2017 News

June 25, 2017


Third-Pick Satono Crown Claims His First G1 Title in Japan in Takarazuka Kinen
Takarazuka Kinen (G1)

Takarazuka Kinen (G1)

Five-year-old Satono Crown claimed this year's Takarazuka Kinen to capture his second G1 title, his first in Japan. Debuting as a two-year-old, the son of Marju won his first three starts but fell short of expectations thereafter, finishing sixth in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas), third in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) and 17th in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). His sixth-place finish in last year's Takarazuka Kinen was his best performance in all his G1 starts as a four-year-old until claiming his first G1 title in the Hong Kong Vase last December. He then won his first start of this season, marking back-to-back wins in the G2 Kyoto Kinen, and was sixth in his previous start, the G1 Osaka Hai where he was posted third favorite. He is the 18th horse to capture both JRA and overseas G1 titles—third for trainer Noriyuki Hori following Real Impact and Maurice. This marked trainer Hori's 11th JRA-G1 win following last year's Tenno Sho (Autumn) with Maurice and jockey Mirco Demuro's 20th following this year's February Stakes with Gold Dream.

Breaking smoothly from the outermost draw of the track that was somewhat soft due to the rain that stopped before the race, third favorite Satono Crown traveled wide in midfield, around eighth from the front, while eyeing Kitasan Black racing before him. Rounding the last two corners right behind the race favorite, the son of Marju accelerated powerfully at the homestretch, easily overtaking the frontrunners, and dueled strongly with Gold Actor that surged out from the inside route but further accelerated before the wire to pull away for his second G1 win.

“We were able to race well while eyeing the strong Kitasan Black. He felt really good turning the fourth corner and exerted a remarkable kick in the straight. He's really a G1 horse. I think this type of ground suits him. I always had confidence in him,” commented Mirco Demuro.

Fifth favorite Gold Actor raced two wide around 6-7th from the front, found space between two horses racing near the rails after entering the homestretch and unleashed an impressive late drive in the last 200 meters but was 3/4 length short in second.

Fourth pick Mikki Queen, the only mare in the field, settled third from the rear and, though briefly caught between horses at the top of the stretch, produced a remarkable speed in the stretch in pursuit of the top two finishers to seize third place.

Overwhelming race favorite Kitasan Black raced in good striking position but failed to respond in the stretch to finish a disappointing ninth. “It didn't rain much so it didn't have much influence on the ground. He was in good form and there was no disadvantage either. He just didn't respond as he usually does. To be honest, I really don't know why,” commented Yutaka Take.

Other Horses:
4th: (6) Sciacchetra―chased leader in 2nd, led at early stretch, overtaken by winner at 200m marker, weakened
5th: (7) Rainbow Line―traveled in 9-10th, advanced after 3rd corner while turning wide, unable to reach contention
6th: (1) Mikki Rocket―raced in 4-5th, showed brief effort at stretch, never threatened top finishers
7th: (3) Spirits Minoru―hugged rails around 7th, made headway after 3rd corner, failed to respond at stretch
8th: (5) Cheval Grand―set moderate pace, outrun by rivals rounding final corner, nothing left at stretch
10th: (4) Clarity City―stalked leaders along rails in 3rd to 5th, sustained bid until 200m marker
11th: (9) Hit the Target―ran in rear throughout, no factor

Takarazuka Kinen (G1)
3-year-old & up, 2,200 meters (about 11 furlongs), turf, right-handed
Sunday, June 25, 2017       Hanshin Racecourse        11th Race          Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 325,000,000 (about US$ 2,826,000 <US$1=¥115>)
3-y-o: 53kg (about 117 lbs), 4-y-o & up: 58kg (about 128 lbs), 2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares,
1kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2013,
3kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2014
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 8 11 Satono Crown
H5 58.0 Marju
M. Demuro
N. Hori
Hajime Satomi
Northern Racing
2 2 2 Gold Actor
H6 58.0 Screen Hero
Heilong Xing
N. Yokoyama
T. Nakagawa
Hisayo Ishiro
Hokusho Farm
3 7 8 Mikki Queen
M5 56.0 Deep Impact
Musical Way
S. Hamanaka
Y. Ikee
Mizuki Noda
Northern Farm
4 6 6 Sciacchetra
C4 58.0 Manhattan Cafe
C. Lemaire
K. Sumii
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
5 6 7 Rainbow Line
C4 58.0 Stay Gold
Y. Iwata
H. Asami
Masahiro Mita
Northern Racing
6 1 1 Mikki Rocket
C4 58.0 King Kamehameha
R. Wada
H. Otonashi
Mizuki Noda
Northern Racing
7 3 3 Spirits Minoru
H5 58.0 Deep Sky
Basel Clover
H. Miyuki
M. Honda
Minoru Yoshioka
Fujiwara Farm
8 5 5 Cheval Grand
H5 58.0 Heart's Cry
Halwa Sweet
Y. Fukunaga
Y. Tomomichi
Kazuhiro Sasaki
Northern Racing
9 8 10 Kitasan Black
H5 58.0 Black Tide
Sugar Heart
Y. Take
H. Shimizu
Ono Shoji
Yanagawa Bokujo
10 4 4 Clarity City
H6 58.0 King Kamehameha
Taiki Clarity
K. Matsuyama
H. Uehara
Yushun Horse
Taiki Clarity Partnership
11 7 9
Hit the Target
H9 58.0 King Kamehameha
Y. Kawada
K. Kato
Shinji Maeda
North Hills Management

