Japan's first group I race of the year was won in fine style by Copano Rickey, who pulled off a massive upset with his half-length triumph over Hokko Tarumae in the February Stakes Feb. 23 at Tokyo Racecourse.
Espoir City appeared on his way to a second February Stakes (Jpn-I) win Feb. 17 at Tokyo, but Grape Brandy wore him down in the final 100 meters to secure the win in Japan's first top-level race of the season.
Kentucky-bred Testa Matta came from off the pace to register a two-length win in the $2.45 million February Stakes (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Racecourse Feb. 19.
Coming off his victory in last year's Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I), Transcend proved a popular winner of the February Stakes Feb. 20 at Tokyo Racecourse, tallying by 1 1/2 lengths in the first grade I event of the season.
Heavy favorite Espoir City, Japan's champion dirt horse last year, got his 2010 campaign off to a great start by easily winning the US$2.2 million February Stakes, the first grade I race of the season Feb. 21 at Tokyo.
The torch was passed from dirt champions Kane Hekili and Vermilion when Success Brocken edged Casino Drive by a neck in record time while winning the $2.2 million February Stakes (Jpn-I) before 70,000 at Tokyo Race Course Feb. 22.
Favored Vermilion, Japan's champion dirt horse last year, dominated the field in his debut for 2008 with a 1 3/4-length win in the February Stakes (Jpn-I) at Tokyo racecourse Feb. 24 before a crowd of 53,029.
Sunrise Bacchus, a son of Hennessy with several grade I placings over the dirt course at Tokyo, finally broke through for a well deserved win in the February Stakes (Jpn-I) held at Fuchu racecourse Sunday in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 people.
Favored Kane Hekili, the Japan Racing Association Dirt Horse of the Year in 2005, proved too strong for his rivals in Sunday's February Stakes (Jpn-I) held at Fuchu racecourse in Tokyo in front of a crowd of more than 60,000 people.
TVG is expanding its live coverage from Japan in 2006 in partnership with Emerald Downs, and will air 14 programs, beginning Feb. 18 and concluding with the presentation of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 25.
Favorite Admire Don, returning to the track for the first time since his near miss of the Nov. 29 Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I), powered to a half-length win of the February Stakes (Jpn-I) Feb. 22.
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