Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby

Delicada Beats The Boys in Final Derby Points Race

Delicada (Jpn) (Pyro) went for a gap from between horses in the dying strides and it proved a decisive move, as she was along for a neck victory in Saturday's Fukuryu S. (allowance) at Nakayama Racecourse. Facing no other rivals that had previously accumulated points on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, Delicada has the right of first refusal for a berth in the race, having earned 40 points to shoot to the head of the class. She was not an original nominee to the Triple Crown series. Perfect...

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Godolphin Homebred 'Bursts' Into Derby Discussion in Japan

Cleverly named Godolphin homebred Combustion (Jpn) (Discreet Cat) shot to the head of the leaderboard on the 'Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby' with a determined 3/4-length defeat of Geraldo Barows (Jpn) (Sinister Minister) in Sunday's Listed Hyacinth S. going a one-turn mile at Tokyo Racecourse. American-bred Sea Vixen (Into Mischief), the only filly in the field of 14, was a brave third. Ridden forward by Breeders' Cup-winning jockey Yuga Kawada, Combustion raced handy to a good pace set by Sea Vixen and was glued to the fence as the...

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Derby Points On the Line in Hyacinth

Tokyo Racecourse plays host to the Listed Hyacinth S. Sunday afternoon, a one-mile race around a single left-handed bend that offers a total of 51 (30-12-6-3) as the third of four events that comprise the 'Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby.' Of the 13 males and one filly signed on for the Hyacinth, fully eight are last-out winners, but favoritism could fall to Godolphin's Combustion (Jpn) (Discreet Cat). A debut winner going seven furlongs at Toyko in late June, the homebred followed up with an allowance score at Chukyo and...

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World Connector Must Overcome High Draw In Cattleya S.

The 2022 Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby kicks off Saturday with the running of the Cattleya S. (allowance) at Tokyo Racecourse. Thirteen colts and two fillies line up for the 1600-meter test which begins with a run-up on the grass before linking up with the dirt track. World Connector (Connect) has made both of his career starts to date at Tokyo, settling for a debut second as the 8-5 favorite going this course and trip Oct. 9 before dead-heating for the maiden win in a one-mile event on the...

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God Selection Too Strong In Final Derby Points Race

Prominent every step of the 1800-meter journey despite a somewhat awkward draw, God Selection (Jpn) (Novellist {Ire}) took command in the straight and drew clear to win Saturday's Fukuryu S. (allowance) at Nakayama, earning 40 points on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby in the process. Ridden for speed from the 13 hole in a field of 14, God Selection was down into the two path and prompted the pace from second as Lord Strom (Jpn) (Makfi {GB}) galloped them along. Ridden cold on the turn and into the...

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Kentucky Derby Berth For The Taking in Fukuryu S.

Nakayama Racecourse plays host to the $315,808 Fukuryu S. Saturday afternoon, an allowance race that serves as the last of the four legs on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby and carries a total of 68 points for the first four finishers. The winner of the 1800-meter test earns 40 points, and with none of the horses who saluted in the first three legs taking part, a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May is all but assured. Your History (Jpn) (Rulership {Jpn}), a debut...

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Derby Points On the Line In Hyacinth

Sunday's live program at Tokyo Racecourse features the return of Group 1 action in the one-mile February S., but about 90 minutes earlier, the nation's 3-year-old set will compete for a Kentucky Derby points that are up for grabs in the $347,257 Listed Hyacinth S. over the same distance. Nobutaka Tada's La Perouse (Jpn) (Pelusa {Jpn}) is the only member of the 11-strong field that was given an entry into the Triple Crown series at its first closing stage in late January. The homebred was well beaten trying the turf...

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American-Bred Lemon Pop Takes Derby Prep at Tokyo

The first of four races on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, the 1600-meter Cattleya S. (allowance), took place Saturday on the eve of the G1 Japan Cup at Toyko Racecourse, with US-bred Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid) running his record to two wins from as many starts with a convincing victory. The 7-5 second choice, a debut winner in a 1300-meter newcomers' event at Tokyo Nov. 7, broke without incident and was ridden positively from gate one by Keita Tosaki to sit in the wake of pacesetting Takeru...

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Danon Pharaoh Too Strong in Japan Dirt Derby

The bettors had it right--well, in a sense. They pounded the previously undefeated Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah) into 1-10 favoritism for Wednesday's Japan Dirt Derby, but Danon Pharaoh (Jpn) (American Pharoah) had other ideas, as he put away pacesetting Daimei Corrida (Jpn) (Eskendereya) in the final 150 meters en route to a 1 3/4-length success. Kitano Octopus (Jpn) (Fenomeno {Jpn}) rounded out a longshot trifecta that returned better than 7,700-1. The victory was worth 40 points on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. Daimei Corrida jumped alertly from his...

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Derby Points on the Line at Toyko
Derby Points on the Line at Toyko

The postponement of the GI Kentucky Derby from May to September forced a reworking of the Road to the Kentucky Derby points races, both at home and abroad. The Japanese component of the series, which offers the highest points-getter an automatic berth in the gate at Churchill Downs, has been extended by two races, and the first of those, the G3 Unicorn S. (1600m), is set for Sunday afternoon at Tokyo Racecourse. A pair of American-bred imports, each undefeated in two career appearances, figure to dominate the market. Cafe Pharoah...

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Two Races Added to Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby
Two Races Added to Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby

The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, which awards the horse that accumulates the most points an automatic berth in the gate for the 'Run for the Roses' Sept. 5, has been extended to include two additional races, officials at Churchill Downs announced Friday. The G3 Unicorn S. (1600m) at Tokyo Racecourse Sunday, June 21, has been added to the series, as has the July 8 Japan Dirt Derby, a 10-furlong listed test at Ohi Racecourse. Both races will offer points on a scale of 40-16-8-4 for the top four...

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Will Take Charge's Herrschaft 'Rules' The Day at Nakayama

Nakayama Racecourse played host to the $320,629 Fukuryu S. Saturday, an allowance race that serves as the fourth and final scheduled leg on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. With the Run for the Roses delayed to early September, there could be more Japanese points races to follow, but with his 26-1 upset in the 1800-meter test, Herrschaft (Will Take Charge) earned 40 points and--at least for the time being--the Japanese berth in the starting gate at Churchill Downs. Away fairly from gate two, Herrschaft led them under the...

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