2015 News

May 24, 2015


Mikki Queen Pins Favorite for Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) Title
Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1)

Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1)

Third favorite Mikki Queen with jockey Suguru Hamanaka on board displayed a furious stretch drive to capture this year’s Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) and marked her first graded triumph in her fifth career-start. After scoring her first win in her second outing last December, she went on to finish second in the Queen Cup (G3, 1,600m) in February and although missed out in the draw to run in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas), lacking the earnings sum, the Deep Impact filly secured her second win on the same day in the Wasurenagusa Sho (2,000m). With this Yushun Himba victory, trainer Yasutoshi Ikee has now 11 JRA-G1 titles, his last achieved with Orfevre in the 2013 Arima Kinen, while Suguru Hamanaka, partnered with Mikki Queen in all of her starts, marked his fifth JRA-G1 victory since his Shuka Sho win with Shonan Pandora last year. They both celebrate their first fillies’ Classics title.

The race got underway smoothly in front of the stands as Mikki Queen was settled in a rearward position with Not Formal and Loaded leading the field of fillies inexperienced at the 2,400m distance at a slow pace. While Not Formal was first to turn for home, Hamanaka and his filly made the most of a huge opening in front of them after the final corner and although still fourth to fifth at the furlong pole, dug in with threatening speed to nail Culminar and Rouge Buck in the final 50 meters for a three-quarter win.

“I’m so happy she was able to demonstrate her ability. I especially concentrated on her break since she’s been struggling at it so far. I thought I would relax her (in the early stages) so to get her turn of foot at the stretch. She responded well and quickened being driven, so I just prayed for the best. It was my fault that she wasn’t able to start in the Oka Sho, so my hopes to do well today were definitely higher than ever,” commented Suguru Hamanaka.

Race favorite Rouge Buck cruised down the backstretch in sixth to seventh and three-wide, edged up to enter the straight fourth from the front, emerged to swoop past the tiring Loaded at the furlong pole for the lead and fought to hold off the persistent Culminar only to be pinned by Mikki Queen in the final half furlong for the runner-up seat.

Headed off to exceed her Oka Sho runner-up finish and after struggling at the gate reluctant to load, Culminar broke well from a wide stall and traveled three-wide and in mid-pack down the backstretch in front of Mikki Queen. Improving position rounding the final corners, the sixth favorite steadily accelerated but was caught by the intimidating closing speed of the winner while unsuccessfully trying to tag Rouge Buck and finished third.

Sent to post second pick, Oka Sho victor Let’s Go Donki hugged the rails in upper mid-division and showed a tenacious stretch run, however lacked the staying power to fizzle to tenth.

Other Horses:
4th: (12) Earthrise—rated inside winner, quickened after climbing hill, finished 2 lengths behind Culminar
5th: (13) Andriette—traveled 3rd from last, turned wide, showed belated charge
6th: (8) Loaded—chased leader in 2nd, led at 400m marker, surrendered lead 200m out, outrun in last 100m
7th: (4) Kokorono Ai—ran along rail in mid-pack, even paced at stretch
8th: (2) Maximum de Paris—hugged rail inside winner, lacked needed kick at stretch
9th: (6) Queens Ring—raced back in mid-division, switched to right for clear passing, accelerated in last 200m
11th: (18) Dear My Darling—advanced to 4th from widest stall, ran out of steam 200m out
12th: (7) Cat Coin—trailed in rear, angled wide and switched to right, passed tired rivals
13th: (16) Not Formal—set slow pace from wide draw, maintained bid until furlong pole, outrun thereafter
14th: (11) Perfica—traveled wide toward rear, gradually advanced, never fired
15th: (15) Tosen Lark—sat 2nd from last, angled wide, no factor
16th: (9) Contessa Thule—settled in mid-division, failed to respond, dropped back
17th: (5) Sing with Joy—stalked leaders in 3rd, used up after final turn
Scratched: (3) Tosen Natural—due to lameness in right shoulder

