2015 News

October 25, 2015


Fifth Favorite Kitasan Black Captures First G1 Title in This Year's Kikuka Sho
Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1)

Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1)

Fifth pick Kitasan Black claimed the last leg of the Triple Crown, the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), to register his first G1 title and his third graded victory. Making his debut in January of this year, the Black Tide colt scored three consecutive wins including his first graded win in the G2 Spring Stakes. While finishing third in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1), the first leg of the Triple Crown, and defeated to 14th in the second leg, the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), the bay colt regained his form to claim the following St. Lite Kinen (G2), his first start of the autumn campaign, before coming into this race.

This win marked trainer Hisashi Shimizu’s first JRA-G1 title since opening his stable in 2009 and jockey Hiroshi Kitamura’s first Classic title and third JRA-G1 victory following his Tenno Sho (Autumn) title with Spielberg in 2014. His sire, Black Tide is a year-older full brother to Deep Impact. Kisatan Black’s owner, a well-known veteran enka (Japanese blues) singer Saburo Kitajima (Ono Shoji) expressed his joy by singing one of his most popular songs, “Matsurida (It’s Festival Time)” on the podium.

Kitasan Black broke smoothly and hugged the rails in fifth behind frontrunners Spirits Minoru and Lia Fail. Taking the inner route after turning for home, jockey Hiroshi Kitamura skillfully steered the bay colt through the narrow space between Musee Alien who was leading the field through the last corner and race favorite Lia Fail who was about to overtake the lead. The Black Tide bay, responding willingly to the jockey’s urging, unleashed a powerful late charge that marked the fastest last three furlongs and managed to fend off the fierce charge by Real Steel before the wire.

“I am overwhelmed with joy beyond words. There were concerns over his aptitude for long distances (pedigree-wise) but I wanted to prove that this was wrong, as his form and movements showed that he is suited to long distances,” commented Hisashi Shimizu. “There were horses chasing us on the outside after we took command so I just hoped that he will hold on until the wire. I am grateful to the owner for continuing to let me ride the colt and pleased that I was able to respond to his support,” said Hiroshi Kitamura.

Second pick Real Steel, traveling wide in mid-division, edged forward through the backstretch and surged out behind race favorite at the top of the homestretch. The Deep Impact colt exerted an impressive kick in the last furlong and nailed Lia Fail in the last strides but was a neck short to cross the wire in second.

Race favorite Lia Fail pressed the pace in second and while slightly dropping back its position towards the end of the backstretch, the Zenno Rob Roy colt entered the final stretch in second and just when he thought he had nailed the front at the 200-meter pole, he was overtaken by Kitasan Black, then by Real Steel before the wire for a 1/2-length third.

Other Horses:
4th: (3) Tanta Alegria—raced behind winner, circled wide and showed good effort
5th: (2) Satono Rasen—saved ground in mid-pack, found little room before 200m marker, then accelerated
6th: (5) Beruf—sat in mid-division, met traffic at top of stretch, quickened thereafter
7th: (10) Bright Emblem—hugged rail in rear pack, checked around 3rd corner (2nd lap), showed belated charge
8th: (8) Musee Alien—chased leaders in 3rd, led 1,200m to go, held on well until 200m out
9th: (14) Massabielle—sat wide in mid-group, ran gamely until furlong pole, weakened thereafter
10th: (15) Jun Tsubasa—raced in rear division, angled wide, passed tired rivals
11th: (7) Stieglitz—was off slow, trailed in rear, made headway after 3rd corner (2nd lap), no threats at stretch
12th: (9) Albert Dock—ran in mid-division, improved position to 3rd in backstretch, failed to respond at stretch
13th: (16) Tagano Espresso—traveled outside winner, advanced to 2nd in backstretch, fell back in last 200m
14th: (12) Wonder Atleta—sat near rear, angled wide to stretch, even paced
15th: (18) Spirits Minoru—set pace from widest draw, led until 1,200m out, weakened after 3rd corner (2nd lap),
16th: (1) Mi Corazon—raced in 2nd from rear, unable to reach contention
17th: (6) Red Solomon—positioned in 4th early, made headway to outside for final turn, nothing left at stretch
18th: (13) Masahaya Dream—rated wide in mid-pack, dropped back after 3rd corner (2nd lap), faded

