2019 News

April 7, 2019


Oka Sho Race Record Renewed Again With Gran Alegria's Overwhelming Victory
Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)

Second Favorite Gran Alegria showed a performance of another class in this year’s Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas), the first leg of the fillies Triple Crown, to exceed Almond Eye’s accomplishment just a year ago and renew the race record by 0.4 seconds. Winning her two-year-old debut in June last year while beating Danon Fantasy by two lengths, the Deep Impact filly promptly scored her first grade-race title in her next start in the Saudi Arabia Royal Cup (G3, 1,600m) in October and finished third against boys in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1, 1,600m) in December and hadn’t raced since until the Oka Sho which was her first start of her three-year-old campaign. Trainer Kazuo Fujisawa won his second Oka Sho title—his first being with Dance in the Mood in 2004—and 27th JRA-G1 overall while Christophe Lemaire also won his second Oka Sho title after Almond Eye last year and is now with 23 JRA-G1 titles.

Gran Alegria was allowed to settle close to the pace in fourth position, two wide, behind Pourville who set an easy going pace in the first half of the mile distance but Christophe Lemaire let the powerful filly unleash her exceptional speed after that and was already taking command before the 600-meter pole then continued to pull away uncontested to the finish line for a 2-1/2 length victory.

“She certainly won strongly today. I was a little bit worried as it was her first time out after a long break (111 days). She was unable to make use of her speed in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (3rd) so I made sure this time to secure a good position early on and from there I had every confidence in her exceptional speed. The extended 2,400 meters in the Yushun Himba though is going to be a tough race for us,” commented Christophe Lemaire.

Shigeru Pink Dia missed a beat, breaking from an outside draw, and was still well behind after the first 800 meters but showed impressive turn of speed as the field rounded the final turn and squeezed her way between horses to reach contention with the fastest finish over the last three furlongs, overtaking the tired Pourville then out-rallying both Danon Fantasy and Chrono Genesis for second place.

Chrono Genesis was keen early and held back in mid-field while saving ground along the rails, met traffic before shifting to the outside in the early stretch and turned in a powerful turn of speed once out in the clearing to pin Danon Fantasy just before the wire for third.

Race favorite Danon Fantasy tried to pull hard early, having to make ground from an outside draw, and finally settled once reaching a more forward position around fifth from the leader. She made her bid down the center lane but was no match for the winner while maintaining good effort to rally for second and finished fourth.

Other Horses:
5th: (14) Beach Samba—sat back in mid-division, made headway before 3rd corner, chased favorite, overtaken by Chrono Genesis in final strides
6th: (18) Pourville—set pace from widest stall, held well, weakened in last 100m
7th: (2) Aile Voix—took economic route in mid-pack, showed effort, outrun in last 100m
8th: (13) Juranville—tracked leader in 2nd, showed tenacity, weakened in last 100m
9th: (1) Schon Glanz—hugged rails 3rd from rear, angled out, showed belated charge
10th: (7) A Will a Way—sat 3-wide in mid-group, even paced after final corner
11th: (12) No One—settled in mid-division, checked at early stretch, passed tired rivals
12th: (11) Meisho Keimei—chased leaders in 3rd, ran out of steam in last 300m
13th: (9) Aqua Mirabilis—ran 3-wide in mid-pack, showed brief effort, dropped back in last 200m
14th: (17) Red Aster—was off slow, raced 2nd from rear, showed little at stretch
15th: (10) Figlia Pura—trailed in rear, unable to reach contention
16th: (6) Ho O Catherine—saved ground around 5th, gradually fell back
17th: (3) Noble Score—hugged rails in mid-group, never fired at straight
18th: (5) Regard Calme—traveled in mid-division, checked at top of stretch, lost momentum

