Lemon Pop

White Abarrio Draws Rail, National Treasure Booked In Seven For The 2024 Saudi Cup

Last year's GI Breeders' Cup Classic hero White Abarrio (Race Day), who leads Team USA in Saturday's 1800-meter $20-million G1 Saudi Cup, drew the rail in a field of 14 during the Saudi Cup draw ceremony in Saudi Arabia Wednesday. Trained by Richard Dutrow, Jr., the gray defeated Derma Sotogake (Jpn) (Mind Your Biscuits) (stall 13) in the Classic, and will face the starter for the first time since in Saturday's contest at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh in just a handful of days. After the draw, Dutrow said, "He...

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Japanese Contingent In Fine Form Before The Saudi Cup

Japan's Crown Pride (Jpn) (Reach The Crown {Jpn}), a winner of the 2022 G2 UAE Derby and last year's G3 Korea Cup, galloped over the dirt track in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in advance of a start in the $20-million G1 Saudi Cup on Saturday. He is one of five Japanese horses in the world's richest race, which will go postward at 8:40 p.m. local time. "We did a 1200m gallop on the dirt track today. He moved and accelerated well. We are happy," Yohei Kotobuki, a stable representative, said of...

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Saudi Cup Runners Arrive In Riyadh From Japan, U.S.

The plane carrying the Japanese contingent to Riyadh for next Saturday's Saudi Cup meeting touched down at King Khalid International Airport, and each of the nation's four entrants for the $20-million G1 Saudi Cup appear to have taken the flight in good order. Looking to make it back-to-back successes in the world's richest horse race following the stunning all-the-way victory by Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) last February are Japan's champion dirt horse Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid); reigning G1 Dubai World Cup winner Ushba Tesoro (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}); Derma...

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Equinox Repeats As Japanese Horse Of The Year

Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}), the Longines World's Best Racehorse for 2023, has been named the Japanese Horse of the Year for the second consecutive year, the Japanese Racing Association (JRA) Award Winner Selection Committee announced on Tuesday. The Silk Racing Company-owned 4-year-old received 293 votes out of a total 295 votes cast by reporters. A flawless four-for-four last term, Equinox equaled his sire's achievement of two Horse of the Year titles in 2016/2017. Beginning his campaign at Meydan in March, the Tetsuya Kimura trainee won the G1 Dubai Sheema...

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Lemon Pop Defies Doubters, History In Champions Cup

In the G1 Champions Cup, one of two elite-level races on dirt on the JRA circuit, wide barriers are almost always the kiss of death. Drawn 15 of 15 for Sunday's 1800-metre event, Godolphin's Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid) not only had that to overcome, but also lingering questions as to his ability to stay a trip this far. After all, his trainer Hiroyasu Tanaka needed some convincing by the Godolphin braintrust to try him in the G1 February S., a 1600-metre affair, which he duly won with something in...

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Lemon Pop Has Work Cut Out In Champions Cup

Godolphin's Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid) has been the best dirt horse in Japan this year at distances up to a mile, but the 5-year-old faces a stamina-stretching test from a horrible draw when he faces 14 others in Sunday's G1 Champions Cup (1800m) at Chukyo Racecourse. A $70,000 Keeneland November weanling purchase, the chestnut won the G3 Negishi S. over 1400 metres at Toyko in January and silenced those who questioned his ability to stay an extra furlong when running out a comfortable winner of the G1 February S....

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Breeders' Cup Option For Lemon Pop Following Comeback Win

The GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile is one of three options for Godolphin's Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid) following a barnstorming gate-to-wire victory in Monday's $823,000 Listed Mile Championship Nambu Hai at Morioka Racecourse on the National Association of Racing circuit in Japan. Having already secured a Breeders' Cup berth courtesy of his biggest win to date in the G1 February S. at Tokyo this past February, the 5-year-old was having his first run since finishing an outpaced 10th, beaten six lengths, in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen over six...

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TDN Q & A: Godolphin Japan's Harry Sweeney

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- Answer: The G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. Question: What is the only race in the history of the Dubai World Cup that has never been won by the host? That statement feels like an enormous anomaly, given all the success down the years at old Nad Al Sheba Racecourse and here at Meydan Racecourse, but true it is all the same. It is a record that Harry Sweeney, the president of the Japanese arm of Sheikh Mohammed's global operation, hopes will change this weekend when American-bred...

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Dubai In Play For Godolphin's Lemon Pop Following February S.

Stepping up to the top level for the first time in what has already been a productive career, Godolphin's Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid) ran a strong 1600 metres and comfortably held a final-furlong rally from the classy Red le Zele (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) to land Sunday's February S. at Tokyo Racecourse. A fourth consecutive American-bred winner of the 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic, Lemon Pop will remain over shorter trips and holds an invitation to the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen in...

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Godolphin's Lemon Pop Primed For Group 1 Success in February S.

Tokyo Racecourse plays host to the first of 24 Group 1s on the JRA circuit, Sunday's February S. going a one-turn mile on the dirt track, and with the race's two-time defending champion Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah) preparing for next Saturday's G1 Saudi Cup and with would-be favourite Gilded Mirror (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) having recently been retired due to injury, the race is there for the taking for the wonderfully consistent US-bred Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid). The 5-year-old, purchased for $70,000 as a weanling at the 2018 Keeneland November...

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Godolphin's Lemon Pop Prevails In February S. Prep

From the first time he first set foot on the racetrack in late 2020, Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid) has always hinted at top ability, and the beautifully bred 5-year-old scooped the first major prize of his career with a hard-fought victory in Sunday's G3 Negishi S., a stepping-stone to the G1 February S. in three weeks' time. Away awkwardly from the 13 hole, the $70,000 Keeneland November weanling purchase on behalf of Godolphin improved to race in the second flight of horses about three away from the inside for...

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Notable US-Breds in Japan: Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022

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 Wednesday's first JRA meetings of 2022 at Chukyo and Nakayama Racecourses: Wednesday, January 5, 2022 4th-NKY, ¥11,400,000 ($99k), Newcomers, 3yo, 1800m WONDERFUL HEAVEN (f, 3, Hard Spun--Couture Cat, by Storm Cat), a half-sister to SP High Fashion Diva (Girolamo), is out of a winning...

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