THE 76TH YUSHUN HIMBA (Japanese Oaks, G1)
3-year-old Fillies, 2,400 meters (about 12 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, May 24, 2015    Tokyo Racecourse    11th Race    Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 202,160,000 (about US$ 1,684,600 <US$1=¥120>)
3-y-o: 55 kg (about 121 lbs), 3 kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2012
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 5 10 Mikki Queen
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Musical Way
S. Hamanaka
Y. Ikee
Mizuki Noda
Northern Farm
2 7 14 Rouge Buck
F3 55.0 Manhattan Cafe
Ginger Punch
K. Tosaki
M. Otake
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Farm
3 8 17 Culminar
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
K. Ikezoe
N. Sugai
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Farm
4 6 12 Earthrise
F3 55.0 Manhattan Cafe
Rising Cross
K. Miura
Y. Yahagi
Katsumi Yoshida
Northern Racing
5 7 13 Andriette
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Unabashed Charm
Y. Kawada
K. Makita
Kazuhiko Nagata
Morinaga Bokujo
6 4 8 Loaded
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Hokko Oka
Y. Shibayama
Y. Arakawa
Him Rock Racing
Keiichi Samekawa
7 2 4 Kokorono Ai
F3 55.0 Stay Gold
Beauty Song
N. Yokoyama
T. Ozeki
Sakai B.
Sakai Bokujo
8 1 2 Maximum de Paris
F3 55.0 King Kamehameha
Mlle de Paris
Y. Take
S. Matsumoto
Green Farm
Shadai Farm
9 3 6 Queens Ring
F3 55.0 Manhattan Cafe
Aqua Ring
M. Demuro
K. Yoshimura
Tetsuya Yoshida
Shadai Farm
10 1 1 Let’s Go Donki
F3 55.0 King Kamehameha
Y. Iwata
T. Umeda
Toshihiro Hirosaki
Shimizu Bokujo
11 8 18 Dear My Darling
F3 55.0 Heart’s Cry
Honestly Darling
Y. Fukunaga
T. Kikuzawa
Yasushi Kubota
Oiwake Farm
12 4 7 Cat Coin
F3 55.0 Stay Gold
Stray Cat
Y. Shibata
Y. Ninomiya
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Shadai Corporation Inc.
13 8 16 Not Formal
F3 55.0 Vermilion
Limiter Break
H. Mayuzumi
E. Nakano
Katsuya Haga
Chiyoda Farm Shizunai
14 6 11 Perfica
F3 55.0 Zenno Rob Roy
Stealin’ Kisses
Y. Hishida
I. Okada
Koji Maeda
North Hills Co,. Ltd.
15 7 15 Tosen Lark
F3 55.0 Aldebaran
Takeichi Z
T. Eda
Y. Sugawara
Takaya Shimakawa
Nakagami Farm
16 5 9 Contessa Thule
F3 55.0 Deep Impact
Air Thule
C. Lemaire
T. Yasuda
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
17 3 5 Sing with Joy
F3 55.0 Manhattan Cafe
Sing Like Bird
H. Uchida
Y. Tomomichi
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
- 2 3 Tosen Natural
F3 55.0 Meisho Samson
Girl’s Talk
Y. Yoshida
F. Koga
Takaya Shimakawa
Takaya Shimakawa
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 RACE ALONE: ¥15,758,429,900  
TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥23,813,541,800 ATTENDANCE: 61,807

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.10 ¥680 BRACKET QUINELLA 5-7 ¥780 QUINELLA 10-14 ¥1,160
PLACE No.10 ¥210 QUINELLA PLACE 10-14 ¥510 EXACTA 10-14 ¥3,030
No.14 ¥160 10-17 ¥1,020 TRIO 10-14-17 ¥4,140
No.17 ¥300 14-17 ¥890 TRIFECTA 10-14-17 ¥20,150
  1. Mikki Queen (JPN), bay, filly, 3-year-old
    Deep Impact / Musical Way (Gold Away)
    Breeder: Northern Farm Owner: Mizuki Noda
    Trainer: Yasutoshi Ikee Jockey: Suguru Hamanaka
    5 Starts, 3 Wins
    Added money: ¥ 125,070,000 Career earnings: ¥ 166,328,000

