2017 News

April 9, 2017


Reine Minoru Pulls Upset Victory in Oka Sho to End Soul Stirring's Winning Streak
Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)

Eighth favorite Reine Minoru claimed the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas), the first of the three-year-old fillies’ Triple Crown, and her second grade-race title following the Kokura Nisai Stakes which she won as a two-year-old against colts in her second career start in September. Third against Soul Stirring in her first G1 challenge in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies last December, she kicked off her three-year-old campaign finishing fourth in the Queen Cup in February and had come off a runner-up effort in the Fillies’ Revue. Trainer Masaru Honda, who had come into this race with eight grade-race titles since opening his yard in 2007, celebrated his first G1 victory and classic title with the win—he was in fact a winning jockey of the 2001 Oka Sho with T.M. Ocean. Jockey Kenichi Ikezoe partnered the filly for the first time in the race and landed his second Oka Sho title, a memorable victory as his first career G1 victory was in the same race with Arrow Carry in 2002. The jockey, whose last JRA-G1 win was in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) with Sinhalite last year, has now a career total of 23 G1 victories.

Reine Minoru broke sharply then eased back as Kawakita Enka shot past outside her to challenge the leader then chased the pace three wide in around fourth/fifth position while the pace setter tried to maintain a five-length advantage up to the final turn. Once entering the homestretch, the Daiwa Major filly edged closer and inherited the lead as she wore down the early leaders inside the furlong pole then dug in deep to fend off her foes coming from behind to secure a half-length victory.

“I felt that she was a talented filly and had a good chance to win the Oka Sho when I rode her for the first time in training. I was more confident today as she felt really good in the post parade, and once she broke smoothly out of the gate, I just concentrated on keeping her stride in good rhythm. I was careful not to let her go too early in the straight and once we hit the front, it felt like forever up to the finish line as the horses came chasing behind us, but she really held on well,” commented Kenichi Ikezoe.

Lys Gracieux bided her time in mid-field with Soul Stirring in view on her outside then tracked the race favorite into the lane before doggedly chasing the leader to the wire and overtaking Soul Stirring in the final strides while just short of reaching the winner for second.

Best Two-Year Old Filly of 2016 and heavy favorite Soul Stirring broke smoothly and bided her time in mid-pack around eighth. First time racing over non-firm tracks, the Frankel filly was slow in responding coming into the straight and, while gradually picking up speed in mid-stretch, failed to threaten the eventual winner and just managed to hold on for third.

“The track condition was against her and she kept changing leads. She wasn’t able to show her true form in this race,” commented Christophe Lemaire on her first defeat of her career.

Other Horses:
4th: (8) Karakurenai―raced in rear pack, found little room at early stretch, quickened well, neck short of place
5th: (12) Aerolithe―settled in rear division, angled wide, showed impressive but belated effort
6th: (17) Deirdre―sat near rear, timed fastest over last 3 furlongs, but was too late
7th: (18) Kawakita Enka―advanced from wide stall, led before 3rd corner, gave way 200m out, weakened
8th: (2) Rising Reason―hugged rails in mid-group, accelerated until meeting traffic 200m out
9th: (4) Jeune Ecole―raced behind eventual winner, showed mild effort, even paced thereafter
10th: (13) Vous Etes Jolie―advanced from wide draw, ran in 2nd after brief lead, sustained bid until 100m out
11th: (1) Mi Suerte―saved ground in mid-division, checked around 200m marker, failed to respond
12th: (15) Admire Miyabi―trailed in rear, driven after 3rd corner, turned wide, lacked needed kick
13th: (9) Gold Cape―rated behind mid-pack, failed to find clear path 200m out, lost momentum
14th: (11) Alonza Mona―traveled 3-wide in mid-group, unable to reach contention
15th: (7) Show Way―prominent early in 3rd, dropped back mid-stretch
16th: (16) Miss Panthere―raced 4-wide in mid-division, never fired at stretch
17th: (5) Belle Capri―led briefly then eased back to 4-5th, faded after final corner
Scratched: (3) Salonika―the Elfin Stakes (1,600m; Feb.4) winner, due to lameness on her left hind leg

3-year-old Fillies, 1,600 meters (about 8 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, April 9, 2017      Hanshin Racecourse      11th Race      Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 199,120,000 (about US$ 1,731,000 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 55kg (about 121 lbs), 2kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2014
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 5 10 Reine Minoru
F3 55.0 Daiwa Major
Daiwa Angel
K. Ikezoe
M. Honda
Minoru Yoshioka
Fujiwara Farm
2 3 6 Lys Gracieux
F3 55.0 Heart’s Cry
Y. Take
Y. Yahagi
U.Carrot Farm
Northern Farm
3 7 14 Soul Stirring
F3 55.0 Frankel
C. Lemaire
K. Fujisawa
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
4 4 8 Karakurenai
F3 55.0 Lohengrin
Burning Red
H. Tanabe
T. Matsushita
Teruya Yoshida
Shadai Farm
5 6 12 Aerolithe
F3 55.0 Kurofune
N. Yokoyama
T. Kikuzawa
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
6 8 17 Deirdre
F3 55.0 Harbinger
Y. Iwata
M. Hashida
Northern Farm
7 8 18 Kawakita Enka
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Kawakita Love Pop
R. Wada
T. Hamada
Yoshio Kawashima
Yoshio Kawashima
8 1 2 Rising Reason
F3 55.0 Black Tide
Jono Family
K. Maruta
T. Okumura
Makio Okada
Sanjo Bokujo
9 2 4 Jeune Ecole
F3 55.0 Kurofune
Luminous Point
Y. Kitamura
T. Yasuda
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
10 7 13 Vous Etes Jolie
F3 55.0 Lohengrin
French Bikini
Y. Fukunaga
M. Nakauchida
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
11 1 1 Mi Suerte
F3 55.0 Frankel
Mi Sueno
Y. Kawada
Y. Ikee
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
12 7 15 Admire Miyabi
F3 55.0 Heart’s Cry
Lady Skipper
M. Demuro
Y. Tomomichi
Riichi Kondo
Northern Farm
13 5 9 Gold Cape
F3 55.0 Workforce
Jewel of Nile
G. Maruyama
Y. Arakawa
Green Farm
Shadai Farm
14 6 11 Alonza Mona
F3 55.0 Street Sense
Reserve Seat
H. Miyuki
K. Nishiura
Dearest Club Co., Ltd.
Hirota Bokujo
15 4 7 Show Way
F3 55.0 Meisho Bowler
F. Matsuwaka
T. Saito
Manabu Yoshitomi
Mitsuru Nakawaki
16 8 16 Miss Panthere
F3 55.0 Daiwa Major
Aile de Courage
H. Shii
M. Kon
Chiyono Terada
Sanjo Bokujo
17 3 5 Belle Capri
F3 55.0 Daiwa Major
Y. Fujioka
K. Nishiura
Gaen Kogyo LLC.
Northern Racing
  2 3 Salonika
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
S. Hamanaka
K. Sumii
Katsumi Yoshida
Northern Racing


