2019 News

September 29, 2019


Tower of London Outruns Rivals to Dominate Sprinters Stakes
Sprinters Stakes (G1)

Sprinters Stakes (G1)

Second favorite Tower of London marked his fifth grade-race win in this year’s Sprinters Stakes. The four-year-old colt registered three wins out of five starts as a two-year-old which included the G2 Keio Hai Nisai Stakes (1,400m) and also finished third in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (1,600m) at the end of the season. In his three-year-old campaign last year, the son of Raven’s Pass captured the G3 Arlington Cup (1,600m) but encountered disadvantages in his G1 NHK Mile Cup (1,600m) challenge and was heavily defeated to 12th. After winning the G2 Keio Hai Spring Cup (1,400m) earlier this season, the bay colt was switched to races at the 1,200m distance and had immediately showed potential by marking a third in the G3 Hakodate Sprint Stakes in June, a second in the G3 Keeneland Cup in August and dominating the G2 Centaur Stakes in record-breaking time just three weeks earlier. Tower of London has given trainer Kazuo Fujisawa his 29th JRA-G1 victory—Fujisawa’s most recent title was the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) with Gran Alegria this year—and his second Sprinters Stakes title following the 1997 victory with Taiki Shuttle. Jockey Christophe Lemaire’s most recent JRA-G1 win was with Fierement in the Tenno Sho (Spring) this year and he has now collected a total of 26 titles.

The race broke evenly with Mozu Superflare gunning for the lead and setting the pace as expected. Sitting in mid-field stalking first pick Danon Smash down the backstretch, Tower of London launched his bid as he swiftly angled out after the third corner and entered the lane four wide with a clear path in front of him. Gliding up the stretch with a good turn of foot, the four-year-old bay swooped past Mr Melody 100 meters out and caught pacesetter Mozu Superflare in the final strides for a half-length win.

“I was a bit worried that we were not in a good striking position since the fast track today at Nakayama was definitely an advantage for the frontrunners. We had our eyes on Danon Smash who was traveling on the rails so we shifted out. Tower of London has great talent and stretched strongly all the way to the wire today. I knew he was an exceptional horse but he’s getting stronger with every sprint start,” commented Christophe Lemaire after the race.

Sent off third favorite, four-year-old filly Mozu Superflare dashed to the front to set the pace, and stubbornly held on well but was unable to withstand the fast-closing Tower of London and finished a good second, demonstrating a much better performance than her disappointing defeat (15th) earlier this year in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen.

Race favorite Danon Smash, breaking from an inner stall, saved ground on the rails in front of Tower of London in mid-division. While the eventual winner made a smooth wide turn for his stretch run, the Keeneland Cup winner was a fraction late to slide out behind a pack of horses and although ran strongly down the straight, was short in tagging Mozu Superlfare but dug in for a neck third.

Other Horses:
4th: (13) Mr Melody—ran 3-wide in 6th, made headway to 2nd entering lane, weakened in last 100m
5th: (5) Let’s Go Donki—sat 2nd from rear, turned wide, showed 2nd fastest late drive but belatedly
6th: (12) Daimei Princess—raced 3-wide around 10th, ran gamely, 4th at 200m marker, weakened in last 100m
7th: (14) Happy Hour—was off slow, trailed in far rear, timed fastest over last 600m, was too late
8th: (6) No One—traveled in 13th, circled wide, showed belated charge at stretch
9th: (4) Linate—hugged rails in 12th, angled out then switched to inside, unable to reach contention
10th: (1) Ares Barows—settled 3rd from rear, drifted turning final corner, passed tired rivals
11th: (15) Iberis—ran 3-wide around 4-5th, lacked needed kick in last 200m
12th: (3) Seiun Kosei—sat around 4-5th, struggled to find clear path at early stretch, showed little
13th: (9) Dirndl—raced around 7th in front of favorite, overtaken by rivals turning both corners, even paced
14th: (11) Maltese Apogee—tracked leader in 2nd, lost steam after 200m pole
15th: (10) Love Kampf—traveled 3-wide around 9th, outrun after 3rd corner
16th: (16) Fantasist—advanced to 3rd from widest draw, faded after entering straight