  2. Rouge Buck (JPN), bay, filly, 3-year-old
    Manhattan Cafe / Ginger Punch (Awesome Again)
    Breeder: Northern Farm Owner: U. Carrot Farm
    Trainer: Masahiro Otake Jockey: Keita Tosaki

  3. Culminar (JPN), bay, filly, 3-year-old
    Deep Impact / Cursora (Candy Stripes)
    Breeder: Northern Farm Owner: U. Carrot Farm
    Trainer: Naosuke Sugai Jockey: Kenichi Ikezoe
Fractional Time (sec./furlong):12.5 - 10.6 - 12.5 - 13.0 - 12.7 - 12.6 - 12.5 - 11.9 -11.9 - 11.3 - 11.6 - 11.9
Last 4 furlongs: 46.7    Last 3 furlongs: 34.8

Positions at each corner: 1st corner 16,8(5,18)1(4,9,14)(2,12,17)10,11,6,13,15-7
  2nd corner 16,8,5,18(1,14)9(4,17)(2,12)10(6,13,11)-15-7
  3rd corner 16,8-(5,18)14(1,9,17)(4,10,11)12,2(6,13)-15,7
  4th corner 16,8,18(5,14)(1,9,17)10(4,11)12(2,13)(6,15)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.

* Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1)
The Japanese version of the prestigious British Oaks, the Yushun Himba was established in 1938 and contested among runners limited to home-bred three-year-old fillies. Initially called the “Hanshin Yushun Himba” and held during the fall season at Hanshin Racecourse, the race acquired its current status as the Japanese Oaks upon changing its venue to Tokyo Racecourse in 1946. The race was also shifted to the spring season, being the richest in prize money and longest in distance among the current JRA races limited to fillies/mares. The Yushun Himba opened its door to foreign-bred runners in 2003 and acquired international G1 status in 2010.
While the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, G1, 1,600m) serves in gauging the speed potentials in the future broodmares, the Yushun Himba is a championship race in which to discover the added quality of stamina as well as speed, and winners of this race are highly rated as broodmares upon retirement to stud. Recent winners included fillies/mares that became high profile G1 winners. 2009 Oaks winner, Buena Vista (JPN, by Special Week) captured a total of six G1 titles and JRA’s Horse of the Year of 2010 before her retirement in the end of 2011, while 2012 winner Gentildonna (JPN, by Deep Impact) who holds the race record of 2:23.6, went on to capture the Shuka Sho (G1, 2,000m) that autumn to become the fourth filly to sweep the Triple Crown for fillies. The star filly continued to claim huge titles in her stellar career such as the 2012 and 2013 Japan Cup, the 2014 Dubai Sheema Classic (G1, 2,410m), the 2014 Arima Kinen (G1, 2,500m), and was crowned Horse of the Year in both 2012 and 2014. Last year’s victor Nuovo Record (JPN, by Heart’s Cry) turned in close runner-up efforts in the Shuka Sho and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1, 2,200m) that followed.
The April 12th Oka Sho top finishers earned their tickets to run in the Oaks; winner Let’s Go Donki, runner-up Culminar, third-place finisher Contessa Thule, and Queens Ring who was fourth and also the winner in the Fillies’ Revue (G2, 1,400m) in March. Other Oka Sho runners, who registered graded wins in earlier races, were also among the line-up; fifth-place Not Formal, seventh-place Cat Coin, ninth-place Rouge Buck and tenth-place finisher Kokorono Ai, claimed the Fairy Stakes (G3, 1,600m) in January, Queen Cup (G3, 1,600m) in February, Kisaragi Sho (G3, 1,800m) in February and the Tulip Sho (G3, 1,600m) in March, respectively.
Well prepared in the trial Flora Stakes (G2, 2,000m) on April 26, winner Sing with Joy, runner-up Dear My Darling and third-place finisher Maximum de Paris were at the gate, along with Mikki Queen who claimed the Wasurenagusa Sho (2,000m) on April 12th.

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