2017 News

February 19, 2017


Gold Dream Conquers Heavy Contest in This Year's February Stakes
February Stakes (G1)

February Stakes (G1)

Second favorite Gold Dream captured the February Stakes title this year and demonstrated his aptitude and liking for the Tokyo dirt mile course as he marked his third victory out of four, which includes his first grade-race triumph in the G3 Unicorn Stakes last June. The Gold Allure colt was entered off a disappointing 12th in the December Champions Cup after being sent off second favorite, but displayed a sound and convincing performance this time scoring his first G1 win as if paying tribute to his sire who passed away the previous day. This is the second JRA-G1 win for trainer Osamu Hirata who claimed his first with Curren Black Hill in the 2012 NHK Mile Cup, while jockey Mirco Demuro notched his 19th JRA-G1 victory, his latest with Queens Ring in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup last season, and celebrates his second February Stakes title since his victory last year on board Moanin.

Gold Dream broke fairly from stall three and was reserved in mid-division behind Best Warrior down the backstretch as Incantation headed the full field of 16 runners. As the bunched-up field fanned out rounding the final corner to secure room for their stretch-run, the Gold Allure colt also floated out wide entering the lane in seventh to eighth but galloped confidently picking off his tiring rivals one by one, finally pinning the brief leader Nishiken Mononofu before the furlong pole, and held off a fast closing Best Warrior by a neck for the title.

“In the Champions Cup, he broke poorly and was keen—he didn’t stretch at all. But today he was relaxed even after entering the track. His start was good, he was positioned well and responded beautifully in the straight. He still had a lot left at the end,” commented Mirco Demuro.

Best Warrior, sent off fifth favorite, was also reserved in mid-pack but took an inner route making the final turns and was blocked behind horses in early stretch. However, the patient seven-year-old found a gap chasing Nishiken Mononofu who pulled away in front of him two furlongs out, and unleashed a strong late run to threaten the winner for a neck second.

Off slow as usual, race favorite Kafuji Take sat unhurried near the rear and was last to enter the stretch but had no trouble finding his stride as he blew past the field clocking the fastest last three-furlong drive to finish 3/4 length from Best Warrior for third.

Other Horses:
4th: (13) A Shin Bakken—settled in rear pack, turned wide, showed acceleration, timed 2nd fastest last 3 furlongs
5th: (12) Nishiken Mononofu—stalked leader in 2nd, led 400m out, maintained lead until 200m out, held well
6th: (15) K T Brave—ran 3-wide in 5th, sustained bid until 100m out, weakened thereafter
7th: (11) Nonkono Yume—sat behind winner, showed brief effort but lacked needed kick
8th: (1) Sound True—took economic trip near rear, switched to outside for clear path, improved position
9th: (2) White Fugue—raced in 4th, sustained bid, but weakened in final strides
10th: (7) Brightline—saved ground towards rear, passed tired rivals in last furlong
11th: (14) King’s Guard—ran outside winner, turned wide, quickened in last 100m
12th: (6) Moanin—traveled in mid-group, failed to respond at stretch
13th: (16) Incantation—set pace from widest stall, sustained bid until 300m out, outrun thereafter
14th: (4) Copano Rickey—chased leaders in 3rd, led briefly at top of stretch, dropped back after 300m out
15th: (5) Asukano Roman—hugged rails in mid-division, unable to reach contention
16th: (8) Denim and Ruby—first outing on dirt race, throughout rear, no factor

4-year-old & up, 1,600 meters (about 8 furlongs), dirt, left-handed
Sunday, February 19, 2017     Tokyo Racecourse      11th Race        Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 209,920,000 (about US$ 1,909,000 <US$1=¥110>)
4-y-o & up: 57kg (about 126 lbs), 2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares,
1kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2013
Safety factor: 16 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 2 3 Gold Dream
C4 57.0 Gold Allure
Mon Vert
M. Demuro
O. Hirata
Katsumi Yoshida
Northern Farm
2 5 9 Best Warrior
H7 57.0 Majestic Warrior
Flirtatious Miss
K. Tosaki
S. Ishizaka
Yukio Baba
Buck Pond Farm Inc
3 5 10 Kafuji Take
H5 57.0 Precise End
Take the Cake
A. Tsumura
S. Yukubo
Mamoru Kato
Hidaka Farm
4 7 13 A Shin Bakken
H5 57.0 Johannesburg
A Shin Large C
Y. Iwata
H. Nakao
Eishindo Co., Ltd.
KK Eishindo
5 6 12 Nishiken Mononofu
H6 57.0 Meisho Bowler
Green Hill Komachi
N. Yokoyama
Y. Shono
Tsuru Nishimori
Tsuneo Yagi
6 8 15 K T Brave
C4 57.0 Admire Max
K T Laurel
H. Miyuki
T. Meno
Kazuyoshi Takimoto
Kazuyoshi Takimoto
7 6 11 Nonkono Yume
G5 57.0 Twining
C. Lemaire
Y. Kato
Kazumasa Yamada
Shadai Farm
8 1 1 Sound True
G7 57.0 French Deputy
Kyoei Truth
Y. Shibata
N. Takagi
Hiroshi Yamada
Okada Stud
9 1 2 White Fugue
M5 55.0 Kurofune
Marine Winner
M. Ebina
N. Takagi
Tsuru Nishimori
Umeda Bokujo
10 4 7 Brightline
H8 57.0 Fuji Kiseki
Cherie’s Smile
S. Ishibashi
I. Sameshima
North Hills Co., Ltd.
North Hills Management
11 7 14 King’s Guard
H6 57.0 Sinister Minister
Kings Berry
Y. Fujioka
R. Terashima
Nisshin B.
Nisshin Farm
12 3 6 Moanin
H5 57.0 Henny Hughes
R. Moore
S. Ishizaka
Yukio Baba
Empire Equines LLC
13 8 16 Incantation
H7 57.0 Sinister Minister
Original Spin
K. Fujioka
T. Hatsuki
Turf Sport
Tanikawa Stud
14 2 4 Copano Rickey
H7 57.0 Gold Allure
Copano Nikita
Y. Take
A. Murayama
Sachiaki Kobayashi
Yanagawa Bokujo
15 3 5 Asukano Roman
H6 57.0 Agnes Digital
Asukano Himiko
R. Wada
Y. Kawamura
Chiro Toyoda
Chiro Toyoda
16 4 8 Denim and Ruby
M7 55.0 Deep Impact
H. Uchida
K. Sumii
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / Wgt=Weight / L3F=Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)
Note1: No Foreign Contenders
Note2: Figures quoted under Odds are Win Odds, which show the amount of money you get back per single unit (100yen), and Fav indicates the order of favorites.

