Deep Impact Exacta in Hopeful as 'Ability' Prevails


Killer Ability | JRA


Killer Ability (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) showed plenty of talent to take the G1 Hopeful S. at Nakayama on Tuesday. The 2000-metre affair featured 15 colts in the final Japan Racing Association Group 1 of 2021. It was an exacta for the deceased Shadai kingpin Deep Impact, as Justin Palace (Jpn) was 1 1/2 lengths behind.

Second choice at 2-1, the blinkered colt rated in an ideal position perched in third while saving ground against the rails as Grand Line (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) carved out even splits of :23.90, :48.10 and 1:12.10 while followed by Born This Way (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}). Grand Line's lead shrank and he came back to the field at the 600-metre mark, as Killer Ability appeared poised to capitalize on his dream trip. Born This Way took up the baton with a furlong to cover and Grand Line soon packed it in, but Killer Ability was already at the new leader's throatlatch and soon stormed clear to win going away. Justin Palace rallied for second, with Lagulf (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}) third another 1 1/4 lengths behind.

Favoured 'TDN Rising Star' and last out Group 3 winner Command Line (Jpn) went off at 9-5, but was restless in the stalls, broke in the air at the bell and was soon relegated to 11th for much of the journey. He improved on the far turn, but a needed gap did not materialise in the straight and he lost his unbeaten record to be 12th.

“Sitting in the saddle in his workouts two weeks in a row convinced me that he was going to run and run fast,” said jockey Takeshi Yokoyama. “We sat in a good position and when the colt was able to relax in the backstretch, I had all the confidence I needed that he was going to win. I'm sure he will go on to improve further and become stronger. Personally, my goal for this season was to capture a Group 1 title and land 100 seasonal

wins—winning five Group 1 titles is just unbelievable and I cannot thank all the connections and the horses enough for such a wonderful season.”

Fifth at first asking at Hanshin over 1800 metres on June 27, the Carrot Farm runner won a maiden at Kokura upped to this trip on Aug. 28 and was second in the Listed Hagi S. on Oct. 30.
Pedigree Notes
The Hopeful S. winner is Deep Impact's 181st black-type scorer, 145th group winner and 54th winner at the highest level. Killer Ability is the former Shadai resident's second winner of the race, and he is in good company, as his first was 2020 Japan Triple Crown hero Contrail (Jpn). Broodmare sire Congaree, who was a dual winner of the GI Cigar Mile H. in addition to Grade I wins in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Swaps S., and Carter H. and third in the 2001 Kentucky Derby, celebrated his first top-flight winner in this sphere on Tuesday and now has a baker's dozen of stakes winners to date. Now with four grade/group winners to his credit, they have struck in Ireland, Stateside and Peru besides Japan.

Already the dam of the SP Killer Presence (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}), 2011 GI Starlet S. heroine Killer Graces produced a yearling colt by Just a Way (Jpn) in 2020 and a mating with Bricks and Mortar did not yield a foal this spring. Originally knocked down for $850,000 to Katsumi Yoshida at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton November Sale, the half-sister to MGSW Chocolate Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}) was bred back to Duramente (Jpn). The fourth dam Middlefork Rapids (Wild Again) landed her biggest victory in the GIII Monrovia H., while her best offspring, the Grade III-winning Michigan Bluff (Skywalker) is the dam of Turkey's Champion Imported 2-Year-Old and 3-Year-old Colt Hakeem (Harlan's Holiday), who was also named the Champion Imported Stayer.


Tuesday, Nakayama, Japan
HOPEFUL S.-G1, ¥135,500,000, Nakayama, 12-28, 2yo, 2000mT, 2:00.60, fm.
1–KILLER ABILITY(JPN), 121, c, 2, by Deep Impact (Jpn)
          1st Dam: Killer Graces (GISW-US, $451,097), by Congaree
          2nd Dam: Heatherdoesntbluff, by Old Trieste
          3rd Dam: Michigan Bluff, by Skywalker
O-Carrot Farm; B-Northern Farm (Jpn); T-Takashi Saito;
J-Takeshi Yokoyama. ¥71,050,000. Lifetime Record: 4-2-1-0.
*1/2 to Killer Presence (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}), SP-Jpn,
$197,667. Werk Nick Rating: F. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Justin Palace (Jpn), 121, c, 2, Deep Impact (Jpn)–Palace
Rumor, by Royal Anthem. 1ST BLACK TYPE. 1ST GROUP BLACK
   TYPE. 1ST GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. (¥190,000,000 Ylg '20
JRHAJUL). O-Masahiro Miki; B-Northern Farm (Jpn);
3–Lagulf (Jpn), 121, c, 2, Maurice (Jpn)–Abandonne (Jpn), by
   GROUP 1 BLACK TYPE. (¥18,700,000 Ylg '20 JBBAAUG).
O-Takashi Muraki; B-Smile Farm (Jpn); ¥18,150,000.
Margins: 1HF, 1 1/4, 3/4. Odds: 2.10, 7.80, 28.80.
Also Ran: Fidele (Jpn), Born This Way (Jpn), Matenro Leo (Jpn), Achernar Star (Jpn), Shelby's Eye (Jpn), Grand Line (Jpn), Ask Wild More (Jpn), Onyankopon (Jpn), Command Line (Jpn), Satono Helios (Jpn), Crowned Magic (Jpn), Tyler Tesoro (Jpn).
Click for the JRA chart & video or the free catalogue-style pedigree.

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