2019 News

June 2, 2019


Indy Champ Beats Heavy Favorite for First G1 Title in the Yasuda Kinen
Yasuda Kinen (G1)

Yasuda Kinen (G1)

Fourth favorite Indy Champ claimed this year’s Yasuda Kinen in his first G1 challenge, renewing the race record to 1:30.9, 0.4 seconds shorter than previously set by Strong Return in 2012. Raced between 1,400 and 1,800 meters, the four-year-old Stay Gold colt immediately broke his maiden in his debut start in December as a two-year-old and registered three wins out of six starts last year. This season, he claimed his first graded win in his kick-off start, the Tokyo Shimbun Hai (G3, 1,600m), and came off a fourth in his latest Milers Cup (G2, 1,600m) start in April. For trainer Hidetaka Otonashi, this is his 10th JRA-G1 triumph following the Takarazuka Kinen with Mikki Rocket last year. Since his latest victory with Mr. Melody in this year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen, jockey Yuichi Fukunaga is now the winning jockey of 24 JRA-G1 races, two of which are Yasuda Kinen titles—the other with Strong Return in 2012.

Indy Champ broke well and secured a rail trip in fifth up to the top of the straight. After struggling behind a wall of horses in early stretch, the four-year-old bay threaded out two furlongs out, displayed a good turn of foot up the hill and stretched strongly, overtaking the pacesetter in the final strides to clear the wire first.

“He was tuned up well, was in great shape, and had a good draw, so I just tried hard not to miss our break. He tends to get distracted when he’s up front so I kept him off the pace. We were up against fierce competition, but I believed that he had a good chance as long as I didn’t make any mistakes and he certainly responded beautifully to our expectations,” commented Yuichi Fukunaga.

Sent off third favorite, Aerolithe went right to the front after a good break and set a solid pace with Guanciale within a couple of lengths behind in second. Demonstrating good stamina, the five-year-old daughter of Kurofune stubbornly held on to the lead only to be caught a few strides before the finish line by Indy Champ for a neck second.

Heavily favored filly Almond Eye, aiming for her sixth consecutive G1 victory, immediately met traffic after breaking from stall 14 and was forced to settle between horses in the latter half of the field, a half-length behind second favorite Danon Premium. Failing to shift out at the last corner, the Lord Kanaloa filly finally found room 300 meters out and unleashed her trademark burst of speed, which was timed the fastest of the field, but had too much ground to make up and was a nose short for third.

Other Horses:
4th: (6) Guanciale—tracked leader in 2nd, showed tenacity, weakened in final strides
5th: (4) Sungrazer—saved ground in mid-division, showed effort but lacked another gear in last 200m
6th: (7) Mozu Ascot—settled in mid-pack, responded outside eventual winner, but no match in last 200m
7th: (1) Keiai Nautique—sat behind favorite, switched to inside at early stretch, showed belated effort
8th: (8) Stelvio—was off a bit slow, raced 2nd from rear, failed to find clear path at early stretch, accelerated in last 300m, timed 2nd fastest over last 3 furlongs
9th: (16) Logi Cry—advanced to 3rd from widest draw, ran gamely until 200m pole, weakened
10th: (13) Persian Knight—checked after break, trailed in rear, passed tired rivals at straight
11th: (3) Sakura Empereur—hugged rails in mid-group, checked 400m out, even paced
12th: (12) Lord Quest—traveled outside eventual winner, outrun in last furlong
13th: (9) Smart Odin—settled towards rear, circled wide, unable to reach contention
14th: (10) Fiano Romano—raced inside favorite, showed little at stretch
15th: (11) Entscheiden—ran 3-wide in mid-division, gradually fell back
16th: (15) Danon Premium—traveled 4-wide near favorite, never fired, faded after 300m marker

