2018 News

October 14, 2018


Shuka Sho (G1) - Almond Eye Sweeps Three-Year-Old Fillies' Triple
Shuka Sho (G1)

Shuka Sho (G1)

Heavy favorite Almond Eye landed the last leg of the Three-Year-Old Fillies’ Triple, the Shuka Sho to become the fifth Triple Crown winner in JRA history after previously claiming both the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) earlier in the season—previous Triple Crown fillies were Mejiro Ramonu (1986), Still in Love (2003), Apapane (2010) and Gentildonna (2012). Almond Eye was runner-up in her two-year-old career debut, won her only other start that year and kicked off her three-year-old campaign with her first grade-race victory in the Shinzan Kinen (G3) followed by her three consecutive G1 victories in the fillies’ G1 triple. Her career record stands at five wins out of six career starts. Trainer Sakae Kunieda became the winner of a Triple Crown filly for the second time after Apapane in 2010 and his JRA-G1 titles totals 14 with the Shuka Sho win. Jockey Christophe Lemaire collected his 18th JRA-G1 title—his last G1 victory was with Mozu Ascot in the Yasuda Kinen this year.

Almond Eye was restless before the start and didn’t break too sharply but her rider, Christophe Lemaire, kept his cool and patiently rated her a little further back in mid-field around tenth position. The first 1,000 meter was timed at a slower than moderate 59.6 seconds, allowing pacesetter Mikki Charm to maintain a clear lead through most of the way and still have plenty left for the stretch run while Almond Eye, unable to find herself behind a wall of horses turning for home, had to circle wide into the turn. It appeared as though Mikki Charm was a sure winner with a lead of two to three lengths from the rest of the field at the furlong pole. However, Almond Eye came flying along the outside past her foes and finally the leader in the last 50 meters, and continued to pull away to a 1-1/2-length victory.

“I was a bit worried today because Almond Eye was rather nervous and highly strung than usual, so the start wasn’t that good, then our path was blocked and we had to go wide, but from there she just showed just how exceptional she was. She’s such a fantastic filly and I have to give credit to the trainer and stable staff because it’s so difficult to maintain a horse’s condition at the top of her form throughout the season. So becoming a Triple Crown winner isn’t easy even with the best horse,” commented Christophe Lemaire.

Mikki Charm, while succumbing to Almond Eye in the closing stages, still managed to maintain her advantage over the rest of the field for second. Rose Stakes winner Cantabile was rated just off the rails, kept close behind the eventual winner and exerted her late charge as Almond Eye made her attack but unable to match the winner’s stride while just short of reaching Mikki Charm for third.

Other Horses:
4th: (5) Salacia—took economic trip in mid-division, angled out and wide into stretch, showed effort
5th: (1) Lathyros—saved ground in mid-pack, advanced to 3rd 200m out, outrun by rivals in final strides
6th: (4) Randonnee—hugged rails in 3rd or 4th, 2nd entering stretch, weakened in last 100m
7th: (16) Primo Scene—settled 3rd from rear, timed 2nd fastest over last 3 furlongs, belatedly
8th: (14) Gorgeous Lunch—traveled 3-wide in mid-group, met traffic 300m out, then accelerated
9th: (7) Lucky Lilac—raced in mid-pack, driven after 3rd corner, lacked needed kick at stretch
10th: (9) Satono Garnet—was off slow, trailed in rear, showed belated charge along rails at stretch
11th: (8) Tosen Bless—sat 2nd from rear, quickened between horses, ran gamely up to 100m pole
12th: (6) Pioneer Bio—settled towards rear, improved position along rails at stretch
13th: (18) Dancar—raced 3-wide towards rear, turned last to home, passed tired rivals at stretch
14th: (10) All for Love—traveled in mid-division, showed little at stretch
15th: (15) Harlem Line—chased leader in 3rd or 4th, faded 300m out
16th: (12) Oscar Ruby—stalked leader in 2nd early, faded after entering to stretch
17th: (17) Sayakachan—sat 3-wide in 5th early, outrun after 3rd corner
scratched: (3) Scarlet Color—lameness in the left hind leg

