Horse Racing in Japan

2011 News

January 12, 2011

Winners of the 2010 JRA Awards announced

Buena Vista was announced Jan. 6 as a double winner for the JRA Awards for 2010. The 4-year-old filly won both the Japan Racing Association's Horse of the Year for 2010 and Best Older Filly or Mare award. Buena Vista dominated the voting for the Horse of the Year award with 211 votes out of 285. Filly triple crown winner Apapane had also received 41 votes, with 28 votes going to Arima Kinen victor Victoire Pisa. Buena Vista was the unanimous winner of the Best Older Filly or Mare award.

Buena Vista

The Northern Racing-bred Buena Vista is the daughter of Special Week and Biwa Heide. Trained by the Ritto-based Hiroyoshi Matsuda and owned by Sunday Racing Co. Ltd., she finished the year with 3 wins in 7 outings, which included one overseas' run. Buena Vista earned just over 615 million yen and her major wins for 2010 were the Victoria Mile and the Tenno Sho (Autumn). Buena Vista also crossed the finish line in first place in the Japan Cup, but was relegated to second place as a penalty for jockey Christophe Soumillon's riding infringements. Buena Vista also finished second in a photo-finish decision in the Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) behind Victoire Pisa.

Grand Prix Boss

Best 2-Year-Old Colt for 2010 went to Grand Prix Boss, winner of the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1). Grand Prix Boss was bred at Northern Racing and sired by champion sprinter Sakura Bakushin O, out of the Sunday Silence mare Rosy Mist. He is owned by Grand Prix Co. Ltd. and trained by Yoshito Yahagi. Grand Prix Boss notched 3 wins in four outings in 2010 and brought home earnings of just over 116.7 million yen.

Reve d'Essor

Reve d'Essor garnered all votes to win Best 2-Year-Old Filly. Unbeaten in the year, Reve d'Essor aced the field of the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1). Three for three in 2010, Reve d'Essor is out of the Highest Honor mare Reve d'Oscar and sired by Agnes Tachyon. She, like Buena Vista, is trained by Hiroyoshi Matsuda and was bred at Northern Farm. She is owned by Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.. Her earnings for 2010 amounted to just under 111.8 million yen.

Victoire Pisa

Best 3-Year-Old Colt went to Victoire Pisa, a Neo Universe colt bred at Shadai Farm out of the Machiavellian mare Whitewater Affair. Third in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) in 2010, Victoire Pisa beat Buena Vista in the yearend Arima Kinen, giving him his third win in seven outings in 2010. Two of his races were in France, where he finished in fourth place in the Prix Niel and seventh in the Prix de I'Arc de Triomphe. At home, his major wins were the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) in addition to the Arima. He was third in the Japan Cup. Victoire Pisa is owned by Yoshimi Ichikawa and trained by Katsuhiko Sumii.


Filly triple crown winner Apapane was recognized as the Best 3-Year-Old Filly. Daughter of King Kamehameha and the Salt Lake mare Salty Bid, Apapane finished 2010 with three wins in six races for the year and earnings of over 345 million yen. Trained by Sakae Kunieda and owned by Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. Ltd., she was bred by Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc..

Apapane's three wins in 2010 were the three considered to make up the unofficial filly triple crown in Japan – the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) and the Shuka Sho.

Nakayama Festa

Nakayama Festa, who took on the Prix de I'Arc de Triomphe this year to finish in second place, was awarded Best Older Colt or Horse for 2010. He closed the margin on Japan's best finish thus far, recorded by El Condor Pasa. By Stay Gold out of the Tight Spot mare Dear Wink, Nakayama Festa is trained by the same trainer that trained El Condor Pasa – Yoshitaka Ninomiya. The 4-year-old is owned by Shinichi Izumi. Nakayama Festa won two races out of five in 2010, which included two starts abroad. At home, he won the Takarazuka Kinen and accumulated earnings of just under 285 million yen. He was bred at Arai Bokujo.

Kinshasa no Kiseki

Best Sprinter or Miler went to Kinshasa no Kiseki, who won the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1) along with two other races out of in five in 2010. By Fuji Kiseki out of Keltshaan, the 7-year-old Kinshasa no Kiseki is owned by Kazumi Yoshida and trained by Noriyuki Hori. His earnings for 2010 were just short of 250 million yen.

Espoir City

Best Dirt Horse was given to Espoir City, son of Gold Allure and Eminent City. Espoir City, who took on the Breeders' Cup Classic last year had two wins in four races. His wins were the JRA February Stakes (G1) and the NAR Kashiwa Kinen at Funabashi. Espoir City's earnings were over 167 million yen. He is trained by the Ritto-based Akio Adachi, bred at Ikuchise Bokujo in Hokkaido and is owned by the Yushun Horse Club.

Bashi Ken

Wrapping up the JRA racehorse awards for 2010 was Bashi Ken, who aced the Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1). Bashi Ken was named Best Steeplechase Horse of the Year for 2010. The 5-year-old son of Silk Justice and the Rodrigo de Triano mare Linda Triano finished the year with two wins in 10 outings and just short of 112 million yen in earnings. Bred at Kamii Nojo, Bashi Ken is trained by Yoshihiro Takahashi and is owned by Hideo Ishibashi.

Hidetaka Otonashi Yasutoshi Ikee Katsuhiko Sumii

Among JRA trainers, Hidetaka Otonashi, 56, won Best Trainer (races won), with 53 first-place finishes in the year. Best Trainer (winning average) went to Yasutoshi Ikee, 42, with the winning ratio 15.55 percent. Katsuhiko Sumii, 46, won the best trainer (money earned), with his horses, including Victoire Pisa, Rulership and Roll of the Dice, bringing home just shy of 1.4 billion yen. Sumii was also recognized as Merit Trainer, an award based on the number of wins, overall prize money and starts per stall.

Hiroyuki Uchida Norihiro Yokoyama Masayoshi Ebina
Yusuke Igarashi Ryo Takakura  

Among jockeys, Hiroyuki Uchida, 40, won Best Jockey (races won), with 125 first-place finishes to his name. Uchida's biggest win for 2010 was the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), aboard Eishin Flash.

Norihiro Yokoyama, 42, who was forced to sit out long weeks due to injury, was still able to win the best jockey (winning average) with the winning ratio 20.2 percent. The winning ratio award is figured only for those riders with 250 or more mounts in the year.

Masayoshi Ebina, 41, topped the list of money earnings, with his mounts bringing him 2.43 billion yen this year. Ebina notched three G1 victories, all paired with Apapane. Ebina also rode winners in three other graded races in 2010.

Yusuke Igarashi, 26, won for most wins of steeplechase races. Igarashi had 13 wins this year.

And among the newcomers, Ryo Takakura, 19, was recognized as the debutant with the most wins, at 37.

Finally, the JRA Equine Culture Award was presented to the Japanese National broadcasting network, NHK, for its fictional drama "Chance," which told the inspirational story of a racehorse named Chance. The serialized story, followed the horse from birth and inspired viewers not to give up on dreams but to persevere despite hardship.


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