WINNING TIME: 1:35.1 GOING: Standard WEATHER: Fine
TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 22,748,392,600 ATTENDANCE: 52,344

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.3 ¥500 BRACKET QUINELLA 2-5 ¥470 QUINELLA 3-9 ¥1,470
PLACE No.3 ¥180 QUINELLA PLACE 3-9 ¥550 EXACTA 3-9 ¥2,520
No.9 ¥180 3-10 ¥530 TRIO 3-9-10 ¥2,140
No.10 ¥150 9-10 ¥430 TRIFECTA 3-9-10 ¥9,240
  1. 1.Gold Dream (JPN), bay, colt, 4-year-old
    Gold Allure / Mon Vert (French Deputy)
    Owner: Katsumi Yoshida Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Osamu Hirata Jockey: Mirco Demuro
    9 Starts, 5 Wins    
    Added money: ¥ 100,528,000 Career earnings: ¥ 199,524,000  
    Principal Race Performances: ’16 Unicorn Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m) 1st

  2. 2.Best Warrior (USA), chestnut, horse, 7-year-old
    Majestic Warrior / Flirtatious Miss (Mr. Greeley)
    Owner: Yukio Baba Breeder: Buck Pond Farm, Inc
    Trainer: Sei Ishizaka Jockey: Keita Tosaki

  3. 3.Kafuji Take (JPN), dark bay or brown, horse, 5-year-old
    Precise End / Take the Cake (Scan)
    Owner: Mamoru Kato Breeder: Hidaka Farm
    Trainer: Sachio Yukubo Jockey: Akihide Tsumura
Fractional Time (sec./furlong): 12.1 - 10.5 - 11.4 - 12.2 - 12.8 - 11.8 - 12.0 - 12.3
Last 4 furlongs: 48.9          Last 3 furlongs: 36.1

Positions at each corner: 3rd corner 16,12-4(2,15)(6,5)9(3,14)(7,11)-13(1,10)8
4th corner 16(12,4)(2,15)(9,5)(6,3)(7,11,14)(1,8)13,10

Note1: Underlined bold number indicates the winning horse.
Note2: Horse numbers are indicated in the order of their positions at each corner, with the first position listed first. Two or more horses inside the same parentheses indicate that they were positioned side by side. Hyphens between the horse numbers indicate that there is distance between the former and the latter. The asterisk indicates a slight lead.


* February Stakes (G1)

Japanese horse racing, which is influenced by British racing, is held mainly on turf. However, dirt tracks that were popular in the U.S., quickly became widely used around the country since the Tokyo Racecourse implemented a new dirt track in 1960. While the mainstream of major JRA races remained over turf, the February Stakes (then called February Handicap), which was established in 1984 in conjunction with the new grading system, was one of just three graded dirt races at the time—the current number of graded dirt events is 15. The race was upgraded to G2 in 1994 and then to G1 in 1997, and stood as the highest-prized event until the Japan Cup Dirt (called the Champions Cup from 2014) took over in 2000.
Past winners include Wing Arrow (JPN, by Assatis; ’00), Agnes Digital (USA, by Crafty Prospector; ’02), Gold Allure (JPN, by Sunday Silence; ’03), Admire Don (JPN, by Timber Country; ’04), Kane Hekili (JPN, by Fuji Kiseki; ’06), Vermilion (JPN, by El Condor Pasa; ’08), Espoir City (JPN, by Gold Allure; ’10), Transcend (JPN, by Wild Rush; ’11) and Copano Rickey (’14&’15)—all nine are winners of multiple-G1 races as well as JRA Award winners.

Moanin romped to victory in last year’s February Stakes renewing the race record to 1:34.0 and was back to defend his title after finishing seventh in the Champions Cup (G1, dirt, 1,800m) last December, where Gold Dream finished 12th in the same international event in spite of being chosen second pick. Nonkono Yume and Copano Rickey were also at the post this year since their most recent start in the year-end Tokyo Daishoten (G1, dirt, 2,000m) where they were fourth and fifth, respectively. Champions Cup victor and 2016 Best Dirt Horse Sound True, and winner of three NAR-grade races K T Brave came off a second and fifth, respectively, in the Kawasaki Kinen (dirt, 2,100m) on February 1. Others among the lineup were Tokai Stakes (G2, dirt, 1,800m; Jan.22) finishers; Champions Cup third-place finisher Asukano Roman who was eighth, and 2015 February Stakes runner-up Incantation who finished 12th while winner Glanzend (JPN, C4, by Neo Universe) chose not to run. Champions Cup fourth-place finisher Kafuji Take was favored highly after claiming his first grade-race win in the Negishi Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,400m) on January 29 in which Best Warrior, who was third and fourth in the 2015 and 2016 February Stakes, respectively, finished a length behind in second.
February Stakes (G1) related contents
Breeders' Cup Challenge Race