Gentildonna Named JRA Horse of the Year

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Capped by a season- and career-ending victory in the G1 Arima Kinen Dec. 28, Sunday Racing Co. Ltd’s Gentildonna (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) easily outpointed G1 Dubai Duty Free S. hero Just a Way (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) to earn Horse of the Year honors in Japan, it was announced Wednesday. 

The 5-year-old daughter of G1SW Donna Blini (GB) (Bertolini), the first two-time winner of the G1 Japan Cup, began 2014 with a smashing victory in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic and was fourth in search of a third consecutive Japan Cup before storming down the Nakayama stretch to close her racing career in style in the Arima Kinen. Gentildonna was also a unanimous choice for best older filly or mare, winning that award for the second straight season. 

Just a Way did not leave empty-handed, as that 5-year-old was named best older colt or horse by a wide margin over 2014 Japan Cup hero Epiphaneia (Jpn) (Symboli Kris S). In addition to his smashing success in the Duty Free S., Just a Way cut back to the 1600 meters for a last-jump success in Japan’s premier race at the distance, the G1 Yasuda Kinen in June. 

In more hotly contested divisions, G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and G2 Asahi Hai winner Isla Bonita (Jpn) (Fuji Kiseki {Jpn}) was given the nod as top 3-year-old colt, ahead of G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) victor One and Only (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}), while Harp Star (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), the G1 Oka Sho winner defeated G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) victress Nuovo Record (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) in the 3-year-old filly division. 

The juvenile divisions were won in unanimous fashion by top colt Danon Platina (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and filly Shonan Adela (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}).  

2014 JRA AWARDS 

Horse of the Year and Best Older Filly/Mare 
GENTILDONNA (JPN) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) 

Best Older Colt or Horse 
JUST A WAY (JPN) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) 

Best Sprinter 
SNOW DRAGON (JPN) (Admire Cozzene {Jpn}) 

Best Dirt Horse 
HOKKO TARUMAE (JPN) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) 

Best 3-Year-Old Colt 
ISLA BONITA (JPN) (Fuji Kiseki {Jpn}) 

Best 3-Year-Old Filly 
HARP STAR (JPN) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) 

Best 2-Year-Old Colt 
DANON PLATINA (JPN) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) 

Best 2-Year-Old Filly 
SHONAN ADELA (JPN) (Deep Impact {Jpn})

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