2019 News

December 29, 2019


Contrail Wins Effortlessly in Hopeful Stakes
Hopeful Stakes (G1)

Hopeful Stakes (G1)

Race favorite Contrail continued undefeated in his third career win in the G1 Hopeful Stakes. Breaking his maiden in his September debut over 1,800 meters, he scored an overwhelming 5-length victory in the following Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,800) in November where he set a new course record. Trainer Yoshito Yahagi had just won the Arima Kinen with Lys Gracieux last week before registering his ninth JRA-G1 title in the Hopeful Stakes. Jockey Yuichi Fukunaga won his third JRA-G1 title this year after his victories in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen with Mr Melody and the Yasuda Kinen with Indy Champ and 25th overall.

Contrail broke sharply from an inside draw and was immediately eased two wide in fourth position behind Panthalassa who rushed out from stall nine to set a brisk pace over the 2,000-meter course. The Deep Impact colt gradually moved up through the last two corners, was already at the heels of the leader 400 meters out, then extended his strides effortlessly as soon as he took command passing the furlong pole and pulled away for a 1-1/2-length victory.

“He was really strong. I didn’t have to do anything but just sit on him. He’s always been a good starter and I didn’t want to pull him back too much but was able to settle him behind another runner—although he was racing well up front I was confident that we could make it through to the end. He does tend to be a little keen but the training staff had conditioned him to be in a good motivated mood so it worked well in the race. He really changed his gear effortlessly but did show a little lost once up front—still a little green, and no wonder Ryan (Moore) drove him the way he did in his last run—but the colt really showed his potentials towards his three-year-old campaign next year,” commented jockey Yuichi Fukunaga.

Weltreisende was held back after a smooth break and rated in mid-field around sixth or seventh between horses while keeping close watch on the race favorite ahead. The Dream Journey colt made headway with 600 meters to go and entered the straight right behind and outside Contrail but was no match for the winner while besting the rest of the field by two lengths.

Wakea raced off the pace in mid-field, shifted to the outside for the stretch run and closed in impressively but had too much ground to make along the outside for third place.

Other Horses:
4th: (13) Rhinebeck—advanced to 3rd from widest stall, showed tenacity, weakened in last 100m
5th: (11) Authority—sat 3-wide around 8th, ran gamely until 200m out
6th: (9) Panthalassa—set pace, led until 200m pole, tired thereafter
7th: (3) Blooming Sky—tracked leader in 2nd early, outrun after final corner
8th: (10) Dear Theory—saved ground around 10th, angled out, showed little at stretch
9th: (1) Black Hole—hugged rails behind winner, lacked needed kick at stretch
10th: (12) Rugby Boy—settled 2nd from rear, unable to reach contention
11th: (4) Galore Creek—raced 3-wide in 6th, dropped back after 3rd corner
12th: (6) Narino Montagne—traveled 3-wide around 8th, gradually fell back
13th: (8) Kurino Brave—bumped in first 200m, trailed in rear, no factor

2-year-olds, Colts & Fillies, 2,000 meters (about 10 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Saturday, December 28, 2019     Nakayama Racecourse     11th Race    Post time: 15:30
Total prize money: ¥ 152,200,000 (about US$ 1,324,000 <US$1=¥115>)
2-y-o: 55kg (about 121 lbs), 1 kg allowance for Fillies, 3 kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2017
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 2 2 Contrail
C2 55.0 Deep Impact
Y. Fukunaga
Y. Yahagi
Shinji Maeda
North Hills Co,. Ltd.
2 4 5 Weltreisende
C2 55.0 Dream Journey
O. Murphy
Y. Ikee
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
3 5 7 Wakea
C2 55.0 Heart’s Cry
Cherry Collect
C. Lemaire
T. Tezuka
Yukihiro Ochiai
Northern Racing
4 8 13 Rhinebeck
C2 55.0 Deep Impact
Y. Iwata
Y. Tomomichi
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
5 7 11 Authority
C2 55.0 Orfevre
K. Ikezoe
T. Kimura
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
6 6 9 Panthalassa
C2 55.0 Lord Kanaloa
Miss Pemberley
R. Sakai
Y. Yahagi
Hiroo Race PANGLOSS Y. K.
Toshihiro Hirosaki et al.
7 3 3 Blooming Sky
C2 55.0 Deep Impact
Bloomin’ Bar
H. Tanabe
K. Sumii
Takaya Shimakawa
Yukihiro Moroe
8 7 10 Dear Theory
C2 55.0 Samurai Heart
Silent Bed
K. Miura
N. Takagi
Dearest Club Co., Ltd.
Hideo Takadaru
9 1 1 Black Hole
C2 55.0 Gold Ship
Viva Bouquet
Y. Ishikawa
I. Aizawa
Seichi Serizawa
Seiichi Serizawa
10 8 12 Rugby Boy
C2 55.0 Eishin Flash
H. Kitamura
K. Seishi
Hideaki Saito
Lake Villa Farm
11 4 4 Galore Creek
C2 55.0 Kinshasa no Kiseki
Gold Relic
G. Maruyama
H. Uehara
Yukio Mizukami
Kasamatsu Bokujo
12 5 6 Narino Montagne
C2 55.0 Victoire Pisa
Omega Island
M. Demuro
H. Uehara
Kiyoshi Narizuka
Shadai Farm
13 6 8 Kurino Brave
C2 55.0 Ocean Blue
Easterly Breeze
A. Saito
K. Hasegawa
Hiroharu Kurimoto
Izumori 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: ¥ 24,824,324,300 ATTENDANCE: 42,062

