After being delayed by one day due to inclement weather and track conditions, Casino Drive's final preparations for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) were completed Thursday when the son of Mineshaft worked at Belmont Park.
Casino Drive, the son of Mineshaft who is expected to provide some of the stiffest competition to Big Brown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), follows a daily routine that raises eyebrows on the backstretch of Belmont Park but is consistent with how he is trained in Japan.
On May 10 at Belmont Park, North America got its first look at the colt who could have the best chance at spoiling Big Brown's entry into racing immortality, as Japanese invader Casino Drive blew away eight challengers to win the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) in sensational fashion.
The Japanese star Dance in the Mood, whose connections were disappointed when she ran second in the 2004 American Oaks (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park turf, provided redemption Saturday when she romped to victory in the $750,000 CashCall Invitational Mile (gr. IIIT).
Japanese invaders Dance in the Mood and Asahi Rising worked five furlongs in tandem on the main track at Hollywood Park Wednesday for their respective female turf stakes this weekend.
Europe's premier yearling auction, the Tattersalls October (part one) yearling sale in Newmarket, returned encouraging figures Oct. 5 but a verdict on the strength of the market is impossible to make yet with no direct comparisons available.
Leading Japanese filly Dance in the Mood, a winner of four of five starts and $1,773,565, has accepted an invitation to the $750,000 American Oaks (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park on July 3.
The top picks failed to make the money in Sunday's Japanese Oaks (Jpn-I), with Daiwa el Cielo (Sunday Silence--London Bridge, by Dr Devious) emerging as the surprise victor in the 65th running of the fillies' classic at Tokyo. Daiwa el Cielo topped a full gate of 18 by three-quarters of a length, clocking 2:27.2 seconds over 2,400 meters of slightly yielding turf.
He was the horse the fans most wanted to see in the year's finale, Arima Memorial (Jpn-I). With three group Is and 5-2 odds, he was also the horse they most expected to win. True to form, Symboli Kris S. answered expectations on a chilly Dec. 29.
Jockey Yutaka Take, who set a record in 2003 with his 204 wins, wrapped up his 13th career title Sunday as the Japan Racing Association season came to an end.
Slew the World could be an appropriate name for a 2-year-old Seattle Slew colt who most recently finished second in a turf stakes at Tokyo Race Course on Nov. 26.
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