3-year-old Fillies, 1,600 meters (about 8 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, April 7, 2019      Hanshin Racecourse      11th Race      Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 226,800,000 (about US$ 1,972,000 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 55kg (about 121 lbs), 2kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2016
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 4 8 Gran Alegria
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
C. Lemaire
K. Fujisawa
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
2 8 16 Shigeru Pink Dia
F3 55.0 Daiwa Major
Moonlight Bay
R. Wada
K. Watanabe
S. Morinaka
Amaba Bokujo
3 2 4 Chrono Genesis
F3 55.0 Bago
Y. Kitamura
T. Saito
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
4 7 15 Danon Fantasy
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Life For Sale
Y. Kawada
M. Nakauchida
Danox Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
5 7 14 Beach Samba
F3 55.0 Kurofune
Fusaichi Airedale
Y. Fukunaga
Y. Tomomichi
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
6 8 18 Pourville
F3 55.0 Le Havre
S. Akiyama
Y. Shono
Teruya Yoshida
Shadai Farm
7 1 2 Aile Voix
F3 55.0 Victoire Pisa
Feeling Tone
K. Matsuyama
S. Hashiguchi
Yukari Saeki
Oiwake Farm
8 7 13 Juranville
F3 55.0 Kinshasa no Kiseki
F. Matsuwaka
R. Terashima
M. Murakami
Matsuura Bokujo
9 1 1 Schon Glanz
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Y. Take
K. Fujisawa
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
10 4 7 A Will a Way
F3 55.0 Just a Way
Will Power
S. Ishibashi
T. Takano
Katsumi Yoshida
Northern Racing
11 6 12 No One
F3 55.0 Heart’s Cry
R. Sakai
K. Sasada
Yoshinori Fujita
Tobino Bokujo
12 6 11 Meisho Keimei
F3 55.0 Workforce
Meisho Akishino
Y. Furukawa
K. Minai
Yoshio Matsumoto
Yoshio Matsumoto
13 5 9 Aqua Mirabilis
F3 55.0 Victoire Pisa
Aqua Ring
M. Demuro
K. Yoshimura
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
14 8 17 Red Aster
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Red Elsa
K. Tosaki
S. Kunieda
TokyoHorseRacing Co. Ltd
Mint Co.
15 5 10 Figlia Pura
F3 55.0 Harbinger
Princess Camellia
G. Maruyama
T. Kikuzawa
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Farm
16 3 6 Ho O Catherine
F3 55.0 Matsurida Gogh
Terre Neuve
T. Ono
T. Kurita
Yoshihisa Ozasa
Okada Stud
17 2 3 Noble Score
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Final Score
Y. Iwata
H. Fujiwara
Hidenori Futagi
Northern Racing
18 3 5 Regard Calme
F3 55.0 Lord Kanaloa
Sunday Smile
K. Miura
Y. Tamura
Sunday Racing 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: 1:32.7 (race record) GOING: Firm WEATHER: Fine
TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 25,552,716,000 ATTENDANCE: 50,877

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.8 ¥340 BRACKET QUINELLA 4-8 ¥3,110 QUINELLA 8-16 ¥4,410
PLACE No.8 ¥170 QUINELLA PLACE 8-16 ¥1,280 EXACTA 8-16 ¥5,700
No.16 ¥400 4-8 ¥420 TRIO 4-8-16 ¥5,990
No.4 ¥200 4-16 ¥1,410 TRIFECTA 8-16-4 ¥31,810
  1. 1.Gran Alegria (JPN), bay, filly, 3-year-old
    Deep Impact / Tapitsfly (Tapit)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder:Northern Farm
    Trainer: Kazuo Fujisawa Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
    4 Starts, 3 Wins
    Added money: ¥ 129,829,000 Career earnings: ¥ 188,275,000

  2. 2.Shigeru Pink Dia (JPN), dark bay or brown, filly, 3-year-old
    Daiwa Major / Moonlight Bay (High Chaparral)
    Owner: S. Morinaka Breeder: Amaba Bokujo
    Trainer: Kunihiko Watanabe Jockey: Ryuji Wada

  3. 3.Chrono Genesis (JPN), gray, filly, 3-year-old
    Bago / Chronologist (Kurofune)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Takashi Saito Jockey: Yuichi Kitamura
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.2 - 11.1 - 12.1 - 12.3 - 11.7 - 10.8 - 11.0 - 11.5
Last 4 furlongs: 45.0          Last 3 furlongs: 33.3

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


* 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 five fillies in the past including Gentildonna (JPN, by Deep Impact) and Almond Eye (JPN, by Lord Kanaloa) both of who completed the sweep and went on to capture the Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) and Horse of the Year title in 2012 and 2018, respectively.

2018 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1, 1,600m) victor and Best two-Year-Old Filly Danon Fantasy marked her third consecutive graded title in the Tulip Sho (G2, 1,600m; Mar.2), one of the trial races towards the Oka Sho. Shigeru Pink Dia and Noble Score earned their tickets to run in the Oka Sho finishing second and third, respectively, in the Tulip Sho while 2018 Artemis Stakes (G3, 1,600m) winner Schon Glanz finished fifth. Oka Sho entries from other trial races were: No One, Pourville and Juranville, the top three finishers of the Fillies’ Revue (G2, 1,400m; Mar.10); Regard Calme and Red Aster, the top two finishers of the Anemone Stakes (1,600m; Mar.10). Hanshin Juvenile Fillies runner-up Chrono Genesis and third-place finisher Beach Samba came off first and second, respectively, in the Queen Cup (G3, 1,600m; Feb.9). The field also included Fairy Stakes (G3, 1,600m; Jan.12) winner Figlia Pura, Elfin Stakes (Listed, 1,600m; Feb.2) victor Aqua Mirabilis and Gran Alegria who was third against male opponents in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1, 1,600m; Dec.16).
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