La Perouse Swoops in Hyacinth S.

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La Perouse | JRA

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The 1600-metre Listed Hyacinth S., the third of four Japanese prep races for the GI Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, was captured by the late-running La Perouse (Jpn) (Pelusa {Jpn}). His 1 1/2-length win granted him 30 points on the Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby, with only the Fukuryu Sho yet to be run at Nakayama on Mar. 27. The Hyacinth carried 51 points total (30-12-6-3).

Second choice on the board at 5-2 after 4-5 favourite Takeru Pegasus (Jpn) (Dunkirk), the dark bay did not leave the gate in good order, being slowly into stride. Longshot Probatio (Jpn) (Transcend {Jpn}) charged up to set the pace and rattled off uncontested fractions of :23.80 for the quarter, and :48.30 for the half-mile while La Perouse enjoyed a dream rails run, making up ground to sit in midpack.

He remained in tight quarters on the fence as the frontrunner covered three-quarters in 1:12.80, but Christophe Lemaire, who would win the G1 February S. with last year's Hyacinth winner Café Pharoah (American Pharoah) later on the card, began to ask La Perouse for his best effort. The response was immediate, as the winner gave generously, shifting off the rail around a tiring rival 200 meters out, before moving back to the fence and into the lead in the final 100 yards to win going away. The 100-1 Probatio clung to second by a diminishing neck as the filly Ladybug (Jpn) (Hokko Tarumae {Jpn}) charged late to take show honors. Takeru Pegasus was another 1 3/4 lengths back in fourth after a mild rally.

Although unplaced at first asking, the Nobutaka Tada homebred saluted in the slop going six furlongs at Monbetsu Sept. 17. He dropped to second over that track and trip in the mud on Oct. 6 and rebounded with a brace of wins-in a Monbetsu 1700-metre affair Oct. 22 and at Nakayama stepped up to 1800 metres Dec. 13.

The winner is the first black-type scorer from extremely limited opportunities for the now-pensioned Sunday Silence-line horse Pelusa (Zenno Rob Roy {Jpn}), successful at Group 2 level in his native land. A foal of 2007, the chestnut was also second and third in the 2010/11 G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn), respectively.

La Perouse is the second foal, first runner and first winner for his dam, who was bred by Dr. Naoya Yoshida and Bill Justice in Kentucky. The 10-year-old was named in honor of the charity donation project 'Hats Off'. The project was on behalf of the children who had lost parents in the massive earthquake in Japan a decade ago. On the racecourse, Hat Shite Good scored over 1400 metres at two and has a juvenile filly by Symboli Kris S., a yearling full-brother to the winner and is due to Majestic Warrior. Under the third dam Naughty Notions, who won a stake at Tampa, is Canadian Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and GI Alcibiades S. heroine Negligee (Northern Afleet).

Sunday, Tokyo, Japan
HYACINTH S.-Listed, ¥36,660,000 (US$348,026/£348,324/€287,134), Tokyo, 2-21, 3yo, 1600m, 1:36.80, gd.
1–LA PEROUSE (JPN), 123, c, 3, by Pelusa (Jpn)
                1st Dam: Hat Shite Good, by Empire Maker
                2nd Dam: Naughty Mambo, by Kingmambo
                3rd Dam: Naughty Notions, by Relaunch
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. O/B-Nobutaka Tada (Jpn). T-Kazuo
Fujisawa. J-Christophe Lemaire. ¥19,000,000. Lifetime Record:
6-4-1-0, ¥27,520,000.
2–Probatio (Jpn), 123, c, 3, Transcend (Jpn)-Honor Leave (Jpn),
by Dance in the Dark (Jpn). O-North Hills Co. Ltd. B-Doi Bokujo
(Jpn). T-Tsuyoshi Tanaka. ¥7,600,000.
3–Ladybug (Jpn), 119, f, 3, Hokko Tarumae (Jpn)-Favorite Girl
(Jpn), by Dance in the Dark (Jpn). O/B-Gold Up Company Co.
Ltd (Jpn). T-Yoshihito Kitade. ¥4,800,000.
Margins: 1HF, NK, 1 3/4. Odds: 2.50, 100.00, 10.30.
Also Ran: Takeru Pegasus (Jpn), Gempachi Forza (Jpn), Taisei Slugger (Jpn), Bakushin (Jpn), Lord Strom (Jpn), Zenno Ange (Jpn), Hokko Karyu (Jpn), Daishin Pisces (Jpn), Kojikun (Jpn).
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