week so that should give me a lot to think about for the race. Everyone else will make their move when I do. What I'm afraid of is getting beat by an inside horse as we come up from the outside. Ideally, we want someone to mark during the journey so we can make the right move at the right time. You have to respect Red Desire; she ran well in just the third race of her career, and it looks like she'll be even better at a longer distance. (Buena Vista) is a horse in a completely different class; I want her to win, and we're expected to win. It's up to me to get the most out of her potential."

 

Danon Berbere (3yo, filly) Danon Berbere
Danon Berbere
  Sakae Kunieda (trainer)
"It took a little longer than we expected for her to recover from the last race, but she's really picked up in the last couple of weeks. As with everyone else, we won't know about the distance, but she just needs to be able to relax during the trip. She has a good record at Tokyo, and she has every chance of putting on a good show this weekend. She used to work primarily on the uphill, but since her last race, she's trained on flat ground, working on turning to her left and finishing strong. Her time today may have been a little bit slow, but I liked the way she moved; her action was good."
 

Dear Geena (3yo, filly) Dear Geena
Dear Geena
  Yasuhito Tamura (trainer)
"Last week as well as this week, she worked with a partner to let her know that it's time and I think she knows full well that a big race is ahead of her; she's switched on already. I couldn't be happier with the way she's turned out. From her action to her response time, she's been more than impressive for me. Every obstacle she's had to overcome in her career, she's overcome, and it gives me great hope for the race. Generally, fillies can be difficult to tame because they're a lot more emotional. But with this horse, there isn't that side of her. I have no concerns whatsoever going into the race. We've been working to get her to peak here. I absolutely think it was the right decision to pass up the Oka Sho. She could take the lead if she wanted to or come from behind, because we trained her so that she can adjust to any race pattern."
 

Delicate Piece (3yo, filly) Delicate Piece
Delicate Piece
  Yuichi Shikato (trainer)
"The rider barely had to move the reins today. She's put back on the weight she lost after her last race, but the truth is, we haven't been up against quality competition yet; she's inexperienced and has never run 2,400 meters before. She'll have to overcome a lot here, and I don't think it will be easy. But it's important for the future to give her this kind of experience. She does instinctively understand how to run a race, so I like to think she does have a shot. She had put up four times earlier, so she didn't really need to be pushed today. She just needed to be reminded that a race was coming up, that's all.


 

Diana Barows (3yo, filly)   Diana Barows
Diana Barows
  Michihiro Ogasa (trainer)
"I think she was very sharp today. All the horses have question marks about the distance, but the good thing with her is that she can stay with any pace. She always puts up a fight regardless of who she runs against, and you can never say never in racing. The one horse everyone will be watching will come from behind, so it'll be important for us to run an aggressive race. She's in good shape although it's just been a week since her last race."
 

Fumino Imagine (3yo, filly) Fumino Imagine
Fumino Imagine
  Masaru Honda (trainer)
"She's been sharp after her last race, and the workout went according to schedule. Today, we asked a little more out of her at the end and she was responding fine. There's an air of confidence around her. I've always seen her as a middle-distance runner or longer, so hopefully the conditions this weekend will help bring out the best in her."
 

Germinal (3yo, filly) Germinal
Germinal
  Yuichi Fukunaga
"Her overall time was fast, but she had her legs all the way through the finish. I think the Oka Sho may have been a bit busy for her given the length of the race, but her last performance gave me a lot of hope for the Oaks with the extra distance. And when I've had a good feeling after the Oka Sho in the pats, I've won. She continues to be in good shape."
 

Hashitte Hoshino (3yo, filly) Hashitte Hoshino
Hashitte Hoshino
  Masami Matsuoka
"I was told by the trainer to give her the greenlight with 100 meters to go, and she responded very well. She had a lot left in her tank, and could have shifted into another gear or two if I'd pushed her, but I think that says everything about the excellent form she's in right now. Her appetite's been good since the last race, but it's because we've been careful to space her races. She's definitely in better form than she was one week ago. She could handle the pace at 2,000 meters against open competition, and in a Grade 1 race you need to be able to deal with the pace and that, she was able to do; if the pace picks up, you need to be able run off it, and that's what you have to be able to do at this level. I think her last performance showed a lot of promise. We can't really worry about who were up against; (Buena Vista) is coming from behind anyway. We need to focus on getting her to run her race. She's very competitive but knows how to run in a crowd, and I think she will more than hold her own. I don't have a thing to worry about."
 

