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In an exhilarating finish to the 33rd renewal of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I), filly Gentildonna nosed out another filly, Denim and Ruby, Nov. 24 at Tokyo Race Course to become the first to win the prestigious event twice.
The limited participation of United States interests in the prestigious Japan Cup in recent years has officials wondering if horsemen are no longer interested in the international stage.
Looking to defend her title in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 24 at Tokyo Racecourse, the filly Gentildonna drew post 7 in a 17-horse field.
Just a Way unleashed an explosive burst of speed 400 meters out and romped away to win the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (Jpn-I) Oct. 27, overwhelming Japan's reigning Horse of the Year Gentildonna and last year's winner, Eishin Flash.
Orfevre, expected favorite in his title defense in the June 23 Takarazuka Kinen (Jpn-I), was withdrawn from the race after the 2011 Triple Crown champion bled following training June 13.
Coolmore and partners' St Nicholas Abbey spoiled the international debut of filly Gentildonna as he drew off from the reigning Japanese Horse of the Year, winning the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic March 30 at Meydan.
Japan's brilliant filly Gentildonna begins her international campaign March 30 in the $5 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) on the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) undercard at Meydan.
War Emblem, the 2002 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner who has had a limited number of foals due to his selectivity in the breeding shed, has been represented by a champion in Japan.
In a battle between Triple Crown winners, Gentildonna became the first 3-year-old filly to win the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) when she took on favored Orfevre in a furious stretch duel and edged the older colt by a nose.
When the 17 horses enter the starting gate at Tokyo Racecourse Nov. 25 for the 32nd Japan Cup (Jpn-I), nearly every one of them will bring North American bloodlines to the task.
Many horsemen expect the Japan Triple Crown winner to prevail, but Gentildonna, Japan's filly triple crown winner of 2012, is also a threat.
Solemia and Orfevre, the one-two finishers in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, have drawn posts 14 and 17, respectively, in the Nov. 25 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Racecourse.
Holding the rare distinction as runner-up in all three jewels of Japan's Triple Crown for fillies, Verxina will try for a break through in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 11 at Kyoto.
Gentildonna narrowly completed a sweep of Japan's Triple Crown for fillies Oct. 14 with a nose victory over rival Verxina in a thrilling finish to the Shuka Sho (Jpn-I) at Kyoto Racecourse.
Gentildonna is from the 2nd crop of 2-time Japanese Horse of the Year Deep Impact, and is the first of his offspring to win a group race at more than a mile.
Gentildonna romped to victory in the Yushun Himba (Jpn-I), or Japanese Oaks, in race-record time at Tokyo Racecourse May 20, giving the 3-year-old the first two jewels of the nation's Triple Crown for fillies.
Gentildonna captured the $2.3 million Oka Sho (Jpn-I), Japan's version of the One Thousand Guineas, when she came from off the pace to score by a half-length at Hanshin Racecourse April 8.
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