2019 News

June 23, 2019


Lys Gracieux Outruns Male Rivals in This Year's Grand-Prix Takarazuka Kinen
Takarazuka Kinen (G1)

Takarazuka Kinen (G1)

Third favorite Lys Gracieux, the only female in a field of 12 strong runners, claimed the 60th running of the all-star Takarazuka Kinen to become the fourth filly/mare to claim the spring Grand-Prix since Marialite in 2016. Capturing her first G1 title in last year’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m) at Kyoto in November, she was runner-up in both the following Hong Kong Vase (G1, 2,400m) in December and the Kinko Sho (G2, 2,000m) in March and came off a third in Hong Kong’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,000m) in April. This win marked trainer Yoshito Yahagi’s seventh JRA-G1 win following his Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) title with Loves Only You in May. For jockey Damian Lane, this marked his second JRA-G1 title following his win in the Victoria Mile with Normcore in May. Lane registered 37 victories including six graded titles riding in JRA races under a short-term license between the end of April and this weekend.

Quick out of the gate, Lys Gracieux rushed out from the outermost draw and settled unusually toward the front to press the pace behind Kiseki. Turning the last corner outside the frontrunner, still in second, the 5-year-old daughter of Heart’s Cry made bid immediately after entering the lane, dueled strongly with the race favorite until overtaking the front 200 meters out and shifted into higher gear to easily pull away for a clean three-length victory.

“The horse turned out in perfect condition. I was very lucky to be able to board her today. She broke well and I thought I might as well use that to my advantage. I was very confident turning in that she had plenty left in the tank and I was worried that there were a lot of good horses chasing and I thought that they would challenge but she was just too strong,” commented Damian Lane.

Race favorite Kiseki, though breaking somewhat slowly from the innermost draw, took the front as usual to set the pace and continued to hold on well even after entering the homestretch. The son of Rulership, however, ran out of fuel in the last 200 meters while still managing to come in second.

Sixth pick Suave Richard traveled wide behind Lys Gracieux, around fourth from the front, and continued to chase the eventual winner until the wire, nailing Al Ain along the way to finish two lengths behind Kiseki in third.

Other Horses:
4th: (4) Al Ain—tracked leaders in 3rd, overtaken by Suave Richard 200m out, no match for top finishers
5th: (2) Rey de Oro—saved ground in 6th, entered 5th to straight, failed to close in on front runners
6th: (10) Noble Mars—ran in 8th, circled wide, passed tired rivals
7th: (6) Stiffelio—raced in 5th, entered 6-7th to lane, even paced
8th: (9) Clincher—traveled in 7th, driven after 3rd corner, failed to respond
9th: (3) Etario—settled in 10th, made headway after 3rd corner, lacked needed kick at straight
10th: (8) Shonan Bach—sat 2nd from last along rails, never fired at stretch
11th: (7) Makahiki—trailed in far rear, struggled to find clear path, unable to reach contention
12th: (5) Tatsu Gogeki—hugged rails in 9th, showed little at stretch

3-year-olds & up, 2,200 meters (about 11 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, June 23, 2019       Hanshin Racecourse        11th Race          Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 325,000,000 (about US$ 2,826,000 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 53kg (about 117 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 58kg (about 128 lbs), 2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares,
1kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2015,
3kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2016
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 8 12 Lys Gracieux
M5 56.0 Heart’s Cry
D. Lane
Y. Yahagi
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Farm
2 1 1 Kiseki
H5 58.0 Rulership
Blitz Finale
Y. Kawada
K. Sumii
Tatsue Ishikawa
Shimokobe Farm
3 8 11 Suave Richard
H5 58.0 Heart’s Cry
M. Demuro
Y. Shono
NICKS Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
4 4 4
Al Ain
H5 58.0 Deep Impact
Dubai Majesty
Y. Kitamura
Y. Ikee
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
5 2 2 Rey de Oro
H5 58.0 King Kamehameha
La Dorada
C. Lemaire
K. Fujisawa
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Racing
6 7 10 Noble Mars
H6 58.0 Jungle Pocket
I and You
R. Takakura
H. Miyamoto
Nobuhiko Yoshiki
Tagami Farm
7 5 6 Stiffelio
H5 58.0 Stay Gold
Serious Attitude
G. Maruyama
H. Otonashi
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
8 7 9 Clincher
H5 58.0 Deep Sky
The Fates
K. Miura
H. Miyamoto
Koji Maeda
Hirayama Bokujo
9 3 3
C4 58.0 Stay Gold
Hot Cha Cha
N. Yokoyama
Y. Tomomichi
G Riviere·Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
10 6 8 Shonan Bach
H8 58.0 Stay Gold
Sugar Heart
Y. Yoshida
H. Uehara
Tetsuhide Kunimoto
Yanagawa Bokujo
11 6 7 Makahiki
H6 58.0 Deep Impact
Y. Iwata
Y. Tomomichi
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
12 5 5 Tatsu Gogeki
H7 58.0 Marvelous Sunday
Nishino Plumeria
S. Akiyama
I. Sameshima
Takayuki Suzuki
Kawakami Bokujo
FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / B=Blinker / 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: ¥ 28,043,575,400 ATTENDANCE: 62,368

