Kurofune and Grass Eiko O, both 3-year-old sons of French Deputy, finished first and second, respectively, Sunday in the NHK Mile (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Racecourse. The winner, trained by Kunihide Matsuda for owner Makoto Kaneko, completed the mile on grass in 1:33.
Bred in Kentucky by Nicholas Lotz, Kurofune has won four of six career starts and earned the equivalent of $1,377,307. Previous to the NHK Mile, the colt had won the Mainichi Hai. Kurofune was initially purchased by BNK Stable for $70,000 from the Eaton Sales consignment to the 1999 Keeneland September yearling sale. Pinhooked by Niall Brennan Stables to the 2000 Fasig-Tipton Florida February 2-year-olds in training sale, Kurofune was purchased by Katsumi Yoshida for $430,000.
Runner-up Grass Eiko O, the winner of two of eight career starts, was also bred in Kentucky, with Jim R. Wells the breeder. Produced from the Explodent mare Explosive Girl, Grass Eiko O was bought by Dr. Koichiro Hayata from the Jerry Bailey Sales Agency for $150,000 at the 2000 Barretts March 2-year-olds in training sale.