Forever Young Another Potential Star For Yahagi

Forever Young | Horsephotos

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Real Steel (Jpn) gave the theretofore relatively unknown Yoshito Yahagi a first victory on foreign soil when taking out the G1 Dubai Turf at Meydan in 2016. There has been a stack of overseas success since then–including Real Steel's full-sister Loves Only You (Jpn) in America and Hong Kong–and Susumu Fujita's Forever Young (Jpn) stands an excellent chance to add to the colorful conditioner's record following a smashing victory in the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun at Kawasaki, 20 miles south of Central Tokyo.

Drawn widest in a field of 12, the firming 11-10 favorite on the back of his victory in the Listed JBC Nisai Yushun at northern Mombetsu Nov. 3 broke a bit to his right, but was done no damage, as he quickly zoomed up to press the pace of longshot Oscar Brain (Jpn) (Danon Legend {Jpn}. Second choice Aigle Noir (Jpn) (Bricks and Mortar) chased the pair from out wide in third. The two market leaders made moves in unison entering the second turn, and Aigle Noir appeared to stick his nose in front nearing the straight, but Forever Young counterpunched inside and careered away in the final furlong to score convincingly. The win was worth 20 points on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The Yahagi-trained Continuar (Jpn) (Drefong) was an intended runner in last year's Run for the Roses, having competed in the G3 Saudi Derby the G2 UAE Derby, where he was behind last year's Zen-Nippon winner Derma Sotogake (Jpn) (Mind Your Biscuits). A physically below-par Continuar was withdrawn from the Derby in the days leading up to the race. Forever Young could chart a similar course, but Yahagi said that the owner is also keen on the new NAR Dirt Triple Crown, consisting of the Haneda Hai (1800m) in April, the Toyko Derby (2000m) in June and the Japan Dirt Derby (2000m), which moves from July to October.

Fujita has made a big splash at home and abroad, paying sometimes-lofty sums for yearlings and 2-year-olds at public auction. Fujita, the founder of Japanese digital advertising company CyberAgent Inc, splashed out ¥517.1 million ($4.7 million) for a then-juvenile colt by Deep Impact (Jpn)–Premier Steps (Ire) (Foostepsinthesand {GB}) at the Chiba 2YO Sale in 2021. Dobune is a two-time listed winner and Group 2-placed in Japan this season with earnings north of ¥156 million.

More recently, Fujita and Yahagi have been represented by Shin Emperor (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), a full-brother to G1 Prix de l'Arc de Troimphe winner Sottsass (Fr) who topped the 2022 Arqana August Sale on a bid of €2.1 million. The chestnut colt is two-from-two in his young career, including a last-out victory in Group 3 company, and heads to the G1 Hopeful S. (2000mT) in two weeks' time.

Forever Young connections | Horsephotos

In 2021, Fujita paid a sales-topping $750,000 for the Practical Joke filly Clos de Mesnil at OBS March and from the same sale, he acquired Jasper Krone (Frosted), a $90,000 purchase who won twice at group level this term before traveling to the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and last weekend's G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint. Jean Gros (More Than Ready), bought out of the 2021 OBS March Sale for $265,000, gave Fujita his first winner at group level in 2022.

Forever Young is one of three winners from four to race out of Forever Darling, whose marquee success came in the GII Santa Ynez S. in 2016. Second dam Darling My Darling was twice Grade I-placed at two in the colors of Debby Oxley and later won the Raven Run S. and Doubledogdare S. at Keeneland before producing 2017 GI Darley Alcibiades S. winner Heavenly Love (Malibu Moon), whose 'TDN Rising Star' son Sierra Leone (Gun Runner) was part of a thrilling finish in the GII Remsen S. Dec. 2. Shug McGaughey trained third dam Roamin Rachel to a victory in the GI Ballerina H. in 1994, and she was sold to Japanese interests for $750,000 in foal to Storm Cat at the 1998 Keeneland November Sale before producing Zenno Rob Roy (Jpn) (Sunday Silence), Japan's Horse of the Year and winner of the G1 Japan Cup in 2004.

Forever Darling is also the dam of a yearling filly by Kizuna–like Real Steel a son of Deep Impact–and her foal of 2023 is a filly by Epiphaneia (Jpn).

 

 

 

Wednesday, Kawasaki, Japan
ZEN-NIPPON NISAI YUSHUN (Jpn-G1)-Listed, ¥71,400,000, Kawasaki, 12-13, 2yo, 1600m, 1:43.50, yl.
1–FOREVER YOUNG (JPN), 123, c, 2, by Real Steel (Jpn)
1st Dam: Forever Darling, by Congrats
2nd Dam: Darling My Darling, by Deputy Minister
3rd Dam: Roamin Rachel, by Mining
(¥98,000,000 Ylg '22 JRHAJUL). O-Susumu Fujita; B-Northern Farm; T-Yoshito Yahagi; J-Ryusei Sakai; ¥42,000,000. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, ¥82,200,000.
2–Aigle Noir (Jpn), 123, c, 2, Bricks and Mortar–Ultima Blood (Jpn), by Symboli Kris S. O-Shadai Race Horse; B-Shadai Farm; ¥14,700,000.
3–Saint Honore (Jpn), 123, c, 2, Epicharis (Jpn)–Lingus Uno (Jpn), by South Vigorous. 1ST BLACK-TYPE. O-La Mere Inc; B-Matsuura Bokujo; ¥8,400,000.
Margins: 7, 2HF, 1. Odds: 1.10, 1.60, 104.30. Click for the goracing.jp chart.

 

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