Champion Almond Eye Elected To Japanese Hall Of Fame

Almond Eye | Japan Racing Association

Dual Japanese Horse of the Year Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) has been elected to the Japanese Horse Racing Hall of Fame, the Japan Racing Association (JRA) announced.

The former Silk Racing Co., Ltd.'s colourbearer is the 35th member of the exclusive club after garnering 200 votes (96.6%) of the 207 available. Fellow Japanese Triple Crown Winner Contrail (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) gained 155 votes, one short of the minimum requirement for entry.

Trainer Sakae Kunieda said, “It is a great honor to have Almond Eye selected for the award. From her debut in 2017 until her retirement at the Japan Cup in 2020, she won the Triple Crown for fillies and nine Group 1 races and was also the representative Horse of the Year twice.

“Almond Eye is outstanding both physically and mentally and has always lived up to our high expectations and kept dreaming about what kind of performance she will show in the next race.

“I have nothing but gratitude for the owners who entrusted me with such a famous horse… and the fans who supported me together. Being involved with Almond Eye as a horse trainer has been a great asset for me and the stable staff, and I will continue to devote myself to it.”

Bred by Northern Racing, the bay electrified the racing world with seven straight victories after breaking her maiden at second asking as a juvenile. In her third start and 3-year-old bow, she won the G3 Shinzan Kinen, her last appearance below Group 1 level. After sweeping the Japanese Fillies' Triple Crown (Oka Sho, Yushun Himba, Shuka Sho) in the spring and autumn of 2018, Almond Eye claimed her first Japan Cup and earned her first Horse of the Year title. Sent to Meydan for the Dubai Turf at four, she won again and was third in the Yasuda Kinen back in her native land before taking the Tenno Sho (Autumn).  Uncharacteristically off the board in the G1 Arima Kinen at the end of her 4-year-old season, she won the Victoria Mile, ran second in the Yasuda Kinen, and won both the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and Japan Cup at five, good for her second Horse of the Year laurels. Almond Eye was retired with a mark of 15-11-2-1 and over $17.6 million in earnings.

The daughter of Fusaichi Pandora (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) has colts by Epiphaneia (Jpn) and Maurice (Jpn) born in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

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