On 'Song'–Again–In The Yasuda Kinen

Songline | JRA


A deluge of some 270 ml of rain–that's better than 10 inches for those of us less acquainted with the metric system–fell over the Tokyo Racecourse Friday and into early Saturday, leaving the turf course officially soft for the first of the two days of weekend racing.

Sunday dawned with perfect weather and by the time the field entered the gates for the G1 Yasuda Kinen, the course had been upgraded to good-to-firm, and that played right into the hands of Sunday Racing's Songline (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}), who came storming home down the centre to successfully defend her title in the spring mile feature. She joins Yamanin Zephyr (Jpn) (1992-93) and the great Vodka (Jpn) (2008, 2009) in putting wins back-to-back and is the third winner of the Yasuda Kinen in the last four years to carry the Sunday Racing black-and-red colours.

Sent off the fourth betting pick at 32-5, largely owing to her widest draw in 18, Songline was alertly away and settled just ahead of midfield and wide as Win Carnelian (Jpn) (Screen Hero {Jpn}) set a predicatbly furious tempo in advance of G1 Osaka Hai hero Jack d'Or (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}) and the white mare Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune). Four off the rail and without cover for a time down the back of the course, Songline was eased back a spot or two by Keita Tosaki and critically managed to draft in behind recent G1 NHK Mile Cup winner Champagne Color (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) racing down the side.

Win Carnelian led narrowly into the long straight, but was soon besieged by Jack d'Or, who nosed in front with just shy of 400 metres to race. The chestnut, trying the mile for the first time, battled on bravely despite the demanding pace and took them deep into the final furlong, but Songline, switched off heels once heads were turned for home, was rallying strongly and raced over the top for the victory. Serifos (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}), a forward factor throughout, bid one off the fence in the late stages and was just home for second ahead of favoured Schnell Meister (Ger) (Kingman {GB}), who finished his final 600 metres in a race-fastest :32.8. It was the latter's third straight Yasuda Kinen placing, having finished third in 2021 after beating Songline in the NHK Mile Cup and second last year.

Songline has been sparingly raced since her win last year, and was only 10th in defence of her title in the G3 1351 Turf Sprint in Riyadh in February before besting Sodashi last time in the May 14 G1 Victoria Mile.

“I was able to gallop her last week and felt that her form had improved, so I had every confidence in her today,” said Tosaki, who took the 2011 Yasuda Kinen aboard Real Impact (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and was winning his 11th JRA Group 1. “The position we found was ideal, she responded beautifully and demonstrated her strong turn of foot and speed today. To score two Group 1 wins in a row is just incredible and I feel she is still steadily progressing.”

The Yasuda Kinen serves as a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile. Songline, who also earned a berth in the Filly & Mare Turf via the Victoria Mile success, was an intended runner in last year's Mile, but plans were scuppered due to inflammation in her epiglottis. Connections confirmed she will be pointed towards this year's Mile, to be held at Santa Anita Nov. 4.

Pedigree Notes:

Songline is the most accomplished runner by Kizuna, easily the best sire son of the late Deep Impact (Jpn) to date. The homebred is one of 22 black-type and 12 group winners for the 2013 G1 Tokyo Yushun hero, whose other elite-level scorer is G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2200m) victress Akai Ito (Jpn). Himself victorious in the 2013 G2 Prix Niel and fourth to Treve (Fr) in that year's G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Kizuna has also made an impression on foreign soil as a sire, as his son Deep Bond (Jpn) took out the G2 Qatar Prix Foy ahead of an Arc appearance in 2021, while Bathrat Leon (Jpn) posted surprise victories in the 2022 G2 Godolphin Mile in Dubai and in this year's 1351 Turf Sprint.

Songline's second dam was kin to three Japanese stakes winners, while her great-granddam not only bred a trio of black-type winners, but is also responsible for Reizend (Jpn) (Special Week {Jpn}). She serves as the dam of the globetrotting Deirdre (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}), who won the 2019 G1 Qatar Nassau S. while placing in the G1 Hong Kong Cup and G1 Dubai Turf.

Luminous Parade is also the dam of the 2-year-old colt Sonic Line (Jpn) (Real Impact {Jpn}), a yearling full-brother to Songline and foaled a colt by Satono Diamond (Jpn) Apr. 21.

Sunday, Tokyo, Japan
YASUDA KINEN-G1, ¥347,400,000, Tokyo, 6-4, 3yo/up, 1600mT, 1:31.40, gd/fm.
1–SONGLINE (JPN), 123, m, 5, by Kizuna (Jpn)
1st Dam: Luminous Parade (Jpn), by Symboli Kris S
2nd Dam: Luminous Point (Jpn), by Agnes Tachyon (Jpn)
3rd Dam: Soninke (GB), by Machiavellian
O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern Farm; T-Toru Hayashi; J-Keita Tosaki; ¥183,780,000. Lifetime Record: GSW-KSA, 15-7-2-1, $6,030,499. Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Serifos (Jpn), 128, c, 4, Daiwa Major (Jpn)–Sea Front (Fr), by Le Havre (Ire). O-G1 Racing; B-Oiwake Farm; ¥73,080,000.
3–Schnell Meister (Ger), 128, h, 5, Kingman (GB)–Serienholde (Ger), by Soldier Hollow (GB). O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern Farm; ¥45,540,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, HD, NK. Odds: 6.40, 4.80, 3.20.
Also Ran: Gaia Force (Jpn), Jack d'Or (Jpn), Red Mon Reve (Jpn), Sodashi (Jpn), Win Carnelian (Jpn), Soul Rush (Jpn), Elusive Panther (Jpn), Matenro Orion (Jpn), Cafe Pharoah, Danon Scorpion (Jpn), Champagne Color (Jpn), Meikei Yell (Jpn), Namur (Jpn), Naran Huleg (Jpn), Dolce More (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart & video.


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