2015 News

March 25, 2015



The JRA horse racing season starts in earnest with the three-year-old classic trials in March, whilehorses begin to prepare towards the spring 2015 G1 events. We take this opportunity to bring you up to date on the progress of last year’s stars and this season’s key runners, hoping that this special spring edition of the seasonal Japan Cup Newsletter will assist you in reporting on upcoming events.

Japanese Delegates off to Dubai and Australia

The biggest international horse racing event in Dubai takes place in March. Japan has high hopes for the world’s richest racing carnival, where it will place seven starters. The hope is that one of these entries will follow Gentildonna (JPN, by Deep Impact), winner of the 2014 edition of the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1, 2,410m), and Just a Way (JPN, by Heart’s Cry), who received high acclaim as the highest rated thoroughbred with 130lb in the 2014 World’s Best Racehorse Rankings following his dominating 6-1/4-length victory in the Dubai Duty Free (G1, 1,800m)—now renamed Dubai Turf beginning this year.

The Dubai World Cup (G1, dirt, 2,000m) is back on dirt after five years since Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse installed a Tapeta all-weather track in 2010. The reinstalled dirt surface has attracted one of our top turf horses, Epiphaneia, as well as dirt specialists.

2014 Japan Cup (G1)
Epiphaneia in the 2014 Japan Cup

Epiphaneia (JPN, H5, by Symboli Kris S) will face some of the world’s top caliber in his first challenge on dirt. The son of Symboli Kris S (USA, by Kris S.) was regarded as a talented runner from early in his career, finishing second in the first two legs of the three-year-old Triple Crown races, the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m) and the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m), before claiming his first G1 title in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m). He was a difficult ride during much of his four-year-old season, but he demonstrated his almost-limitless power under Christophe Soumillon in the 2014 Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m), holding off the rest of the field after racing prominently early to beat Just a Way by four lengths for his second G1 triumph. The effort boosted him to second in the World’s Best Racehorse Ranking with 129lb. Although he ended his 2014 campaign by finishing fifth in the Arima Kinen (G1, 2,500m), Epiphaneia was just 0.2 second behind winner Gentildonna. Partnering again with Soumillon in Dubai, trainer Katsuhiko Sumii is hopeful of capturing another Dubai World Cup title, his first having come with Victoire Pisa (JPN, by Neo Universe) in 2011.


2014 Champions Cup (G1)
Hokko Tarumae
in the 2014 Champions Cup

Hokko Tarumae (JPN, H6, by King Kamehameha), after being soundly defeated to 16th over the all-weather track in the Dubai World Cup last year, was diagnosed with a stress-induced colitis soon after the race. He managed to make a comeback seven months later and finished fourth in the JBC Classic (dirt, 2,000m) in November, then bounced back to form in the Champions Cup (G1, dirt, 1,800m) for his first JRA-G1 title. Three weeks later he made his claim as the king of dirt by concluding the season with another G1 title in the Tokyo Daishoten (G1, dirt, 2,000m), which secured him the 2014 JRA Award for Best Dirt Horse. He then kicked off this year with another victory in the Kawasaki Kinen (dirt, 2,100m). His connections decided to pass up the February Stakes (G1, dirt, 1,600m) on February 22 to allow some rest before his second overseas challenge, this time on dirt, which has also attracted top dirt runners from the U.S.


Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)
Harp Star in the 2014 Oka Sho

Two Japanese Classic winners will be contesting for the Dubai Sheema Classic title this year. Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, G1, 1,600m) victor Harp Star (JPN, F4, by Deep Impact) finished second in the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks, G1, 2,400m) with a loose shoe, then defeated five-time G1 winner Gold Ship in the Sapporo Kinen (G2, 2,000m). Afterwards, she was the top finisher among the Japanese challengers in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1, 2,400m), where she came in sixth. Disadvantages interfered with her chances in the Japan Cup, her last start of last year, in which she finished fifth, and she was fifth again in her kick-off start this year in the Kyoto Kinen (G2, 2,200m), in which she was raced mid-division instead of the usual tactic of running behind. While an explosive late charge is her trademark, her performance is greatly dependent on race development. Hopes are high for Ryan Moore, who will take the reins this time with the aim of maximizing the strengths of this exceptional filly.


Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1)
One and Only
in the 2014 Tokyo Yushun

Derby Winner One and Only (JPN, C4, by Heart’s Cry) disappointed to ninth in the Kikuka Sho and was unable to show much in his challenges against older G1 rivals in the Japan Cup and the Arima Kinen, finishing seventh and 13th, respectively. He will partner with Christian Demuro in the Dubai Sheema Classic, which was won by his sire, Heart’s Cry (JPN, by Sunday Silence) in 2006.


Heading to the UAE Derby (G2, dirt, 1,900m) are the first two finishers in the 2014 two-year-old dirt champion race, the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun (dirt, 1,600m), as well as Golden Barows (USA, C3, by Tapit), who won his third consecutive victory in the Hyacinth Stakes (dirt, 1,600m). Dear Domus (JPN, C3, by Jungle Pocket), who had come off a victory in the Hokkaido Nisai Yushun (dirt, 1,800m), outdueled Tap That (JPN, C3, by Tapit) by a 1/2 length in the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun to land his first G1 title and a second consecutive grade-race victory. The two colts were reunited in their three-year-old kick-off start in the Hyacinth Stakes on February 22, with Dear Domus finishing fourth and Tap That in sixth behind Golden Barows.

Meanwhile, Australia racing is nearing The Championships, a racing carnival on the first and second Saturday of April in which 10 championship races including eight G1 events, which will take place at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. The two-day event, which is in its second year, is another great opportunity for Japanese milers and middle-distance runners to test their abilities at the international level. Last year, Hana’s Goal (JPN, M6, by Orewa Matteruze), after finishing sixth in the Doncaster Mile (G1, 1,600m), went on to capture the All Aged Stakes (G1, 1,400m) two weeks later.


Yasuda Kinen (G1)
Real Impact in the 2011 Yasuda Kinen

This year, two Japanese contingents will take part in the Doncaster Mile on April 4. Real Impact (JPN, H7, by Deep Impact), who became in 2011 the first three-year-old in 59 years to win the Yasuda Kinen (G1, 1,600m), had only managed as high as fifth at the G1 level since. However, last December he captured a second consecutive title in the Hanshin Cup (G2, 1,400m), and then prior to his big day in Australia scored his first overseas success with a G1 victory in the George Ryder Stakes (G1, 1,500m) on March 21.


Yasutoshi Ikee-trained World Ace (JPN, H6, by Deep Impact), runner-up in the 2012 Satsuki Sho and fourth in the Tokyo Yushun, was sidelined thereafter for almost two years with a tendon injury to his left foreleg but claimed the Milers Cup (G2, 1,600m) in his second start since his comeback in February last year. He has been competitive at the G1 level, finishing fifth in the Yasuda Kinen and fourth in the Hong Kong Mile (G1, 1,600m), although he was 11th out of a field of 14 in the George Ryder Stakes.

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1, 2,000m) on April 11, the second day of The Championships, will include two runners also trained by Ikee. To the World (JPN, C4, by King Kamehameha) has been winless since the Yayoi Sho (G2 2,000m) in March last year, but was the runner-up of the 2014 Satsuki Sho and a close second against high-quality senior G1 winners in the Arima Kinen, just 3/4 length behind Gentildonna. He will start in the BMW Stakes (G1, 2,400m) on March 28 prior to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The other Ikee product, Tosen Stardom (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact), was considered a three-year-old with potential after winning the Kisaragi Sho (G3, 1,800m) early last year, but he did not show his true form after that, finishing eighth at best in his Triple Crown starts. Thereafter, however, he demonstrated a terrific winning performance in the Challenge Cup (G3, 1,800m) in December. While unable to match Godolphin’s Contributer (IRE, H5, by High Chaparral) in the Ranvet Stakes (G1, 2,000m) on March 21 at Rosehill, he was impressive in his runner-up effort in which he cleared the wire by a comfortable margin from the rest of the field.


World Ace
World Ace
in the 2014 Milers Cup
To the World
To the World
in the 2014 Yayoi Sho
Challenge Cup (G3)
Tosen Stardom
in the 2014 Challenge Cup

Kizuna Returns to Racing to Face Fenomeno and Gold Ship

Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1)
Kizuna in the 2013 Tokyo Yushun

Kizuna (JPN, H5, by Deep Impact) returned from a fracture in his left carpal bone, sustained following his fourth-place finish in the Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1, 3,200m) last year. The 2013 Derby winner, who finished fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe following his first overseas group-race title in the Prix Niel (G2, 2,400m), finished third by a nose-and-a-neck margin while recording the fastest finish over the last three furlongs in his comeback start in February in the Kyoto Kinen. His connections are hopeful for another stellar season from the son of Deep Impact, who has grown into a robust horse with 22 extra kilos and is being groomed for another Arc challenge. For the first half of the season, the Sankei Osaka Hai (G2, 2,000m) on April 5 and the Tenno Sho (Spring) on May 3 are on his agenda before the Takarazuka Kinen (G1, 2,200m) on June 28, then he will head to France for the Prix Foy (G2, 2,400m) prior to the Arc. After that, he will return to Japan for the Arima Kinen, which will be his final race before retiring to stud.


Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1)
in the 2014 Tenno Sho (Spring)

Back-to-back 2013 and 2014 Tenno Sho (Spring) winner Fenomeno (JPN, H6, by Stay Gold) experienced an uncharacteristic low last fall in middle-distance G1 starts, the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m), the Japan Cup and the Arima Kinen, finishing 14th, eighth and 10th, respectively. He is expected to bounce back to form in his 2015 debut which will begin with the same race as in the last two years, the Nikkei Sho (G2, 2,500m) on March 28, prior to his bid for his third consecutive Tenno Sho (Spring) title.


Takarazuka Kinen (G1)
Gold Ship
in the 2014 Takarazuka Kinen

Meanwhile, Gold Ship (JPN, H6, by Stay Gold), winner of the past two Takarazuka Kinen, finished an unsuccessful 14th in his Arc challenge last year following a runner-up effort in the Sapporo Kinen during the summer. He bounced back in the Arima Kinen, which he had previously won in 2012, to finish a close third, 0.1 second behind winner Gentildonna. He kicked off this season with a disappointing seventh in the American Jockey Club Cup (G2, 2,200m) at Nakayama Racecourse, where he had proved reliable and within the money in his previous four starts, but then he showed his strength over the 3,000-meter course at Hanshin for an unprecedented third consecutive Hanshin Daishoten (G2, 3,000m) title, the first in JRA history.


Toho Jackal (JPN, C4, by Special Week) marked a sensational victory in the 2014 Kikuka Sho, just 149 days after his debut in May, claiming the last leg of the Triple Crown while renewing the previous record by 1.7 seconds. He was scheduled to run in the Hanshin Daishoten but was withdrawn from the race with a hoof problem. Lovely Day (JPN, H5, by King Kamehameha) scored his first grade-race title in the Nakayama Kimpai (G3, 2,000m) in January and then progressed well, landing his second victory while holding off Kizuna in the Kyoto Kinen. Afterwards, however, he was defeated to sixth in the Hanshin Daishoten. Fame Game (JPN, H5, by Heart’s Cry) is expected to improve on his sixth-place finish in the Tenno Sho (Spring) last year, having added two grade-race titles thereafter, the Copa Republica Argentina (G2, 2,500m) last November and the Diamond Stakes (G3, 3,400m) this February.

2014 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1)
Toho Jackal
in the 2014 Kikuka Sho
Kyoto Kinen (G2)
Lovely Day
in the 2015 Kyoto Kinen
Diamond Stakes (G3)
Fame Game
in the 2015 Diamond Stakes
2014 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1)
in the 2014 Tenno Sho (Autumn)

Spielberg (JPN, H6, by Deep Impact) has had only 14 career starts, having missed more than a year of racing during his three- and four-year-old season, but his performances since returning to the racing scene in 2013 have been impressive. Coming off three consecutive wins and a third in the Mainichi Okan (G2, 1,800m), the son of Deep Impact showed a terrific turn of speed, the fastest over the last three furlongs, to pin down Gentildonna for a 3/4-length victory in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) last year. He also defied doubts about his ability to stay the extra furlongs in the Japan Cup and finished half a length behind runner-up Just a Way for third. He is headed for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1, 2,000m) at Royal Ascot in June after his 2015 opener, the Osaka Hai, and will continue on to the Eclipse Stakes (G1, 2,000m) in July if all goes as planned.


Sprint, Older Fillies/Mares, Mile, Steeplechase and Dirt Preview

Snow Dragon (JPN, H7, by Admire Cozzene), named JRA’s 2014 Best Sprinter or Miler with a runner-up effort in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1, 1,200m) prior to his victory in the Sprinters Stakes (G1, 1,200m), is currently sidelined for the entire spring due to a leg problem. Am Ball Bleiben (JPN, M6, by Rule of Law), who registered two grade-race titles in the Keihan Hai (G3, 1,200m) last November and the Silk Road Stakes (G3, 1,200m) this February, is heading straight to her first G1 sprint challenge. So is Straight Girl (JPN, M6, by Fuji Kiseki), third-place finisher in the Hong Kong Sprint (G1, 1,200m).