3-year-old & up, 1,600 meters (about 8 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, June 2, 2019    Tokyo Racecourse      11th Race      Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 238,600,000 (about US$ 2,075,000 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 54kg (about 119 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 58kg (about 128 lbs), 2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares, 1kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2015, 2kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2016
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 3 5 Indy Champ
C4 58.0 Stay Gold
Will Power
Y. Fukunaga
H. Otonashi
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
2 1 2 Aerolithe
M5 56.0 Kurofune
K. Tosaki
T. Kikuzawa
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
3 7 14 Almond Eye
F4 56.0 Lord Kanaloa
Fusaichi Pandora
C. Lemaire
S. Kunieda
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
4 3 6 Guanciale
H7 58.0 Screen Hero
Chuo Saya
M. Matsuoka
Y. Kitade
Toshihiro Matsumoto
Chuo Bokujo
5 2 4 Sungrazer
H5 58.0 Deep Impact
Mantis Hunt
Y. Iwata
H. Asami
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Oiwake Farm
6 4 7 Mozu Ascot
H5 58.0 Frankel
R. Sakai
Y. Yahagi
Capital System Co., Ltd.
Summer Wind Farm
7 1 1 Keiai Nautique
C4 58.0 Deep Impact
Keiai Gerbera
H. Miyuki
O. Hirata
Kazuhiro Kameda
Queens Ranch Ltd
8 4 8 Stelvio
C4 58.0 Lord Kanaloa
D. Lane
T. Kimura
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
9 8 16 Logi Cry
H6 58.0 Heart’s Cry
Dream Moment
Y. Take
N. Sugai
Masaaki Kumeta
Northern Racing
10 7 13 Persian Knight
H5 58.0 Harbinger
Orient Charm
M. Demuro
Y. Ikee
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Oiwake Farm
11 2 3 Sakura Empereur
H8 58.0 King Kamehameha
Sakura Mega
N. Yokoyama
T. Kanari
Sakura Commerce
Sakura Commerce Co., Ltd.
12 6 12 Lord Quest
H6 58.0 Matsurida Gogh
Matsurida Waltz
Y. Ishikawa
S. Kojima
Lord Horse Club
Samani Hori Bokujo
13 5 9 Smart Odin
H6 58.0 Danon Chantilly
Lady Upstage
K. Ikezoe
Y. Ikee
Toru Okawa
Sky Beach Stable
14 5 10 Fiano Romano
H5 58.0 Fastnet Rock
Heart Ashley
Y. Kitamura
T. Takano
Kazumi Yoshida
Kia Ora Stud
15 6 11 Entscheiden
C4 58.0 Deep Impact
Le Sucre
H. Tanabe
Y. Yahagi
Koji Maeda
North Hills Co,. Ltd.
16 8 15 Danon Premium
C4 58.0 Deep Impact
Indiana Gal
Y. Kawada
M. Nakauchida
Danox Co., Ltd.
K. I. 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: ¥ 31,266,208,200 ATTENDANCE: 74,008

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.5 ¥ 1,920 BRACKET QUINELLA 1-3 ¥ 4,010 QUINELLA 2-5 ¥ 5,670
PLACE No.5 ¥ 290 QUINELLA PLACE 2-5 ¥ 1,460 EXACTA 5-2 ¥ 13,660
No.2 ¥ 240 5-14 ¥ 600 TRIO 2-5-14 ¥ 3,690
No.14 ¥ 110 2-14 ¥ 470 TRIFECTA 5-2-14 ¥ 43,720
  1. 1.Indy Champ (JPN), bay, colt, 4-year-old
    Stay Gold / Will Power (King Kamehameha)
    Owner: Silk Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Hidetaka Otonashi Jockey: Yuichi Fukunaga
    10 Starts, 6 Wins
    Added money: ¥ 113,402,000 Career earnings: ¥ 231,120,000

  2. 2.Aerolithe (JPN), gray, mare, 5-year-old
    Kurofune / Asterix (Neo Universe)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Takanori Kikuzawa Jockey: Keita Tosaki

  3. 3.Almond Eye (JPN), bay, filly, 4-year-old
    Lord Kanaloa / Fusaichi Pandora (Sunday Silence)
    Owner: Silk Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Sakae Kunieda Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.2 - 10.9 - 11.4 - 11.3 - 11.2 - 11.1 - 11.2 - 11.6
Last 4 furlongs: 45.1          Last 3 furlongs: 33.9

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

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.


* Yasuda Kinen (G1)

The Yasuda Kinen, a race to determine the best miler of the spring season, has welcomed just over 50 foreign-trained horses since its designation as an international race in 1993, including 1995 champion Heart Lake (GB, by Nureyev) from the UAE, 2000 winner Fairy King Prawn (AUS, by Danehill) from Hong Kong and the winner of the 2006 Champions Mile-Yasuda Kinen double, Bullish Luck (USA, by Royal Academy). Past Yasuda Kinen winners that have subsequently become the season’s Horse of the Year include Oguri Cap (JPN, by Dancing Cap; ’90), Taiki Shuttle (USA, by Devil's Bag; ’98), Vodka (JPN, by Tanino Gimlet; ’08 &’09), Lord Kanaloa (JPN, by King Kamehameha; ’13) and Maurice (JPN, by Screen Hero; ’15). The first three finishers of this race are eligible to start in the French G1 Prix Jacques le Marois (1,600m) beginning this year, free of charge to enter and with additional support for transportation.
This year’s lineup featured 2018 Horse of the Year Almond Eye who claimed her fifth G1 title in the Dubai Turf (1,800m; Mar.30) and made her domestic seasonal debut in this race. Other key contenders coming off their respective races were: from the Lord Derby Challenge Trophy (G3, 1,600m; Mar.30), Fiano Romano (1st); from the Osaka Hai (G1, 2,000m; Mar.31), 2018 Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m) runner-up Sungrazer (12th) and, Persian Knight (11th) and Stelvio (14th) who claimed the Mile Championship (G1, 1,600m) in 2017 and 2018, respectively; from the Milers Cup (G2, 1,600m; Apr.21), 2017 Best Two-Year-Old Colt Danon Premium (1st), Guanciale (2nd), Indy Champ (4th), 2018 NHK Mile Cup (G1, 1,600m) winner Keiai Nautique (6th) and Mozu Ascot (7th) who was last year’s Yasuda Kinen champion; from the Keio Hai Spring Cup (G2, 1,400m; May.11), Logi Cry (3rd); from the Victoria Mile (G1, 1,600m; May.12), 2017 NHK Mile Cup champion Aerolithe (5th).

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