King Kamehameha demolished Saturday's $3 million Japan Derby (Jpn-I) field, his time taking two full seconds off the stakes record before a crowd of 120,000 at Tokyo Racecourse.
Top jockey Katsumi Ando was astride the favorite, who quickly established the lead and won by 1 1/2 lengths over Heart's Cry. The time for the 2,4000 meters (11 furlongs and 205 yards) on grass was 2:23.3, one second off the course mark.
King Kamehameha, a half-brother to 2000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner The Deputy, is a son of Kingmambo
from the mare Manfath, a daughter of Last Tycoon who was owned by Team Valor and Margaux Fram of Midway, Ky.
"We bought the mare after The Deputy, her juvenile colt at the time, was training well for us in California," said Barry Irwin of Team Valor. "He went on the next season to win the grade one Santa Anita Derby.
"We sold the mare carrying King Kamehameha for $600,000 at Keeneland, where the Yoshida Family's Shadai Stud bought it."
Higher Game finished third. Second favorite Cosmo Bulk faded badly down the stretch to finish eighth.