3-year-olds & up, 1,200 meters (about 6 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, September 29, 2019  Nakayama Racecourse     11th Race        Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 238,600,000 (about US$ 2,075,000 <US$1=¥115>)
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 2016
Safety factor: 16 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 4 8 Tower of London
C4 57.0 Raven’s Pass
Snow Pine
C. Lemaire
K. Fujisawa
Darley Japan K. K
2 4 7 Mozu Superflare
F4 55.0 Speightstown
Christies Treasure
F. Matsuwaka
H. Otonashi
Capital System Co., Ltd.
Alpha Delta Stables LLC
3 1 2 Danon Smash
C4 57.0 Lord Kanaloa
Spinning Wildcat
Y. Kawada
T. Yasuda
Danox Co., Ltd.
K. I. Farm
4 7 13 Mr Melody
C4 57.0 Scat Daddy
Trusty Lady
Y. Fukunaga
H. Fujiwara
Green Fields Co., Ltd.
Bell Tower Thoroughbreds
5 3 5 Let’s Go Donki
M7 55.0 King Kamehameha
Y. Iwata
T. Umeda
Hirosaki Toshihiro HD Co., Ltd.
Shimizu Bokujo
6 6 12 Daimei Princess
M6 55.0 King Halo
Daimei Dark
S. Akiyama
N. Morita
Koichi Miyamoto
Koichi Miyamoto
7 7 14 Happy Hour
C3 55.0 Harbinger
Success Silhouette
N. Yokoyama
K. Take
Sachiko Takashima
Key West Inc.
8 3 6 No One
F3 53.0 Heart’s Cry
H. Uchida
K. Sasada
Yoshinori Fujita
Tobino Bokujo
9 2 4 Linate
M5 55.0 Stay Gold
K. Miura
N. Sugai
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
10 1 1 Ares Barows
H7 57.0 Deep Impact
Taisei Etoile
Y. Hishida
K. Tsunoda
Hirotsugu Inokuma
Yanagawa Bokujo
11 8 15 Iberis
F3 53.0 Lord Kanaloa
S. Hamanaka
K. Tsunoda
Koji Maeda
Doi Bokujo
12 2 3 Seiun Kosei
H6 57.0 Admire Moon
H. Miyuki
H. Uehara
Shigeyuki Nishiyama
Sakurai Bokujo
13 5 9 Dirndl
F3 53.0 Rulership
Y. Fujioka
Y. Okumura
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
14 6 11 Maltese Apogee
H7 57.0 Goshawk Ken
Maltese Heat
G. Maruyama
M. Horii
Nagako Fujita
Nagako Fujita
15 5 10 Love Kampf
F4 55.0 Shonan Kampf
Love Heart
M. Sakai
N. Morita
Yoichi Masuda
Yoichi Masuda
16 8 16 Fantasist
C3 55.0 Lord Kanaloa
Deep in Ask
Y. Take
T. Umeda
Toshihiro Hirosaki
Toshihiro Hirosaki
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: ¥ 22,307,358,000 ATTENDANCE: 34,347

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.8 ¥ 290 BRACKET QUINELLA 4-4 ¥ 1,250 QUINELLA 7-8 ¥ 1,260
PLACE No.8 ¥ 130 QUINELLA PLACE 7-8 ¥ 430 EXACTA 8-7 ¥ 2,040
No.7 ¥ 180 2-8 ¥ 220 TRIO 2-7-8 ¥ 1,070
No.2 ¥ 120 2-7 ¥ 380 TRIFECTA 8-7-2 ¥ 6,080
  1. 1.Tower of London (JPN), bay, colt, 4-year-olds
    Raven’s Pass / Snow Pine (Dalakhani)
    Owner: Godolphin Breeder: Darley Japan K. K
    Trainer: Kazuo Fujisawa Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
    14 Starts, 7 Wins
    Added money: ¥ 113,444,000 Career earnings: ¥ 397,470,000

  2. 2.Mozu Superflare (USA), chestnut, filly, 4-year-olds
    Speightstown / Christies Treasure (Belong to Me)
    Owner: Capital System Co., Ltd. Breeder: Alpha Delta Stables, LLC
    Trainer: Hidetaka Otonashi Jockey: Fuma Matsuwaka

  3. 3.Danon Smash (JPN), bay, colt, 4-year-olds
    Lord Kanaloa / Spinning Wildcat (Hard Spun)
    Owner: Danox Co., Ltd. Breeder: K. I. Farm
    Trainer: Takayuki Yasuda Jockey: Yuga Kawada
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 11.9 - 10.1 - 10.8 - 11.3 - 11.2 - 11.8
Last 4 furlongs: 45.1          Last 3 furlongs: 34.3

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

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.


* Sprinter Stakes (G1)

The Sprinters Stakes, initially established in 1967 as a major 1,200-meter sprint race for three-year-old and up, was designated as a spring G3 event in conjunction with the new grading system implemented in 1984. It was then upgraded to G2 in 1987 before becoming a G1 sprint race in 1990 with the date of fixture also shifted to the latter part of the season. The race now positions itself as the highest mark for sprinters together with the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1, 1,200m) held in spring. The race also joined the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series in 2016, enabling its winners to earn automatic starting position in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1, 1,000m).
One of the first few JRA races to open its doors to foreign entries, the Sprinters Stakes has enjoyed the participation of many outstanding sprinters from North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Hong Kong raiders have taken home the title twice so far—Silent Witness (AUS, by El Moxie) was the first foreign contender to win the title in 2005 along with Ultra Fantasy (AUS, by Encosta De Lago) in 2010—while Australia’s Takeover Target (AUS, by Celtic Swing) won the 2006 version. While foreign contenders have not been seen in the winner’s circle since, the race has continued to enjoy the company of some of the top sprinters from overseas in recent years.
In last year’s Sprinters Stakes, Fine Needle (JPN, by Admire Moon) claimed his second G1 victory earning him the JRA’s Best Sprinter or Miler Award for his accomplishment of claiming both G1 sprints races—the Takamatsunomiya Kinen and the Sprinters Stakes—in the same year and capped off his career at the end of the season.
This year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen champion Mr Melody was among this year’s lineup after coming off an eighth in the Centaur Stakes (G2, 1,200m; Sep.8) where Tower of London claimed his fourth graded title in record-breaking time, Fantasist finished second, and Kitakyushu Kinen (G3, 1,200m; Aug.18) winner Daimei Princess followed in sixth. Other key runners coming off other prep races were: from the Kitakyushu Kinen, Dirndl (2nd); from the Keeneland Cup (G3, 1,200m; Aug.25), Danon Smash (1st), Linate (3rd) and 2017 Takamatsunomiya Kinen champion Seiun Kosei (6th).
The race record of 1:06.7 was set by Lord Kanaloa (JPN, by King Kamehameha) in the first of his consecutive victories in this race in 2012 and 2013.

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