3-year-old Fillies, 2,000 meters (about 10 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, October 14, 2018    Kyoto Racecourse       11th Race        Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 216,000,000 (about US$ 1,964,000 <US$1=¥110>)
3-y-o: 55 kg (about 121 lbs), 2 kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2015
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 6 11 Almond Eye
F3 55.0 Lord Kanaloa
Fusaichi Pandora
C. Lemaire
S. Kunieda
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
2 7 13 Mikki Charm
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Ripples Maid
Y. Kawada
M. Nakauchida
Mizuki Noda
Mishima Bokujo
3 1 2 Cantabile
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Y. Take
K. Nakatake
Tatsue Ishikawa
Tatsue Ishikawa
4 3 5 Salacia
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
K. Ikezoe
M. Ikezoe
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
5 1 1 Lathyros
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Sweet Hearth
S. Akiyama
T. Takano
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Corporation Inc.
6 2 4 Randonnee
F3 55.0 Blame
K. Tosaki
K. Nakatake
Kobayashi Eiichi Holdings LLC.
Winchester Farm
7 8 16 Primo Scene
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
H. Kitamura
T. Kimura
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
8 7 14 Gorgeous Lunch
F3 55.0 Manhattan Cafe
Seeking My Love
N. Yokoyama
Y. Shikato
Chizu Yoshida
Shadai Farm
9 4 7 Lucky Lilac
F3 55.0 Orfevre
Lilacs and Lace
Y. Kitamura
M. Matsunaga
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
10 5 9 Satono Garnet
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Beatrix Kiddo
S. Hamanaka
Y. Yahagi
Satomi Horse Company Co., Ltd.
Oiwake Farm
11 4 8 Tosen Bless
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Bloomin' Bar
Y. Fujioka
Y. Kato
Takaya Shimakawa
Yukihiro Moroe
12 3 6 Pioneer Bio
F3 55.0 Rulership
Animate Bio
Y. Shibata
K. Maki
Bio K.
Bio Co., Ltd.
13 8 18 Dancar
F3 55.0 Heart's Cry
Balada Sale
M. Demuro
N. Sugai
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
14 5 10 All for Love
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Lady Alba Rosa
H. Miyuki
M. Nakauchida
Lord Horse Club
K. I. Farm
15 7 15 Harlem Line
F3 55.0 Manhattan Cafe
T. Ono
K. Tanaka
Chizu Yoshida
Shadai Farm
16 6 12 Oscar Ruby
F3 55.0 Heart’s Cry
Riki Serenade
H. Kawasu
Y. Yahagi
Yasuhiko Mori
Champions Farm
17 8 17 Sayakachan
F3 55.0 Reach the Crown
Apple Tosho
R. Takakura
H. Tadokoro
Takao Seya
Mitsuo Tanagawa
  2 3 Scarlet Color
F3 55.0 Victoire Pisa
Y. Iwata
R. Takahashi
Koji Maeda
North Hills Co,. Ltd.

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: ¥ 22,293,572,100 ATTENDANCE: 44,590

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.11 ¥130 BRACKET QUINELLA 6-7 ¥710 QUINELLA 11-13 ¥880
PLACE No.11 ¥110 QUINELLA PLACE 11-13 ¥420 EXACTA 11-13 ¥1,000
No.13 ¥280 2-11 ¥340 TRIO 2-11-13 ¥2,360
No.2 ¥220 2-13 ¥1,500 TRIFECTA 11-13-2 ¥5,600


  1. 1.Almond Eye (JPN), bay, filly, 3-year-old
    Lord Kanaloa / Fusaichi Pandora (Sunday Silence)
    Owner: Silk Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing  
    Trainer: Sakae Kunieda Jockey: Christophe Lemaire  
    6 Starts, 5 Wins    
    Added money: ¥ 103,780,000 Career earnings: ¥ 417,199,000  

  2. 2.Mikki Charm (JPN), bay, filly, 3-year-old
    Deep Impact / Ripples Maid (Dansili)
    Owner: Mizuki Noda Breeder: Mishima Bokujo
    Trainer: Mitsumasa Nakauchida Jockey: Yuga Kawada

  3. 3.Cantabile (JPN), bay, filly, 3-year-old
    Deep Impact / Chanrossa (Galileo)
    Owner: Tatsue Ishikawa Breeder:Tatsue Ishikawa
    Trainer: Kazuya Nakatake Jockey: Yutaka Take
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.1 - 10.9 - 12.7 - 12.1 - 11.8 - 11.9 - 11.8 - 11.5 - 11.8 - 11.9
  Last 4 furlongs: 47.0          Last 3 furlongs: 35.2

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

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.

* Shuka Sho (G1)
The Shuka Sho, established in 1996, is run over 2,000 meters at Kyoto Racecourse and the third leg of the fillies’ Triple Crown reserved for the season’s three-year-old fillies following the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, G1, 1,600m) and the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, G1, 2,400m). The Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m) was formally regarded as the third leg of the fillies’ Triple Crown until the race was opened to older fillies and mares; hence the Shuka Sho was established to take its place. Acquiring international G1 status in 2009, the Shuka Sho is open to a maximum of nine foreign runners. Gentildonna (JPN, by Deep Impact) became only the fourth filly in JRA history to claim the fillies’ Triple Crown title after Mejiro Ramonu (JPN, by Mogami; 1986), Still in Love (JPN, by Sunday Silence; 2003) and Apapane (JPN, by King Kamehameha; 2010),and proceeded to achieve greater accomplishment within her three-year-old season by winning the Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) against a powerful field which contributed to earning the season’s highest honor of JRA’s Horse of the Year award in 2012.
Almond Eye, winner of the Oka Sho-Yushun Himba made her bid to become JRA’s fifth filly to win all three of the fillies’ Triple Crown in her first-up run of her fall campaign. The race was also the first start of the fall for 2017 Best Two-Year-Old Filly Lucky Lilac. Deep Impact fillies, Cantabile, Salacia and Lathyros, dominated the top three places in the Rose Stakes (G2, 1,800m), one of the Shuka Sho trials held on September 16. Normcore (JPN, by Harbinger), Mau Lea (JPN, by Deep Impact) and Randonnee also qualified for the Shuka Sho, finishing first, second and third, respectively, in the Shion Stakes (G3, 2,000m) held on September 8 but the top two did not turn in their entry to start in the last leg of the fillies’ G1. The field also included Primo Scene who came off a victory against older horses in the Sekiya Kinen (G3, 1,600m; Aug.12). Mikki Charm came off a three-race winning streak for her first grade-race challenge.
The race record was renewed by Mikki Queen (JPN, by Deep Impact) who claimed her second three-year-old fillies’ G1 title in the 2015 edition of this race following the Yushun Himba while covering the 2,000-meter distance in 1:56.9.

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