Takarazuka Kinen (G1)
Snow Dragon
in the 2014 Sprinters Stakes
Silk Road Stakes (G3)
Am Ball Bleiben
in the 2015 Silk Road Stakes
Straight Girl
Straight Girl
in the 2014 Silk Road Stakes

On March 1, the Hankyu Hai (G3, 1,400m) featured last year’s Takamatsunomiya Kinen champion Copano Richard (JPN, H5, by Daiwa Major), NHK Mile Cup (G1, 1,600m) winner Mikki Isle (JPN, C4, by Deep Impact), and Red Oval (JPN, M5, by Deep Impact), who finished third in the Sprinters Stakes. Mikki Isle finished best of the three, just missing by a nose to Daiwa Maggiore (JPN, H6, by Daiwa Major), winner of the 2013 Keio Hai Spring Cup (G2, 1,400m), who came charging from mid-division to register his second grade-race win in almost two years. The victory gave rider Mirco Demuro a big win on his first day as an official JRA jockey. Race favorite Copano Richard finished sixth with Red Oval a little over a length back in ninth.

Takamatsunomiya Kinen (G1)
Copano Richard
in the 2014 Takamatsunomiya Kinen
NHK Mile Cup (G1)
Mikki Isle
in the 2014 NHK Mile Cup
Hankyu Hai (G3)
Daiwa Maggiorel
in the 2015 Hankyu Hai

Sakura Gospel (JPN, H7, by Sakura President) won his second Ocean Stakes (G3, 1,200m) title on March 7, having claimed the same race two years ago. In second was Hakusan Moon (JPN, H6, by Admire Moon), winner of three grade-race titles over distances between 1,000 and 1,200 meters, and last year’s Summer Sprint Series champion Little Gerda (USA, M6, by Closing Argument) finished sixth.

Yukan Fuji Sho Ocean Stakes (G3)
Sakura Gospel
in the 2015 Ocean Stakes
Hakusan Moon
Hakusan Moon
in the 2013 Centaur Stakes
Little Gerda
Little Gerda
in the 2014 Centaur Stakes

With Harp Star away in Dubai, the older female group will center around last year’s Yushun Himba winner Nuovo Record (JPN, F4, by Heart’s Cry), who had an outstanding three-year-old season. In addition to finishing third and second in two of the Fillies Triple Crown, the Oka Sho and Shuka Sho (G1, 2,000m), respectively, she excelled against older mares and fillies in her runner-up effort in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m). She continued to be sharp in her seasonal debut on March 1, the Nakayama Kinen (G2, 1,800m) where, as the only female contingent in the field, she outdueled 2013 Satsuki Sho victor Logotype (JPN, H5, by Lohengrin) for a neck victory. She looks well geared for her second G1 title in the Victoria Mile (G1, 1,600m) before the Takarazuka Kinen in June.

Shonan Pandora (JPN, F4, by Deep Impact) held off race-favorite Nuovo Record by a neck to land her first G1 victory in her first top-level challenge, the Shuka Sho, after a low-key three-year-old spring during which she was short of qualifying for the first two Classics. She will face male opponents in her kick-off start of this year, the Sankei Osaka Hai, as her step towards the Victoria Mile. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II Cup winner Lachesis (JPN, M5, by Deep Impact) continued to impress with a 0.2-second sixth in the Arima Kinen last year. She also will start her 2015 campaign with the Osaka Hai, but she will pass up the Victoria Mile because it is shorter than her ideal distance and focus instead on the Takarazuka Kinen.

Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1)
Nuovo Record
in the 2014 Yushun Himba
Takarazuka Kinen (G1)
Shonan Pandora
in the 2014 Shuka Sho
2014 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1)
in the 2014 Queen Elizabeth II Cup


Mile Championship (G1)
Danon Shark (left)
in the 2014 Mile Championship

Attention is on 2014 Mile Championship (G1, 1,600m) victor Danon Shark (JPN, H7, by Deep Impact) for the Yasuda Kinen (G1, 1,600m). Last year’s winner Just a Way has retired so he will not defend his title on June 7. Danon Shark finished fifth in his 2015 debut, the Hankyu Hai, and will proceed to start in the Milers Cup on April 26.


