White Horse Amante Bianco Strikes First On Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby

Amante Bianco | Horsephotos


Carrying the recognizable colors of Silk Racing and leading jockey Christophe Lemaire–the same pairing that will be represented by Equinox (Jpn) in Sunday's G1 Japan Cup–the white 2-year-old colt Amante Bianco (Jpn) (Henny Hughes) found clear sailing two furlongs from home and ran out a 3/4-length winner of Saturday's $206,819 Cattleya S. at Tokyo Racecourse. The 1600-meter allowance is the first leg on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, and the winner earned 10 points towards a start in the Run for the Roses.

Amante Bianco, a debut winner going 1400 meters over this course June 17 and an allowance third going this trip Oct. 14, was equipped with cheek pieces for the first time and broke a half-step slow before advancing to sit in midfield while taking a fair bit of kickback for the opening 1000 meters. Traveling nicely in hand on the turn, the 7-2 third choice was eased off heels and into the clear at the quarter pole while racing on his incorrect lead, but once switching his legs 200 meters out, he finished with good determination to account for pace-pressing longshot George Tesoro (Jpn) (Best Warrior) and the fast-finishing Godolphin homebred Unquenchable (Jpn) (Discreet Cat). Final time for the 1600 meters on a fast track was a solid 1:37.5 (see below, SC 6).



A son of three-time stakes winner Yukichan (Jpn) (Kurofune), Amante Bianco is a half-brother to the dam of six-time group winner Meikei Yell (Jpn) (Mikki Isle {Jpn}, who most recently competed in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Yukichan is herself a half-sister to the dam of the recently retired treble Group 1 winner Sodashi (Jpn) (Kurofune), champion of her generation in 2020 and 2021, and her full-sister Mama Cocha (Jpn), last-out winner of the G1 Sprinters S. Yuikchan's full-sister Marshmallow (Jpn) is responsible for two-time GSW Hayayakko (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}).

Yukichan also has a yearling filly by Drefong–sire of the last two winners of the Cattleya S.–and a weanling filly by champion dirt horse Le Vent Se Leve (Jpn).


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