Japan Cup Winner Unanimous as Country's Best Horse

Japan Cup Winner Unanimous as Country's Best Horse
T.M. Opera O, Japan's Horse of the Year winning the Japan Cup.

Japanese superhorse T.M. Opera O was the unanimous choice for 2000 Horse of the Year in his native country, according to the list of champion released by the Japan Racing Association. A son of Opera House, T.M. Opera received all 296 votes for Horse of the Year. Winner of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I), T. M. Opera O was undefeated in eight starts last year, with earnings of ¥1,036,004,000 (about US$9,466,254) as he was also named champion older horse.

When he won the Japan Cup, T.M. Opera O became the richest horse in Japanese racing with 1,216,477,000 yen (more than $11 million in converted earnings). That exceeds the North American earnings record held by Cigar of $9,999,815 and the previous Japanese record of 1,092,623,000 yen won by Special Week. The horse closed out his 2000 season with a victory in the Arima Kinen (Jpn-I) and has won 12 of 19 career starts, with earnings of US$12,677,309.

2000 Japan Champions

Horse of the Year, Best Older Horse: T.M. Opera O (1996 horse, Opera House--Once Wed, by Blushing Groom)
Best 2-year-old colt: Mejiro Bailey (Sunday Silence--Reru du Temps, by Maruzensky)
Best 2-year-old filly: T.M. Ocean (Dancing Brave-- River Girl, by Rivlia)
Best 3-year-old colt: Air Shakur (Sunday Silence--I Dreamed a Dream, by Well Decorated)
Best 3-year-old filly: Cheers Grace (Sunday Silence--Cheers Flower, by Al Nasr)
Best Older Mare: Phalaenopsis (1995 mare, Brian's Time--Catequil, by Storm Cat)
Best Dirt Horse: Wing Arrow (1995 horse, Assatis--Sanyo Arrow, by Mr C B)
Best steeplechaser: Gokai (1993 horse, Judge Angelucci--Yu Miroku, by Katsurano Haiseiko)
Best Sprinter, Best Horse Sired by Domestically (Japan) Bred Sire: Daitaku Yamato (1994 horse, Daitaku Helios--Daitaku Brains, by Tesco Bay)

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