Inazuma Amaryllis (3yo, filly) Inazuma Amaryllis
Inazuma Amaryllis
  Koshiro Take
"She responded well in her workout today. She should be able to cover the distance with her bloodlines, but as she does even in shorter distances, she does have a habit of moving too fast too early in a race. What concerns me most at this point is getting her to run in a good rhythm."
 

Mighty Slew (3yo, filly) Mighty Slew
Mighty Slew
  Yokichi Okubo (trainer)
"She's come along fine, and her time is right around what we expected. She worked hard last week, and we didn't want her to get overexcited ahead of the race itself. The key for her will clearly be stamina, because she has won her races at about 1,400 meters to 1,600 meters. She's in good condition, and she shouldn't have problems lasting until the end. Ono is 2-for-2 with this horse so I'm counting on the jockey this time."
 

Pas de Bourree (3yo, filly) Pas de Bourree
Pas de Bourree
  Ikuo Aizawa (trainer)
"She's had a lot of races recently so she didn't need to work that hard today. Her action is a lot better than it was the last race, but it would be a stretch for me to say that she is back to her best. The added distance should work in her favor with her bloodlines, and she's good going to her left; she shouldn't have any problems running straight at this course."
 

Red Desire (3yo, filly) Red Desire (center, black cap)
Red Desire (center, black cap)
  Hirofumi Shii
"She's been steady after the Oka Sho, and because she's a good training horse, I've been careful not to overwork her. I didn't ride her this week, but I've been told by the trainer that she worked very well. There was one horse above the rest in the Oka Sho, but (Red Desire) really put up a fight to the finish. That gave me a lot of hope for the Oaks, and I've always felt she had luck, from the time that she won the Elfin Stakes by a nose. I've ridden in the Oaks with all kinds of horses, but in Red Desire, I think I have a horse who can give me a shot to win. Buena Vista is a strong horse, but we want to get her back this time. I'm excited to see how she'll race on the long Tokyo straight. It'll be perfect for her closing rush."
 

Rouge Bamboo (3yo, filly) Rouge Bamboo
Rouge Bamboo
  Masao Sato (trainer)
"We've been preparing all long for this race. I don't know anyone who wouldn't be happy. It was just light work today. The workout earlier in the week seems to have done her well, she's in extremely good form right now. We had a good draw, a barrier we can go in or out from, and if she just saves enough horse for the straight, I think she'll have her moment. She handled 2,000 meters, so 2,400 meters shouldn't be a problem for her."
 

Sakura Rosemary (3yo, filly) Sakura Rosemary
Sakura Rosemary
  Yasuo Tomomichi (trainer)
"She manages to maintain her form over a long stretch of time, and she always works well as she did this morning. She's never intimidated, and we think her personality suits her for the Oaks. The longer the race, the better for her so Tokyo will suit her just fine. We're going up against some quality horses, but I've got more hope than fear."
 

Two Days Notice (3yo, filly) Two Days Notice
Two Days Notice
  Yutaka Take
"She worked really well today. I'd been impressed by the way she ran on TV, and she turned out to be as good as I was expecting. There's one tough horse in the field, but we're swinging for the fences here, a home run. My hopes are way up after this workout. The trainer told me I could push her today. I don't think she will have a problem staying with the pace. I remember her first win really well, and she stunned the heck out of me. Let's hope the Dancing Brave in her will come to life in the race."
 

Viva Vodka (3yo, filly) Viva Vodka (left)
Viva Vodka (left)
  Kazuhiro Seishi (trainer)
"We wanted to work her fast today, and she worked extremely hard under the jockey himself. She probably had the hardest workout of her life last week, and I think that led to a very good time today. When you get to a Grade 1 race, you've got to do at least this much; otherwise you don't stand a chance. She's in excellent physical condition. We don't necessarily think it's important for her to be in the lead, but she does need to have a nice, steady trip for her to have a shot."
 

Wide Sapphire (3yo, filly) Wide Sapphire (right)
Wide Sapphire (right)
  Hideaki Fujiwara (trainer)
"She's in much better shape compared to her last race, and I've always felt the Oaks is a much better fit for her than the Oka Sho. She's raced at Tokyo, and that does make a difference. She did well to win a berth for this race, and I think she can be very competitive."
 
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