Satsuki Sho (G1)
Isla Bonita in the 2014 Satsuki Sho

Satsuki Sho winner and Tokyo Yushun runner-up Isla Bonita (JPN, C4, by Fuji Kiseki) also proved competitive against senior rivals, finishing a close third in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) to earn selection as Best Three-Year-Old Colt of 2014. He began this season in fifth in the Nakayama Kinen and is scheduled to enter the Sankei Osaka Hai before the G1 Mile event.


Nakayama Grand Jump (J-G1)
Apollo Maverick
in the 2014 Nakayama Grand Jump

Steeplechasing in Japan continues to be dominated by two outstanding jumpers, Apollo Maverick (JPN, H6, by Apollo Kingdom), the 2014 Nakayama Grand Jump (J-G1, 4,250m) victor, and Red Kingdom (JPN, H6, by Deep Impact), who claimed last year’s other J-G1, the Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1, 4,100m). Apollo Maverick was selected JRA’s Best Steeplechase Horse again last season.


Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1)
Red Kingdom
in the 2014 Nakayama Daishogai

Red Kingdom, however, defeated the back-to-back JRA Award winner by a comfortable three-length margin in their first encounter—the Nakayama Daishogai in December—so he could validate his superiority in the Pegasus Jump Stakes (3,350m), which both horses will use as a trial before their mutual spring target, the Nakayama Grand Jump.


February Stakes (G1)
Copano Rickey
in the 2015 February Stakes

Four G1 dirt events organized by the NAR (National Association of Racing; local public racing) and two held by the JRA between October last year and February this year were dominated by either Hokko Tarumae or Copano Rickey, except for the Mile Championship Nambu Hai (dirt, 1,600m) in which neither was entered. Copano Rickey (JPN, H5, by Gold Allure) won by five lengths to fourth-place finisher Hokko Tarumae, in the JBC Classic, but was well beaten by his arch rival in the following Champions Cup to 12th. He was beaten by four lengths in the Tokyo Daishoten but bested the rest of the field for second. He was sent to post race-favorite in the February Stakes (G1, dirt, 1,600m), which he had won as the least favorite last year. With Hokko Tarumae out of the scene in preparation for Dubai, the son of Gold Allure (JPN, by Sunday Silence) made it look easy in becoming the first in JRA history to win two consecutive February Stakes titles. Most unfortunately, however, he suffered a fracture in his left foreleg during the race, so it will not be until autumn when we get to see the two dirt champions meet for another match.


Three-Year-Old Classic Hopefuls Line Up after Trials

Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas Trial) (G2)
Satono Crown in the 2015 Yayoi Sho

On March 8, in preparation for the Japanese 2000 Guineas, or Satsuki Sho, on April 19, two graded trials were held at Nakayama Racecourse, the same venue as the first of the Three-Year-Old Classic G1s. One of the trials, the Yayoi Sho (G2, 2,000m), was contested by 11 runners, including seven grade-race winners. It was won by Satono Crown (JPN, C3, by Marju), who had come off a grade-race victory in the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,800m) and will now bid for the Satsuki Sho title with three wins in as many career starts.


The runner-up was Bright Emblem (JPN, C3, by Neo Universe), winner of the Sapporo Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,800m) in September, and in third was Tagano Espresso (JPN, C3, by Black Tide), who was victorious in the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes (G2, 1,600m) last November. Other notable runners included Shinzan Kinen (G3, 1,600m) winner Guanciale (JPN, C3, by Screen Hero), Icho Stakes (1,600m) winner Clarity Sky (JPN, C3, by Kurofune), heavy-favorite Shining Lei (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact), who had come off a victory in the Hopeful Stakes (G2, 2,000m) in December, and Kyoto Nisai Stakes (G3, 2,000m) victor Bell Lap (JPN, C3, by Heart's Cry), who finished fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth, respectively.