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.2 ¥ 200 BRACKET QUINELLA 2-4 ¥ 770 QUINELLA 2-5 ¥ 810
PLACE No.2 ¥ 110 QUINELLA PLACE 2-5 ¥ 300 EXACTA 2-5 ¥ 1,170
No.5 ¥ 140 2-7 ¥ 170 TRIO 2-5-7 ¥ 580
No.7 ¥ 110 5-7 ¥ 270 TRIFECTA 2-5-7 ¥ 2,760
  1. 1.Contrail (JPN), dark bay or brown, colt, 2-year-olds
    Deep Impact / Rhodochrosite (Unbridled’s Song)
    Owner: Shinji Maeda Breeder: North Hills Co,. Ltd.
    Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi Jockey: Yuichi Fukunaga
    3 Starts, 3 Wins
    Added money: ¥ 70,966,000 Career earnings: ¥ 111,267,000

  2. 2.Weltreisende (JPN), dark bay or brown, colt, 2-year-olds
    Dream Journey / Mandela (Acatenango)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Yasutoshi Ikee Jockey: Oisin Murphy

  3. 3.Wakea (JPN), bay, colt, 2-year-olds
    Heart’s Cry / Cherry Collect (Oratorio)
    Owner: Yukihiro Ochiai Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Takahisa Tezuka Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.6 - 11.5 - 12.4 - 12.2 - 12.2 - 12.1 - 12.0 - 12.0 - 11.9 - 12.5
Last 4 furlongs: 48.4         Last 3 furlongs: 36.4

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

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.


* Hopeful Stakes (G1)

Established in 1984 under the name of Radio Tampa Hai Sansai Himba Stakes as a G3 race for two-year-old fillies run over 1,600 meters at Hanshin Racecourse, the race held in December has made various changes in its status over the years. The distance was extended to 2,000 meters while the runners were limited to colts and geldings in 1991, opened its doors once again to fillies and mares in 2000 and acquired international status in 2010. In 2014, the race was given the Hopeful Stakes name, upgraded to G2, excluded geldings and was shifted to a new venue, the Nakayama Racecourse where the first leg of the three-year-old Triple Crown, the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1), is held over the same distance. In 2017, the race made its final elevation in grade and has become JRA’s 24th G1 flat race.
Even before becoming a G1 race, the Hopeful Stakes was highly regarded as the championship event for two- year-old middle-distance prospects aiming for the three-year-old classics and chosen as the main target in place of the traditional two-year-old G1 championships, the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes and the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies run over 1,600 meters. As a result, the 2,000-meter race attracted many talented runners and subsequent G1 winners such as 2010 Satsuki Sho and 2011 Dubai World Cup (G1, AW, 2,000m) winner Victoire Pisa (JPN, by Neo Universe), 2013 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m) and 2014 Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) victor Epiphaneia (JPN, by Symboli Kris S), last year’s→2017 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) champion Rey de Oro (JPN, by King Kamehameha) and this year’s Satsuki Sho winner Saturnalia (JPN, by Lord Kanaloa).
This year’s field included four colts with two wins out of as many starts—Authority, Wakea, Weltreisende and Contrail, came off respective victories in the Fuyo Stakes (2,000m, Sep.22), the Ivy Stakes (Listed, 1,800m; Oct.19), the Hagi Stakes (Listed, 1,800m; Oct.26) and the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,800m; Nov.16). Other key runners were Black Hole, winner of the Sapporo Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,800m; Aug.31) and Rhinebeck who won the Chukyo Nisai Stakes (1,600m) in July and was third in the following Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes.

Time Flyer (JPN, by Heart’s Cry) is the official record holder with a time of 2:01.4 set in 2017 when the race was upgraded to G1 status although Rey de Oro finished in 2:01.3 the year before over the same track and distance.
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