THE 76TH KIKUKA SHO (Japanese St. Leger, G1)
3-year-old Colts and Fillies, 3,000 meters (about 15 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, October 25, 2015      Kyoto Racecourse       11th Race        Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 233,360,000 (about US$ 1,945,000 <US$1=¥120>)
3-y-o: 57 kg (about 126 lbs), 2 kg allowance for Fillies, 2 kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2012

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 2 4 Kitasan Black
C3 57.0 Black Tide
Sugar Heart
H. Kitamura
H. Shimizu
Ono Shoji
Yanagawa Bokujo
2 6 11 Real Steel
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
Loves Only Me
Y. Fukunaga
Y. Yahagi
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
3 8 17 Lia Fail
C3 57.0 Zenno Rob Roy
C. Lemaire
H. Otonashi
U. Carrot Farm
Northern Farm
4 2 3 Tanta Alegria
C3 57.0 Zenno Rob Roy
Tanta Suerte
M. Ebina
S. Kunieda
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Oiwake Farm
5 1 2 Satono Rasen
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
Y. Iwata
Y. Ikee
Hajime Satomi
Northern Racing
6 3 5
C3 57.0 Harbinger
Les Clefs d’Or
S. Hamanaka
Y. Ikee
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Shadai Corporation Inc.
7 5 10 Bright Emblem
C3 57.0 Neo Universe
Black Emblem
H. Tanabe
S. Kojima
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
8 4 8 Musee Alien
C3 57.0 Screen Hero
N. Yokoyama
Y. Kuroiwa
Hajime Sakamoto
Shadai Farm
9 7 14 Massabielle
C3 57.0 Harbinger
Mejiro Lourdes
K. Tosaki
M. Ogasa
U. Carrot Farm
Lake Villa Farm
10 7 15 Jun Tsubasa
C3 57.0 Stay Gold
Pink Garter
S. Ishibashi
K. Seishi
Junji Kawai
Northern Racing
11 4 7 Stieglitz
C3 57.0 Harbinger
Santa Fe Soleil
H. Uchida
Y. Tomomichi
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
12 5 9 Albert Dock
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
Golden Doc A
K. Fujioka
H. Matsuda
G1 Racing Co., Ltd.
Shadai Corporation Inc.
13 8 16 Tagano Espresso
C3 57.0 Black Tide
Tagano Reventon
Y. Hishida
T. Igarashi
Ryoji Yagi
Niikappu Tagano Farm Ltd
14 6 12 Wonder Atleta
C3 57.0 Empire Maker
Wonder Muscle
M. Demuro
H. Kawachi
N. Yamamoto
Nobuyuki Yamamoto
15 8 18 Spirits Minoru
C3 57.0 Deep Sky
Basel Clover
M. Sakai
M. Honda
Minoru Yoshioka
Fujiwara Farm
16 1 1 Mi Corazon
C3 57.0 Daiwa Major
Biwa Venus
K. Take
K. Kozaki
Kieffers Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
17 3 6
Red Solomon
C3 57.0 Meisho Samson
Admire Rich
Y. Take
Y. Shono
TokyoHorseRacingCo., Ltd
Northern Racing
18 7 13 Masahaya Dream
C3 57.0 Meisho Samson
R. Wada
T. Konno
Masao Nakamura
Shadai Farm
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 RACE ALONE: ¥ 16,341,118,500  
TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 23,899,034,700 ATTENDANCE: 52,689

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)