Sapporo Nisai Stakes (G3)
Bright Emblem
in the 2014 Sapporo Nisai Stakes
Daily Hai Nisai Stakes (G2)
Tagano Espresso
in the 2014 Daily Hai Nisai Stakes
Nikkan Sports Sho Shinzan Kinen (G3)
in the 2015 Shinzan Kinen
Icho Stakes
Clarity Sky
in the 2014 Icho Stakes
Hopeful Stakes (G2)
Shining Lei
in the 2014 Hopeful Stakes
Radio Nikkei Hai Kyoto Nisai Stakes
Bell Lap
in the 2014 Kyoto Nisai Stakes


Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes (Japanese 2,000 Guineas Trial) (G2)
Kitasan Black
in the 2015 Spring Stakes

Meanwhile, a field of 12 ran in the Spring Stakes (G2, 1,800m) on March 22 at Nakayama Racecourse. Kitasan Black (JPN, C3, by Black Tide), who had debuted in January, won his first grade-race title in what was his third career start by prevailing by a neck after taking command from second position between the last two corners. The following three places were in the order of the favorites.


Real Steel (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact), who had come off a win in the Kyodo News Service Hai (G3, 1,800m) in February, just missed after impressively closing in on the leader from mid-pack. The 2014 Best Two-Year-Old and Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1, 1,600m) victor, Danon Platina (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact), was 3/4-length behind in third. Beruf (JPN, C3, by Harbinger), who came into the race 3-1-0 out of four career starts with a win in the Keisei Hai (G3, 2,000m) in January, finished fourth. Musee Sultan (JPN, C3, by King Kamehameha) finished seventh in his first start since his victory in the Niigata Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,600m) last August.

Kyodo News Service Hai (Tokinominoru Kinen) (G3)
Real Steel
in the 2015 Kyodo News Service Hai
Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1)
Danon Platina
in the 2014 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes
Keisei Hai (G3)
in the 2015 Keisei Hai

Meanwhile, three-year-old fillies prepping for the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) included those that ran the same course at Hanshin Racecourse in the Tulip Sho (G3, 1,600m) on March 7. The only grade-race winner in the field, Kokorono Ai (JPN, F3, by Stay Gold), who won the Artemis Stakes (G3, 1,600m) last November, validated the win with a comfortable 1-1/4-length victory over runner-up Andriette (JPN, F3, by Deep Impact) and third-place finisher Let's Go Donki (JPN, F3, by King Kamehameha). The latter had finished ahead of Kokorono Ai in the two-year-old fillies’ championship race, the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1, 1,600m), in which the two finished second and third behind Shonan Adela.

Queens Ring (JPN, F3, by Manhattan Cafe) extended her undefeated winning streak to three in the Fillies’ Revue (G2, 1,400m) on March 15. Perfica (JPN, F3, by Zenno Rob Roy) and Moon Express (JPN, F3, by Admire Moon) followed in second and third, respectively, to gain priority to compete in the Oka Sho. In a non-trial race for the Oka Sho, the Flower Cup (G3, 1,800m) held on March 21, Albiano (USA, F3, by Harlan’s Holiday) stamped her presence by registering her first grade-race victory and third straight career win since debuting in January. Earthrise (JPN, F3, by Manhattan Cafe) finished 1-1/2 lengths behind in second.

Tulip Sho (Japanese 1,000 Guineas Trial) (G3)
Kokorono Ai
in the 2015 Tulip Sho
Hochi Hai Fillies' Revue (Japanese 1,000 Guineas Trial) (G2)
Queens Ring
in the 2015 Fillies' Revue
Flower Cup (G3)
in the 2015 Flower Cup

Yoshitaka Ninomiya-trained Shonan Adela (JPN, F3, by Deep Impact), the 2014 Best Two-Year-Old Filly, sustained a fracture in her right foreleg and will not ru  n in the Oka Sho, but hopes to make her comeback in the fall. Her stablemate Cat Coin (JPN, F3, by Stay Gold) will contest the G1 race after having claimed the Queen Cup (G3, 1,600m) in February.

Rouge Buck (JPN, F3, by Manhattan Cafe), who also will go directly to the first leg of the Fillies’ Triple Crown, could be a threat in the G1. She registered an impressive 32.8 seconds over the last three furlongs in her career debut over 1,800 meters, then followed up with a victory in record time over subsequent grade-race winner Beruf in a 2,000-meter allowance race in November. She overpowered the highly regarded classic-bound colts by two lengths in her first grade-race victory in February, the Kisaragi Sho (G3, 1,800m), and is undefeated in three starts against a mixed field, registering the fastest finishing times in all three. Her versatility in winning from anywhere should be a great advantage in her career.

2014 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1)
Shonan Adela
in the 2014 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies
Daily Hai Queen Cup (G3)
Cat Coin
in the 2015 Queen Cup
Kisaragi Sho (NHK Sho) (G3)
Rouge Buck
in the 2015 Kisaragi Sho