2018 News

December 23, 2018


Three-Year-Old Blast Onepiece Captures First G1 Title in All-Star Arima Kinen
Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1)

Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1)

Third pick Blast Onepiece, the only three-year-old in the field, beat his senior G1 rivals in this year’s Arima Kinen to claim his first G1 title before a cheering crowd of over 100,000 fans. Breaking his maiden in his debut start in November last year, the Harbinger colt marked a three-race winning streak when winning the Mainichi Hai (G3) in March this year but finished fifth in the following Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1) where he was posted second favorite. The three-year-old bay kicked off his fall season with a win in the Niigata Kinen (G3) and was posted race favorite in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1) but finished fourth. This win marked trainer Masahiro Otake’s first G1 title and tenth JRA grade-race win since opening his stable in 2009. This win also marked jockey Kenichi Ikezoe’s 24th JRA-G1 title following his Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) win with Reine Minoru last year and a record-high fourth Arima Kinen title following his win with Dream Journey in 2009 and Orfevre in 2011 and 2013.

Third pick Blast Onepiece, making a clean break from stall eight, traveled wide in mid-division, 6th or 7th from frontrunner Kiseki. The son of Harbinger made an early bid from around 600 meters out, secured a clear path turning the last two corners wide and produced a blasting charge in the last uphill stretch, overtaking Kiseki less than 100 meters out and holding off the strong efforts by the race favorite, for his first G1 title.

“As I had drawn a middle gate (8), I was a bit worried of being caught between horses so I settled him toward the outside. He ran well and though we were closed in by the race favorite at the end, he held on really well. I’ve been telling everyone that he is a G1 horse and I’m happy that I was able to prove it,” commented Kenichi Ikezoe.

Race favorite Rey de Oro traveled wide, around ninth from the front, behind Blast Onepiece and threatened the eventual winner in the last stretch with a powerful late charge that timed the fastest last three furlongs of the field but was a neck short at the wire to finish second.

Ninth choice Cheval Grand eased back towards the rear after breaking smoothly from stall 15 and eventually settled around 11th from the front, eyeing Rey de Oro on the left. The son of Heart’s Cry ran persistently behind the race favorite after entering the lane, passing tiring rivals along the way, to secure third place.

Other Horses:
4th: (11) Mikki Rocket—tracked leader in 2nd or 3rd, showed tenacity, failed to hold off late chargers and top finishers
5th: (14) Kiseki—set pace, extended lead up to 5 lengths at backstretch, led until passing 100m pole, weakened
6th: (6) Satono Diamond—traveled in mid-group, ran on economic route, failed to threaten
7th: (16) Sakura Empereur—sat 2nd from rear, angled out and showed good effort, belatedly
8th: (3) Mozu Katchan—settled around 6th, ran gamely until 100m out, weakened
9th: (1) Oju Chosan—chased leader in 2nd or 3rd, held well until 100m pole, outrun thereafter
10th: (4) Makahiki—took economic trip in mid-group, even paced
11th: (10) Mikki Swallow—broke poorly, trailed in rear, circled wide, showed belated charge
12th: (9) Ridge Man—traveled 3rd from rear, lacked needed kick at stretch
13th: (13) Smart Layer—saved ground towards rear, unable to reach contention
14th: (5) Perform a Promise—raced inside race favorite, driven after 3rd corner, failed to respond
15th: (2) Clincher—hugged rails in 4th, weakened after 3rd corner (2nd lap)
16th: (7) Sounds of Earth—sat 3-wide in 5th, gradually fell back, faded

3-year-old & up, 2,500 meters (about 12.5 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, December 23, 2018     Nakayama Racecourse       11th Race      Post time: 15:25
Total prize money: ¥ 648,000,000 (about US$ 5,891,000 <US$1=¥110>)
3-y-o: 55kg (about 121 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 57kg (about 126 lbs),
2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares, 2kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2015
Safety factor: 16 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 4 8 Blast Onepiece
C3 55.0 Harbinger
Tsurumaru Onepiece
K. Ikezoe
M. Otake
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
2 6 12 Rey de Oro
C4 57.0 King Kamehameha
La Dorada
C. Lemaire
K. Fujisawa
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Racing
3 8 15 Cheval Grand
H6 57.0 Heart’s Cry
Halwa Sweet
H. Bowman
Y. Tomomichi
Kazuhiro Sasaki
Northern Racing
4 6 11 Mikki Rocket
H5 57.0 King Kamehameha
O. Murphy
H. Otonashi
Mizuki Noda
Northern Racing
5 7 14 Kiseki
C4 57.0 Rulership
Blitz Finale
Y. Kawada
K. Nakatake
Tatsue Ishikawa
Shimokobe Farm
6 3 6 Satono Diamond
H5 57.0 Deep Impact
B. Avdulla
Y. Ikee
Satomi Horse Company Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
7 8 16 Sakura Empereur
H7 57.0 King Kamehameha
Sakura Mega
H. Tanabe
T. Kanari
Sakura Commerce
Sakura Commerce Co., Ltd.
8 2 3 Mozu Katchan
F4 55.0 Harbinger
Site Dealer
M. Demuro
I. Sameshima
Capital System Co., Ltd.
Masaji Kitagawa
9 1 1 Oju Chosan
H7 57.0 Stay Gold
Shadow Silhouette
Y. Take
S. Wada
Chosan Co., Ltd.
Naoyoshi Nagayama
10 2 4 Makahiki
H5 57.0 Deep Impact
Y. Iwata
Y. Tomomichi
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
11 5 10 Mikki Swallow
C4 57.0 Tosen Homareboshi
Madre Bonita
N. Yokoyama
T. Kikuzawa
Mizuki Noda
Northern Farm
12 5 9 Ridge Man
H5 57.0 Swept Overboard
Admire Monroe
M. Ebina
Y. Shono
Tsuji B.
Tsuji Bokujo
13 7 13 Smart Layer
M8 55.0 Deep Impact
Snow Style
K. Tosaki
R. Okubo
Toru Okawa
Okada Stud
14 3 5 Perform a Promise
H6 57.0 Stay Gold
I’ll Be Bound
C. Demuro
H. Fujiwara
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
15 1 2 Clincher
C4 57.0 Deep Sky
The Fates
Y. Fukunaga
H. Miyamoto
Koji Maeda
Hirayama Bokujo
16 4 7 Sounds of Earth
H7 57.0 Neo Universe
First Violin
Y. Fujioka
K. Fujioka
Teruya Yoshida
Shadai 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.

TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 56,146,520,600 ATTENDANCE: 100,189

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.8 ¥890 BRACKET QUINELLA 4-6 ¥970 QUINELLA 8-12 ¥940
PLACE No.8 ¥270 QUINELLA PLACE 8-12 ¥460 EXACTA 8-12 ¥2,400
No.12 ¥130 8-15 ¥2,560 TRIO 8-12-15 ¥4,910
No.15 ¥370 12-15 ¥690 TRIFECTA 8-12-15 ¥25,340
  1. 1.Blast Onepiece (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Harbinger / Tsurumaru Onepiece (King Kamehameha)
    Owner: Silk Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Masahiro Otake Jockey: Kenichi Ikezoe
    7 Starts, 5 Wins  
    Added money: ¥ 303,360,000 Career earnings: ¥ 438,508,000

  2. 2.Rey de Oro (JPN), bay, colt, 4-year-old
    King Kamehameha / La Dorada (Symboli Kris S)
    Owner: U. Carrot Farm Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Kazuo Fujisawa Jockey: Christophe Lemaire

  3. 3.Cheval Grand (JPN), chestnut, horse, 6-year-old
    Heart’s Cry / Halwa Sweet (Machiavellian)
    Owner: Kazuhiro Sasaki Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Yasuo Tomomichi Jockey: Hugh Bowman
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 6.8 - 11.6 - 11.8 - 11.9 - 12.2 - 12.8 - 12.6 - 12.2 - 11.6 - 11.8 - 11.8 - 12.2 - 12.9
Last 4 furlongs: 48.7          Last 3 furlongs: 36.9

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


* Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1)

Established in 1956 under the name “Nakayama Grand Prix,” the race was renamed to Arima Kinen (Arima Memorial) a year later after the sudden passing of the second JRA president, Yoriyasu Arima. Arima initiated the idea of holding an attractive event at Nakayama Racecourse, where a new grandstand had just been completed at that time, in an attempt to create a race that would receive as much attention as the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) held at Tokyo Racecourse. The Arima Kinen was designed to be a season-end Grand Prix, in which the runners are selected by fan poll—an “All-Star” event in Japanese racing. Fans can cast their votes at JRA racecourses and off-track betting sites as well as through mail or online to select the ten most popular runners. Among the horses entered in the race, ten runners with the most votes are entitled to run in the race while the rest of the field is determined in order of earnings. Foreign runners that won the Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) became eligible to race in the Arima in 2000, then the race was designated as an international G1 race and open to a maximum of six foreign runners in 2007.
Recent Arima Kinen victors such as Orfevre (JPN, by Stay Gold; ’13), Gentildonna (JPN, by Deep Impact; ’14) and Kitasan Black (JPN, by Black Tide; ’17) have capped off their stellar racing careers with an impressive win in the race.
This year’s contenders that were among the top ten with the most votes were as follows: Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m) winner Rey de Oro (1st); 2016-17 Best Steeplechase Horse Oju Chosan (3rd); 2016 Arima Kinen champion Satono Diamond (5th); 2017 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m) winner Kiseki (6th); Takarazuka Kinen (G1, 2,200m) victor Mikki Rocket (8th); and 2017 Japan Cup champion Cheval Grand (9th).
Other notable contenders included 2016 Tokyo Yushun winner Makahiki (12th), 2017 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m) victor Mozu Katchan (14th), and graded winners Clincher (18th) and Blast Onepiece (19th).
Following horses avoided the race though ranked among the top ten: Fillies’ Triple Crown and the Japan Cup winner Almond Eye (JPN, F3, by Lord Kanaloa; 2nd), Osaka Hai (G1, 2,000m) victor Suave Richard (JPN, C4, by Heart’s Cry; 4th), Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) victor Wagnerian (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact; 7th) and Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m) champion Epoca d’Oro (JPN, C3, by Orfevre; 10th).
The race record of 2:29.5 was set by Zenno Rob Roy (JPN, by Sunday Silence) in 2004.

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