Danon Pharaoh Heads Baker's Dozen in Fukuryu S.


Danon Pharaoh looks to give American Pharoah another winner on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby | Coolmore photo


American-conceived Danon Pharaoh (Jpn) (American Pharoah {Jpn}) has drawn the widest gate in a field of 13 for Saturday's ¥34.6 million ($320,253) Fukuryu S. (allowance) at Nakayama Racecourse, the final of four scheduled points race on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby.

A debut second to the talented Dieu du Vin (Jpn) (Declaration of War), the son of 2010 GI Santa Anita Oaks victress Crisp (El Corredor) was a sound fifth to that rival in the first leg of the series, the Nov. 23 Cattleya Sho (allowance) at Tokyo. Given some time to mature, the ¥180 million ($1,629,000) JRHA Select Sale yearling powered home to win a Kyoto allowance by four lengths in his return to action Feb. 15 (see below, gate 14).

Yaugau (Jpn), a son of the accomplished Japanese dirt sire Gold Allure (Jpn), has the inside stall as he attempts to build on a solid third-place effort to Café Pharoah (American Pharoah) in the most recent Derby qualifier, the Listed Hyacinth S. at headquarters Feb. 23. Produced by a Japanese-raced, American-bred daughter of Tiznow, Yaugau overcame high draws to win his two prior races at a route of ground.

Light Warrior (Jpn) (Majestic Warrior) was out of the top three in a pair of starts on the turf to begin his career, but has improved with a switch to the dirt to graduate in his first try over the surface last December before adding a Kyoto allowance in fast time Feb. 2.

Other American-bred or -sired horses in the field include Herrschaft (Will Take Charge, gate 2); American Baby (Jpn) (Bernardini, gate 8); Jigen (Into Mischief, gate 10); Immortal Smoke (Into Mischief, gate 11) and American Face (Tapit, gate 12).

The Fukuryu S., won last year by subsequent GI Kentucky Derby sixth, offers a total of 68 points (40-16-8-4). With the postponement of the Derby to September, additional races could conceivably be added to the series.


WATCH: Danon Pharaoh dominates a Kyoto allowance Feb. 15

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