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.12 ¥ 540 BRACKET QUINELLA 1-8 ¥ 620 QUINELLA 1-12 ¥ 970
PLACE No.12 ¥ 180 QUINELLA PLACE 1-12 ¥ 340 EXACTA 12-1 ¥ 2,210
No.1 ¥ 140 11-12 ¥ 760 TRIO 1-11-12 ¥ 2,720
No.11 ¥ 260 1-11 ¥ 630 TRIFECTA 12-1-11 ¥ 14,560
  1. 1.Lys Gracieux (JPN), dark bay or brown, mare, 5-year-olds
    Heart’s Cry / Liliside (American Post)
    Owner: U. Carrot Farm Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi Jockey: Damian Lane
    20 starts, 5 Wins
    Added money: ¥ 152,562,000 Career earnings: ¥ 681,039,500

  2. 2.Kiseki (JPN), dark bay or brown, horse, 5-year-olds
    Rulership / Blitz Finale (Deep Impact)
    Owner: Tatsue Ishikawa Breeder:Shimokobe Farm
    Trainer: Katsuhiko Sumii Jockey: Yuga Kawada

  3. 3.Suave Richard (JPN), chestnut, horse, 5-year-olds
    Heart’s Cry / Pirramimma (Unbridled’s Song)
    Owner: NICKS Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Yasushi Shono Jockey: Mirco Demuro
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.6 - 11.4 - 11.5 - 12.4 - 12.1 - 11.9 - 12.0 - 11.6 - 11.5 - 11.4 - 12.4
Last 4 furlongs: 46.9          Last 3 furlongs: 35.3

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

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.


* Takarazuka Kinen (G1)

The Takarazuka Kinen, established in 1960, opened its doors to foreign-trained horses in 1997 and became the first international grade-one race designated by the International Cataloguing Standards Committee (ICSC) held in western Japan in 2001. The race joined the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series in 2011, enabling its winner to earn automatic starting position in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1, 2,400m). The winner will also be eligible to start in the Australian G1 Cox Plate (2,040m) beginning this year. Last year’s race welcomed Hong Kong’s 2015/16 Horse of the Year Werther (NZ, by Tavistock) who finished a neck second. He was the second foreign contender to challenge the race since Australian-trained Seto Stayer (AUS, by Bellotto; 9th) in 1997.
It is a Grand Prix (All-Star) race, along with the year-end Arima Kinen (G1, 2,500m), in which the runners are selected by a fan poll. 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.
This year’s contenders that were among the top ten horses voted included: Rey de Oro (2nd) and Suave Richard (7th) who respectively finished sixth and third in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1, 2,410m; Mar.30); Kiseki (3rd) and Al Ain (4th) who was second and first, respectively, in the Osaka Hai (G1, 2,000m; Mar.31); and Lys Gracieux (9th) who came off a third in Hong Kong’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,000m; Apr.28).
Other notable contenders included Etario (13th) and Makahiki (15th), who both came off a fourth in the Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1, 3,200m; Apr.28) and the Osaka Hai, respectively.
Horses that were ranked among the top ten but passed up their entry were: 2018 Horse of the Year Almond Eye (JPN, F4, by Lord Kanaloa; 1st); Tenno Sho (Spring) winner Fierement (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact; 5th); 2018 Arina Kinen winner Blast Onepiece (JPN, C4, by Harbinger; 6th); 2016-18 Best Steeplechase Horse Oju Chosan (JPN, H8, by Stay Gold; 8th); and 2018 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) champion Wagnerian (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact; 10th).
The race record of 2:10.1 was set by Earnestly (JPN, by Grass Wonder) in 2011.

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