WIN No.4 ¥1,340 BRACKET QUINELLA 2-6 ¥1,430 QUINELLA 4-11 ¥3,870
PLACE No.4 ¥370 QUINELLA PLACE 4-11 ¥1,300 EXACTA 4-11 ¥9,960
No.11 ¥170 4-17 ¥1,320 TRIO 4-11-17 ¥4,640
No.17 ¥160 11-17 ¥430 TRIFECTA 4-11-17 ¥38,880
  1. Kitasan Black (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Black Tide / Sugar Heart (Sakura Bakushin O)
    Owner: Ono Shoji Breeder: Yanagawa Bokujo
    Trainer: Hisashi Shimizu Jockey: Hiroshi Kitamura
    7 Starts, 5 Wins  
    Added money: ¥ 144,669,000 Career earnings: ¥ 292,087,000
    Principal Race Performances: ’15 St. Lite Kinen (G2, 2,200m) 1st
      ’15 Spring Stakes (G2, 1,800m) 1st
      ’15 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m) 3rd

  2. Real Steel (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Deep Impact / Loves Only Me (Storm Cat)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi Jockey: Yuichi Fukunaga

  3. Lia Fail (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Zenno Rob Roy / Chrysoprase (El Condor Pasa)
    Owner: U. Carrot Farm Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Hidetaka Otonashi Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
Fractional Time (sec./furlong): 12.7-11.1-11.6-12.3-12.5-13.1-13.7-13.7-11.8-12.1-12.0-11.9-11.6-12.2-11.6
  Last 4 furlongs: 47.3          Last 3 furlongs: 35.4

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

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.

* Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1)

The history of Kikuka Sho, the Japanese St. Leger and the last leg of the Triple Crown race for three-year-old colts and fillies, dates back to 1938—a year after Japan’s 11 racing clubs integrated into one organization named Nihon Keiba Kai (forerunner of the JRA). Initially called “Kyoto Norin-sho Shoten Yonsai Yobiuma Kyoso”, the race was renamed to Kikuka Sho in 1948. The race distance, however, has not changed since the first running, except in 1979 when the race was held at Hanshin Racecourse during Kyoto’s stand renovation. The Kikuka Sho features three-year-olds, most of who have grown dramatically since the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) held five months before, prior to their summer break.
The Kikuka Sho winners have both the speed and the stamina to prove their caliber as the potential breeding stock. The last of the seven Triple Crown winners in JRA history was Orfevre (JPN, by Stay Gold) in 2011 who proceeded to prove his power against older G1 caliber in the Arima Kinen (G1, 2,500m), which led to his Horse of the Year that year. Gold Ship (JPN, by Stay Gold), double-crown winner of the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m) and Kikuka Sho in 2012, went on to claim the 2012 Arima Kinen, the 2013-2014 Takarazuka Kinen (G1, 2,200m) and the 2015 Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1, 3,200m).
Duramente (JPN, C3, by King Kamehameha), winner of the first two legs, the Satsuki Sho and the Tokyo Yushun, was unable to take part in the race due to a leg fracture that ruled him out of racing for the rest of the season.
This year’s lineup included runners that came off the St. Lite Kinen (G2, 2,200m) on September 21: the winner Kitasan Black who was third in the Satsuki Sho; runner-up Musee Alien, winner of the Mainichi Hai (G3, 1,800m) in March; Jun Tsubasa who finished a head behind in third; fifth finisher Beruf, winner of the Keisei Hai (G3, 2,000m) in January; Tokyo Yushun runner-up and race favorite Satono Rasen who finished seventh; and tenth-place finisher Bright Emblem who was fourth in the Satsuki Sho. The race also included runners coming off the Kobe Shimbun Hai (G2, 2,400m) on September 27: Lia Fail who registered a two-length victory; runner-up Real Steel who was second in the Satsuki Sho and fourth in the Tokyo Yushun; and Tagano Espresso, victor of the 2014 Daily Hai Nisai Stakes (G2, 1,600m), who finished a disappointing eighth.
Toho Jackal (JPN, by Special Week) won the race last year in 3:01.0, renewing the race record and course record by 1.7 seconds.

Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger)  related contents