Mikki Isle To Win The Mile?

Mikki Isle (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) would be perfect in 2014 but for an uncharacteristically poor performance in the G1 Yasuda Kinen June 8, and the sophomore has a shot for redemption in today's G1 Mile Championship. The Noda Mizuki colorbearer, who is one of six by his champion sire in the lineup, opened his 3-year-old account with a pair of Group 3 victories over this distance. Connections opted to bypass the Triple Crown series to stick to these shorter distances, and that decision paid dividends when Mikki Isle collected the G1 NHK Mile Cup May 11. Mikki Isle floundered over soft going when 16th of 17 behind Just A Way (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) in the G1 Yasuda Kinen June 8, after which he was given a summer holiday. Mikki Isle showed no signs of rust when besting elders on return in the G2 Swan S. Nov. 1, and despite dumping his rider and completing a piece of trackwork solo 10 days ago, Mikki Isle appears primed to add a second Group 1. Those looking to deny him that title include defending winner Tosen Ra (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}). Like Mikki Isle, Tosen Ra failed to handle the easy going in the Yasuda Kinen, checking in 14th, and he returned with a third-place finish in the G2 Kyoto Daishoten Oct. 14. World Ace (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) turned heads when breaking the course record over this track and trip in the G2 Yomiuri Milers Cup Apr. 27, and he checked in a respectable fifth in the Yasuda Kinen. World Ace was a puzzling 13th in the G2 Mainichi Okan Oct. 12, but having also been placed in the 2012 G1 Japanese 2000 Guineas and Derby he has back form to call on, and wouldn't be a shock winner. Second behind World Ace in the Yomiuri was Fiero (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), who had previously won three straight at the allowance level. Eighth in the Yasuda Kinen, the 5-year-old was beaten just a half-length by Mikki Isle in the Swan S. Yasuda Kinen 10th Clarente (Jpn) (Dance in the Dark {Jpn}) comes into this off a pair of Group 3 victories over the distance Aug. 17 and Sept. 14.

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