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 DAY: ¥ 29,855,207,200 ATTENDANCE: 53,746

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.11 ¥900 BRACKET QUINELLA 2-8 ¥710 QUINELLA 2-11 ¥5,250
PLACE No.11 ¥480 QUINELLA PLACE 2-11 ¥1,500 EXACTA 11-2 ¥10,330
No.2 8-11 ¥1,170 TRIO 2-8-11 ¥10,670
No.8 ¥450 2-8 ¥1,060 TRIFECTA 11-2-8 ¥70,420
  1. 1.Satono Crown (JPN), dark bay or brown, horse, 5-year-old
    Marju / Jioconda (Rossini)
    Owner: Hajime Satomi Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Noriyuki Hori Jockey: Mirco Demuro
    14 Starts, 7 Wins  
    Added money: ¥ 152,310,000 Career earnings: ¥ 571,011,100
    Principal race performances: '16 Hong Kong Vase (G1, 2,400m) 1st
    '17&'16 Kyoto Kinen (G2, 2,200m) 1st
    '15 Yayoi Sho (G2, 2,000m) 1st
    '14 Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,800m) 1st
    '15 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) 3rd

  2. 2.Gold Actor (JPN), dark bay or brown, horse, 6-year-old
    Screen Hero / Heilong Xing (Kyowa Alysheba)
    Owner: Hisayo Ishiro Breeder: Hokusho Farm
    Trainer: Tadashige Nakagawa Jockey: Norihiro Yokoyama

  3. 3.Mikki Queen (JPN), bay, mare, 5-year-old
    Deep Impact / Musical Way (Gold Away)
    Owner: Mizuki Noda Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Yasutoshi Ikee Jockey: Suguru Hamanaka
Fractional time (sec/furlong): 12.5 - 11.1 - 11.6 - 13.1 - 12.3 - 11.7 - 11.6 - 11.8 - 11.7 - 11.8 - 12.2
Last 4 furlongs: 47.5          Last 3 furlongs: 35.7

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

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.


* Takarazuka Kinen (G1)

The Takarazuka Kinen, established in 1960, opened its doors to foreign-trained horses in 1997 and became the first international grade-one race designated by the International Cataloguing Standards Committee (ICSC) held in western Japan in 2001. It is a Grand Prix (all-star) race, along with the year-end Arima Kinen (G1, 2,500m), in which racing fans select the runners from all distances by votes, and the last G1 race of the spring season to determine the seasonal champion. The race has not had any runners from overseas ever since the Australian-trained Seto Stayer (AUS, by Bellotto; 9th) took part in the race in 1997 as the first foreign participant. Meanwhile, the Takarazuka Kinen joined the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series in 2011, enabling its winners to earn automatic starting position in the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1, 2,400m).
This year's contenders among the top ten horses with the most votes were: Kitasan Black (1st) who came off a two-race winning streak in the Osaka Hai (G1, 2,000m) on April 2 and the Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1, 3,200m) on April 30; Cheval Grand (3rd) coming off a 1-1/4-length runner-up effort in the Tenno Sho (Spring); Gold Actor (5th) who aspired to claim his second G1 title since the 2015 Arima Kinen; 2015 Best Three-Year-Old Filly Mikki Queen (6th) who aimed to become the fourth mare to capture the title following last year's Marialite (JPN, by Deep Impact): and Satono Crown (8th) aiming to mark his second G1 title following last year's Hong Kong Vase (G1, 2,400m).
Horses that were ranked among the top ten but avoided the race were: Satono Diamond (2nd: JPN, C4, by Deep Impact), Makahiki (4th: JPN, C4, by Deep Impact), Dee Majesty (7th: JPN, C4, by Deep Impact), Vivlos (9th: JPN, F4, by Deep Impact) and Sounds of Earth (10th: JPN, H6, by Neo Universe).
Other contenders that were not ranked among the top ten were; Rainbow Line (16th), runner-up in last year's Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger, G1, 3,000m); Sciacchetra (18th), winner of the Nikkei Sho (G2, 2,500m) in March; Mikki Rocket (26th), the Nikkei Shinshun Hai (G2, 2,400m) victor in January: and Hit the Target (55th) who renewed his record of consecutive grade-race starts to 36.
The race record of 2:10.1 was set by Earnestly (JPN, by Grass Wonder) in 2011.

Takarazuka Kinen (G1) related contents
Breeders' Cup Challenge Race