2018 News

May 27, 2018


Wagnerian Rules as Top Three-Year-Old in 85th Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby)
Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1)

Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1)

Fifth favorite Wagnerian demonstrated a strong stretch drive to dominate this year’s Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby). As a two-year-old, Wagnerian registered three wins out of the same starts including his Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes (G3, 1,800m) win at the end of his debut season. After a runner-up effort in his first three-year-old campaign start, the Yayoi Sho (G2, 2,000m), he was sent off odds-on favorite in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) where the somewhat soft track did not suit him, hindering his good turn of foot to finish seventh. His owner Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd. broke a new record by becoming the owner of four Derby winners—King Kamehameha (2004), Deep Impact (2005) and Makahiki (2016). Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi has now won JRA-G1 races no fewer than nine times and this is his second Tokyo Yushun title—he celebrated his first with Makahiki in 2016. Since his Shuka Sho victory with Vivlos in 2016, this is jockey Yuichi Fukunaga’s 21st JRA-G1 win and much-awaited first Tokyo Yushun title in his 19th attempt.

Breaking from a wide stall, Wagnerian was hustled up early to race in sixth to seventh and three-wide while cruising down the backstretch a few lengths behind race favorite Danon Premium and outside of second pick Blast Onepiece. The bay colt kicked into gear rounding the last turn, was third at the foot of the hill and with great force, gained on the dueling two in the last furlong first catching Cosmic Force 100 meters out and then Epoca d’Oro another 50 meters later to win by half a length.

“The staff did a terrific job in preparing the colt and he just gave his best. I just drove him feverishly to the line. I’ve won G1 races in Tokyo before, but to win the Derby is totally a different story. I was beginning to have doubts after having so many chances, but thanks to the support of my family and so many others, I’m thrilled to have won at last,” commented Yuichi Fukunaga after the race.

Fourth favorite Epoca d’Oro was rushed to the front to take the lead by the initial turn and set the pace almost all the way. With a fleeting glimpse of double-crown glory, the Satsuki Sho winner dug in gamely to the line while withstanding the hard-charging Cosmic Force but was unable to do the same with the winner and finished second.

Longshot Cosmic Force was positioned in fourth outside the favorite, made headway before the last corner and entered the stretch a half-length from Epoca d’Oro in second. The King Kamehameha colt dueled for the lead but tired 100 meters out and was a neck late from the runner-up in third.

First choice Danon Premium, who was unable to start in the Satsuki Sho due to a right foreleg injury, traveled in third to fourth hugging the rails, chased the leaders in the stretch staying in close contention but was tagged before the wire to finish sixth.

Other Horses:
4th: (14) Etario―traveled near rear, showed 2nd fastest late drive between horses
5th: (8) Blast Onepiece―ran inside eventual winner, met traffic at early stretch, switched to outside, accelerated
7th: (6) Go for the Summit―sat in mid-group, ran gamely until 200m pole, weakened thereafter
8th: (15) Stelvio―settled towards rear, turned wide, quickened until 100m marker
9th: (4) Admire Alba―trailed in rear, fastest over last 3 furlongs, was too late
10th: (10) Stay Foolish―traveled wide in mid-division, passed tired rivals at stretch
11th: (2) Time Flyer―took economic trip in mid-pack, switched to outside at early stretch, showed little
12th: (5) Kitano Commandeur―hugged rails near rear, turned wide to lane, failed to respond
13th: (18) Sans Rival―positioned wide in mid-group, checked twice at stretch, unable to reach contention
14th: (13) Grail―ran wide towards rear, even paced at stretch
15th: (9) Oken Moon―traveled back in mid-division, lacked needed kick at stretch
16th: (16) Generale Uno―chased leader in 2nd, checked 400m out, lost momentum
17th: (11) Gendarme―saved ground towards rear, never fired at stretch
18th: (3) T O Energy―raced inside eventual winner, faded at stretch

