Sodashi Tops Victoria Mile

Juvenile filly champion Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) punched her ticket to this fall's GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf with a victory in Sunday's G1 Victoria Mile at Tokyo Racecourse. The top three finishers in Sunday's race also earned automatic berths in the G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp as well as the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois. Breaking alertly from stall 5, the fourth betting choice settled in along the inside in a close-up fourth before moving slightly outward for the stretch run. Emerging from the pack passing the...

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Big Shoes To Fill In Victoria Mile

A deep and diverse field of 18 distaff turf milers will take to the Fuchu course at Toyko Sunday afternoon for the G1 Victoria Mile, a race won in its last three renewals by the outstanding Normcore (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}, 2019), two-time Horse of the Year Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}, 2020) and treble champion Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}, 2021). The Victoria Mile serves as a 'Win and You're In' event for the GI Breeders' Cup Mile at Keeneland this November. Several of Sunday's entrants are on...

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Fresh Red le Zele One To Beat In February S.

Consistent as the day is long, with just three finishes outside the top three from 19 career starts, Red le Zele (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) looks to give his outstanding sire a first top-level scorer on the dirt in Sunday's G1 February S. at Tokyo Racecourse. Victorious in the 1400-meter G3 Negishi S. at headquarters last January, Red le Zele ran on to finish fourth behind Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah) in this event, then shipped to Dubai, where he was an excellent runner-up beneath Ryan Moore in the G1 Dubai...

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Efforia Named Japanese Horse of the Year

Efforia (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) became the first 3-year-old since Orfevre (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}) in 2011 to be named Japanese Horse of the Year as year-end honors were revealed Tuesday. The Carrot Farm colorbearer received 277 of the 296 possible votes, easily outdistancing the globetrotting Loves Only You (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), who received 18 first-place votes for the top prize. Efforia was also unanimously named champion 3-year-old male. A son of the Heart's Cry (Jpn) mare Katie's Heart (Jpn) and from the same family as fellow Horse of the...

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All Eyes On Sodashi In Champions Cup

The world's best-known--not to mention most-talented--white Thoroughbred, Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) gets a different sort of test when she tries the dirt for the first time in Sunday's G1 Champions Cup (ex Japan Cup Dirt) at Chukyo Racecourse, a race won in scintillating fashion by her sire 20 years ago. Named the champion of her generation when capping a perfect freshman campaign in the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies last December, Sodashi resumed with a victory in the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) over the metric mile Apr. 11, but did...

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Shuka Sho Offers Level Playing Field

Sunday's final leg of the Japanese Filly Triple Crown, the G1 Shuka Sho, looms a championship event and serves as a rubber match between the winners of the first two races in the series--Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune), the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) victress and Uberleben (Jpn) (Gold Ship {Jpn}), who took out the G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks)--over a 2000-metre distance that is a quarter-mile longer than the Guineas and two furlongs shorter than the Oaks. Sodashi, a white filly just like her extremely popular dam Buchiko (Jpn) (King...

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Uberleben Delivers In Yushun Himba

While all eyes were on 2-year-old champion and G1 Oka Sho victress Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) heading into Sunday's G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks), it was the punters' third choice Uberleben (Jpn) (Gold Ship {Jpn}) who handed the white Sodashi her first defeat, while in the process earning her first stakes win and providing her sire, the six-time Group 1 winner Gold Ship, with his first Group 1 winner. Uberleben was out early for a Japanese 2-year-old, breaking her maiden at first asking last June before finishing a neck second to...

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Sodashi Aims For Six Straight in Yushun Himba

The world's most recognizable--and most talented--white Thoroughbred, Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune), puts her unblemished record on the line against a full field of fellow 3-year-old fillies in Sunday's G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) going a full circuit of the Fuchu Racecourse at Tokyo. Not one of the 68 horses Sodashi has faced through her five career starts have managed to finish ahead of her, even if she never wins by a space. The Makoto Kaneko runner debuted with a 2 1/2-length victory over 1800 metres last summer, but has since been...

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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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Almond Eye Japan's HOTY For Second Time In Three Years

Silk Racing Co. Ltd.'s Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), who was retired from racing following a second victory in the G1 Japan Cup last November, was named the recipient of the Horse of the Year award for the second time in the last three years Wednesday. She easily outpointed Triple Crown winners and unanimous champions Contrail (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and Daring Tact (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}), while champion sprinter/miler elect Gran Alegria (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) garnered a single vote for HOTY. Almond Eye, who was also the champion...

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Undefeated Sodashi Heads Hanshin Juvenile Fillies

Undefeated Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune) will try to extend her winning streak in Sunday's G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies and in the process, the likely favorite will also try to become the white-colored horse to win a Group 1 race in Japan. "The white really stands out on grass," said trainer Naosuke Sugai. "I think she's turning into a real star." The flashy filly triumphed in her career debut at Hakodate in July before scoring over 1,800-meters in the G3 Sapporo Nisai S. Sept. 5. In her latest start, she took the...

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