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.

TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 24,011,036,400 ATTENDANCE: 44,090

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.10 ¥4,080 BRACKET QUINELLA 3-5 ¥7,470 QUINELLA 6-10 ¥17,000
PLACE No.10 ¥480 QUINELLA PLACE 6-10 ¥2,760 EXACTA 10-6 ¥45,330
No.6 ¥240 10-14 ¥880 TRIO 6-10-14 ¥5,020
No.14 ¥110 6-14 ¥420 TRIFECTA 10-6-14 ¥94,890
  1. 1.1. Reine Minoru (JPN), chestnut, filly, 3-year-old
    Daiwa Major / Daiwa Angel (Taiki Shuttle)
    Owner: Minoru Yoshioka Breeder: Fujiwara Farm
    Trainer: Masaru Honda Jockey: Kenichi Ikezoe
    7 Starts, 3 Wins  
    Added money: ¥ 118,558,000 Career earnings: ¥ 215,091,000
    Principal Race Performances: ’16 Kokura Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,200m) 1st
    ’17 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1, 1,600m) 3rd

  2. 2.Lys Gracieux (JPN), dark bay or brown, filly, 3-year-old
    Heart’s Cry / Liliside (American Post)
    Owner: U.Carrot Farm Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi Jockey: Yutaka Take

  3. 3.Soul Stirring (JPN), dark bay or brown, filly, 3-year-old
    Frankel / Stacelita (Monsun)
    Owner: Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd. Breeder: Shadai Farm
    Trainer: Kazuo Fujisawa Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.7 - 10.9 - 11.1 - 11.8 - 11.8 - 11.5 - 11.9 - 12.8
Last 4 furlongs: 48.0 Last 3 furlongs: 36.2

Positions at each corner: 3rd corner 18-13,7(5,10)(1,4,14)(6,16)(2,11)9-12(8,17)15
4th corner 18-13,7,10(5,4,14)6(1,11,16)(2,9)(8,12)(17,15)

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.


* Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)

The Oka Sho, which is the first of the five JRA Classics held during the year, determines the champion three-year-old filly possessing the fastest speed running over 1,600 meters and serves as an opportunity to scout potential broodmare talents. The Japanese equivalent to the One Thousand Guineas originated in England, the Oka Sho was first held at Nakayama Racecourse in Chiba, run over 1,800 meters and under the name “Nakayama Yonsai Himba Tokubetsu”, then changed its distance and venue under the new name, “Oka Sho” (Oka, meaning cherry flower which is in full bloom at this time of the season). With the entire graded races opening its doors to foreign-trained horses in 2010, the three-year-old Classics including this race entered a new phase with international G1 status. While speed is a much required ability to win this race, the extension of the homestretch as well as a deeper turf surface and an uphill stretch at Hanshin after the track renovation in 1991 has added “stamina” as an added qualification—a newly added outside turf track further extended the homestretch in 2006.
The Oka Sho, together with the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, G1, 2,400m) and the Shuka Sho (G1, 2,000m), is also widely considered as the fillies’ version of the “Triple Crown”, a title which has been claimed by four fillies in the past, including Apapane (JPN, by King Kamehameha) who renewed the race record to 1:33.3 in her victory in the race of 2010, and Gentildonna (JPN, by Deep Impact) who completed the sweep in 2012 and went on to capture the Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) in 2012 and 2013 and Horse of the Year title in 2012 and 2014.
The top two finishers of the 2016 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1, 1,600m), Soul Stirring and Lys Gracieux, kicked off their three-year-old campaign in the Tulip Sho (G3, 1,600m; Mar.4) finishing first and third, respectively, with Miss Panther taking the runner-up spot at the finish line. Rising Reason came off consecutive wins in the Fairy Stakes (G3, 1,600m; Jan.8) and the Anemone Stakes (1,600m; Mar.11), the latter in which Deirdre finished half a length second. The Fillies’ Revue (G2, 1,400m; Mar.12) was won by Karakurenai with Hanshin Juvenile Fillies third-place finisher Reine Minoru and Gold Cape following in second and third, respectively.
Other notable Oka Sho starters who did not run in the above trial races included Mi Suerte who was fourth against colts in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1, 1,600m; Dec.18) and Admire Miyabi who came off a grade-race victory in the Queen Cup (G3, 1,600m; Feb.11).

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