Christophe Lemaire

Oka Sho Goes Through the Comebacking Sodashi

Japanese Classics season gets underway Sunday at Hanshin Racecourse with the running of the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) for which the popular Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) figures to go favoured in her first start of the year. A registered white out of the cult hero Buchiko (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}), the homebred filly enters the Oka Sho with an unblemished record from four racetrack appearances, including a 1 3/4-length defeat of Kukuna (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) in the G3 Artemis S. last October before just getting the better of...

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Triple Crown Winner Returns In Loaded Osaka Hai

A field of 13--including a half-dozen by the legendary Deep Impact (Jpn)--will face the starter for a cracking renewal of the G1 Osaka Hai (2000m) Sunday at Hanshin Racecourse, led by the late stallion's 2020 Triple Crown hero Contrail (Jpn). Raced by Shinji Maeda and bred by the family's North Hills Co. Ltd., the son of Rhodochrosite (Unbridled's Song) built on an undefeated 2-year-old season with four on the bounce last term, defeating Salios (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) in the G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (2000m) in April and...

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La Perouse Swoops in Hyacinth S.

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...

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Notable US-Bred Runners in Japan: Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021

In this continuing series, we take a look ahead at US-bred and/or conceived runners entered for the upcoming weekend at the tracks on the Japan Racing Association circuit, with a focus on pedigree and/or performance in the sales ring. Here are the horses of interest for this Saturday running at Chukyo Racecourse. A pair of US-bred runners entered for Sunday's races and making their career debuts at Chukyo will feature in Saturday's TDN: Saturday, January 9, 2021 6th-CKO, ¥11,400,000 ($110k), Newcomers, 3yo, 1600mT GALLANT MANNER (c, 3, More Than Ready--River...

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Red Belle Aube Rates Slight Edge in Asahi Hai Futurity

Red Belle Aube (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) looks to give his legendary late sire a fourth winner of the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity S. in the last seven years as he takes on 15 other rivals in the 1600-metre event that will go some way towards determining year-end honors. Bred from an Unbridled's Song mare just like Triple Crown hero Contrail (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), Red Belle Aube has won two in a row since dropping his career debut, including the G2 Daily Hai Nisai S. over this course and...

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Lucky Lilac Looks To Go Back-To-Back in QE II Cup

Sunday Racing's Lucky Lilac (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) looks to become the first horse since the talented Snow Fairy (GB) (Intikhab) in 2010-2011 to register back-to-back victories in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2200m), to be staged this year and next at Hanshin Racecourse while Kyoto Racecourse undergoes major renovations. The daughter of American Grade I winner Lilacs and Lace (Flower Alley) led home a female one-two in the G1 Osaka Hai (2000m) at this track in early April, besting the talented Chrono Genesis (Jpn) (Bago {Fr}), before finishing sixth...

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Almond Eye Claims Eighth Group 1 Win in Tenno Sho

Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) ephasised her status as one of the greats of the Japanese turf with a half-length score in the G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) at Tokyo on Sunday. The first back-to-back winner since Symboli Kris S (Kris S.) in 2002/03, the bay mare is the sixth horse to salute in seven Japanese Group 1s and the first Japanese horse to win eight Group 1 races worldwide on turf. Two-time G1 Tenno Sho (Spring) victor Fierement (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) was second, with the G1 Takarazuka Kinen...

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Gran Alegria Tries for Third Group 1 in Sprinters

One of two Group 1 sprints on the Japan Racing Association calendar, the 1,200-meter G1 Sprinters S. draws a full field of 16 for Sunday's 54th renewal. Heading the morning line at 2-1 is dual Group 1- winning Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), out of Tapitsfly (Tapit), a two-time Grade I winner on the turf in the United States. Victorious in last season's G1 Japanese 1000 Guineas and G2 Hanshin Cup, the filly finished runner-up in the 1,200-meter G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen over soft ground at Chukyo in March before...

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Cafe Pharoah Looking To Stay Perfect in Japan Dirt Derby

Having already sewn up the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby and a berth in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday of September if connections so choose, Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah) will stretch out to 2000 meters for the first time in his career as he tries to make it four wins from as many starts in Wednesday's $711,743 Japan Dirt Derby at Ohi Racecourse. The $475,000 OBS March graduate won his debut going nine furlongs in December, then cut back to Toyko's one-turn mile for...

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'Almond' a Tough Nut to Crack in Yasuda Kinen

Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), third in last year's renewal of the G1 Yasuda Kinen, returns to take another crack at Sunday's 1,600-meter Tokyo feature, a 'Win and You're In' to the GI Breeders' Cup Mile. Victorious over this turf course in the 2,400-meter G1 Japan Cup in 2018, she added two more Group 1s last season in the Dubai Turf in March prior to the Tenno Sho (Autumn) in October. Her 2020 debut was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, she once again made short work of...

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Frankel's Mozu Ascot Back to Dirt in Valuable Kashiwa Kinen

Mozu Ascot (Frankel {GB}), winner on turf of the G1 Yasuda Kinen in 2018, returns to the dirt for the first time since winning the G1 February S. in Tuesday's ¥102 million (US$955k) Kashiwa Kinen (1600m) at Funabashi Racecourse. Bred by Summer Wind Farm, the 6-year-old son of MGSW India (Hennessy) was winless in eight starts following the Yasuda Kinen, but put pay to that streak when defeating the smart Copano Kicking (Spring At Last) at odds of 8-1 in the G3 Negishi S. (1400m) at Tokyo Feb. 2. The...

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Notable US-Bred Runners in Japan: Feb. 22 & 23, 2020

In this continuing series, we take a look ahead at US-bred and/or conceived runners entered for the upcoming weekend at the tracks on the Japan Racing Association circuit, with a focus on pedigree and/or performance in the sales ring. Here are the horses of interest for this weekend running at Kyoto and Tokyo Racecourses, featuring the 4-year-old debut of the extremely talented Mont Perdu (Cairo Prince) Saturday, February 22, 2020 1st-KYO, ¥9,680,000 ($87k), Maiden, 3yo, 1800m ABUL HAUL (c, 3, American Pharoah--Kitten's Dumplings, by Kitten's Joy), the first foal from...

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