3-year-old Colts & Fillies, 2,400 meters (about 12 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, May 27, 2018     Tokyo Racecourse      10th Race        Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money:             ¥ 432,000,000 (about US$ 3,928,000 <US$1=¥110>)
3-y-o: 57 kg (about 126 lbs), 2 kg allowance for Fillies, 3 kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2015
Safety factor: 18 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 8 17 Wagnerian
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
Miss Encore
Y. Fukunaga
Y. Tomomichi
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
2 6 12 Epoca d’Oro
C3 57.0 Orfevre
Daiwa Passion
K. Tosaki
H. Fujiwara
K. Hidaka Breeders Union
Toru Tagami
3 4 7 Cosmic Force
C3 57.0 King Kamehameha
S. Ishibashi
S. Kunieda
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Racing
4 7 14
C3 57.0 Stay Gold
Hot Cha Cha
H. Bowman
Y. Tomomichi
G Riviere·Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
5 4 8 Blast Onepiece
C3 57.0 Harbinger
Tsurumaru Onepiece
K. Ikezoe
M. Otake
Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
6 1 1 Danon Premium
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
Indiana Gal
Y. Kawada
M. Nakauchida
Danox Co., Ltd.
K. I. Farm
7 3 6 Go for the Summit
C3 57.0 Heart’s Cry
M. Ebina
K. Fujisawa
Hidetoshi Yamamoto
Yano Bokujo
8 7 15 Stelvio
C3 57.0 Lord Kanaloa
C. Lemaire
T. Kimura
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
9 2 4 Admire Alba
C3 57.0 Heart’s Cry
Eridu Babylon
G. Maruyama
N. Sugai
Riichi Kondo
Northern Farm
10 5 10 Stay Foolish
C3 57.0 Stay Gold
Kauai Lane
N. Yokoyama
Y. Yahagi
Shadai Race Horse Co., Ltd.
Shadai Farm
11 1 2 Time Flyer
C3 57.0 Heart’s Cry
Time Traveling
H. Uchida
K. Matsuda
Sunday Racing Co., Ltd.
Oiwake Farm
12 3 5 Kitano Commandeur
C3 57.0 Deep Impact
M. Demuro
Y. Ikee
DMM Dream Club Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
13 8 18 Sans Rival
C3 57.0 Rulership
Un Fil Rouge
S. Hamanaka
K. Fujioka
Kyoko Habata
Y. S. Stud
14 7 13 Grail
C3 57.0 Heart’s Cry
Platina Chalice
Y. Iwata
K. Nonaka
Kanayama Holdings Co., Ltd.
Northern Farm
15 5 9 Oken Moon
C3 57.0 Oken Bruce Lee
Moon Phase
H. Kitamura
S. Kunieda
Akira Fukui
Northern Farm
16 8 16 Generale Uno
C3 57.0 Screen Hero
Shanghai Rock
H. Tanabe
E. Yano
G Riviere·Racing Co., Ltd.
Shinsei Farm
17 6 11 Gendarme
C3 57.0 Kitten’s Joy
Y. Take
Y. Ikee
Koji Maeda
North Hills Co., Limited
18 2 3 T O Energy
C3 57.0 Kane Hekili
Silky Craft
K. Fujioka
T. Miya
Tomoya Ozasa
Yoshitake Abe

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: ¥ 40,487,613,300 ATTENDANCE: 126,767

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.17 ¥1,250 BRACKET QUINELLA 6-8 ¥3,190 QUINELLA 12-17 ¥7,950
PLACE No.17 ¥410 QUINELLA PLACE 12-17 ¥2,710 EXACTA 17-12 ¥15,520
No.12 ¥390 7-17 ¥34,420 TRIO 7-12-17 ¥521,600
No.7 ¥3,640 7-12 ¥30,290 TRIFECTA 17-12-7 ¥2,856,300


  1. 1.Wagnerian (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    Deep Impact / Miss Encore (King Kamehameha)
    Owner: Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd. Breeder: Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.  
    Trainer: Yasuo Tomomichi Jockey: Yuichi Fukunaga  
    6 Starts, 4 Wins    
    Added money: ¥ 227,482,000 Career earnings: ¥ 306,141,000  

  2. 2.Epoca d'Oro (JPN), dark bay or brown, colt, 3-year-old
    Orfevre / Daiwa Passion (Forty Niner)
    Owner: K. Hidaka Breeders Union Breeder: Toru Tagami
    Trainer: Hideaki Fujiwara Jockey: Keita Tosaki

  3. 3.Cosmic Force (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
    King Kamehameha / Mikrokosmos (Neo Universe)
    Owner: Sunday Racing Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Racing
    Trainer: Sakae Kunieda Jockey: Shu Ishibashi
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.7 - 11.0 - 12.3 - 12.4 - 12.4 - 12.3 - 12.2 - 12.0 - 11.7 - 11.2 - 11.2 - 12.2
Last 4 furlongs: 46.3          Last 3 furlongs: 34.6

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

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.


* Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1)
With the aim of establishing a systemized program that emulates the Triple Crown race held in Britain, and enhancing the quality of thoroughbreds in Japan, a 2,400-meter race for three-year-old thoroughbreds was established at the Tokyo Racecourse (then situated in Meguro ward) in 1932. While maintaining its status as one of the most popular JRA events with a record crowd of 196,517 in 1990, the race has evolved during its long history, opening its door to runners from National Association of Racing (NAR; local public racing) since 1995 and foreign-bred participants since 2001. In 2010, the race entered a new phase as JRA reached the final stage of its internationalization project, allowing foreign contestants in all its graded events. The winner’s prize money, which had already exceeded 100 million yen in 1989, has now reached 200 million, making it the third richest race behind the Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) and the Arima Kinen (G1, 2,500m).
Recent winners include Vodka (JPN, by Tanino Gimlet) who became the first filly in 64 years to claim the derby title in 2007 and Orfevre (JPN, by Stay Gold) who subsequently became the seventh Triple Crown winner in JRA history and won against older G1 winners in the year-end Arima Kinen to become the Horse of the Year of 2011.
Top five finishers of the Satsuki Sho (Apr.15)—Epoca d’Oro, Sans Rival, Generale Uno, Stelvio and Kitano Commandeur—acquired their tickets to this race while grade-race winners Grail (6th), Wagnerian (7th), Gendarme (9th), Time Flyer (10th) and Oken Moon (12th) attempted to exceed their performances in the first leg. Contenders coming off trial races were Go for the Summit and Etario, winner and runner-up, respectively, of the Aoba Sho (G2, 2,400m; Apr.28), and Cosmic Force, winner of the Principal Stakes (2,000m; May5). Other notable runners included 2017 Best Two-Year-Old Colt Danon Premium, who passed up the Satsuki Sho due to lameness in his right foreleg, along with Blast Onepiece and Stay Foolish who came off their wins in the Mainichi Hai (G3, 1,800m; Mar.24) and the Kyoto Shimbun Hai (G2, 2,200m; May5), respectively.
Duramente (JPN, by King Kamehameha) set the race record of 2:23.2 in 2015.

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