Belshazzar, whose once-promising career was curtailed by health issues, stormed to victory in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) Dec. 1 at Hanshin, while U.S.-based Pants On Fire had trouble in the gate and finished last.
American runner Pants On Fire arrived at Narita International Airport east of Tokyo Nov. 15 for his scheduled bid in the $3 million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) at Hanshin Racecourse.
Nihonpiro Ours scored his first win at the top level with a dominant performance in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) on Dec. 2 at Hanshin Racecourse.
Rising star Roman Legend puts a six-race win streak on the line in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) Dec. 2 at Hanshin Racecourse while facing two previous winners of the race in his group I debut.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
His pedigree an intricate pattern of Hyperion and Nearctic crosses, Japan Cup Dirt victor Transcend is a running reminder of U.S. breeding's loss of Wild Rush to Japan 8 years ago.
Favored Transcend successfully defended his title in the $3.4 million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) Dec. 4, winning a showdown with 2009 victor Espoir City at Hanshin Racecourse.
Favored Transcend went gate to wire in spite of pressure to win the $3 million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) by a neck at Hanshin Racecourse Dec. 5.
Favored Espoir City became the 10th champion of the Japan Cup Dirt Dec. 6 at Hanshin Racecourse, going wire-to-wire from the rail post to finish 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Silk Mobius for his first group I victory.
Summer Bird, winner of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Travers (gr. I), and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), underwent successful surgery to repair a nondisplaced fracture of his right fore cannon bone Dec. 5 and is expected to return to racing next year.
Summer Bird, winner of the grade I Belmont Stakes, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup, was withdrawn from the Dec. 6 Japan Cup Dirt after suffering an injury in a workout.
Summer Bird, the leading contender for champion 3-year-old male, will run in the 1 1/8-mile Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) at Hanshin.
Admire Moon took the lead at the top of the stretch, and then hung on bravely while three rivals challenged from his outside, taking the $4.6-million Japan Cup (Jpn-I) by a head on Nov. 25 at Tokyo Racecourse.
Sunday Racing's Vermilion saved ground on the backstretch and accelerated past the leaders in the final furlong to win the $2.4-million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) by 1 1/4 lengths on Nov. 24, in the process setting a new record on the Tokyo Racecourse main track.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, preparing for a start in the Nov. 24 Japan Cup Dirt at Tokyo Racecourse, worked a half-mile in :49 on the training track at the Quarantine Center at Shiroi, Japan, Nov. 17.
Millennium Farms' Ro Parra has decided to run his star pupil Student Council in the $2.3 million Japan Cup Dirt (Jap-I), rather than the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I). The 1 1/4-mile Japan Cup Dirt will be contested Nov. 24 at Tokyo Racecourse.
A release from Millennium Farm owner Ro Parra said a decision will be made as to whether Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) and Pacific Classic (gr. I) winner Student Council, by Kingmambo, will run next in the $2.4 million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) Nov. 24 or the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 27.
Alondite recorded his fifth consecutive victory of 2006 in Saturday's $2.4-million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I), benefiting from a ground-saving ride under Hiroki Goto to win by 1 1/4-lengths over favored Seeking the Dia.
TVG will offer wagering and dual telecasts of the weekend's two major grade I international races from Japan -- Saturday's Japan Cup Dirt and Sunday's Japan Cup, a mile and one-half turf fixture featuring recent Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Ouija Board.
Ed Dunlop, the trainer of British star Ouija Board, got some good news when he talked to the champion mare's regular exercise rider earlier this week while she was preparing for Sunday's Japan Cup (Jpn-I).
Heavily favored Japanese-bred Kane Hekili emerged from a three-horse, head-bobbing finish to narrowly win the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) over American-breds Seeking the Dia and Star King Man at Tokyo Race Course Saturday.
Though Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact is sitting this one out, Sunday's 25th running of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) boasts two Breeders' Cup winners, one winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I), a two-time Vodafone Coronation Cup (Eng-I) winner, and the two previous winners of the Japan Cup.
TVG will become the first American TV network to present live, on-site coverage of horseracing from Japan when it telecasts that country's two most important international racing events – the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) and the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) on Nov. 25 and 26, respectively.
Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I) winner Lava Man, who will try to give trainer Doug O'Neill his second victory in three years in the Japan Cup Dirt, worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 at Hollywood Park Saturday morning and is set to head to Japan on Tuesday.
Stevie Wonderboy, winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Oct. 29, will be back on the Hollywood Park track next week, trainer Doug O'Neill said Friday.
Japanese-trained horses swept the top three positions in the Japan Racing Association's two major group I international races, when Zenno Rob Roy won the Japan Cup and Time Paradox took the Japan Cup Dirt, both run at Tokyo Racecourse on Nov. 28 under sunny skies.
The host country may have the upper hand in both of the Japan Racing Association's grade I international fixtures, the Japan Cup and Japan Cup Dirt, at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday.
Fleetstreet Dancer, winless for the past year, fought back like a champion in the shadow of the finish line, coming back under jockey Jon Court at odds of 48-1 to shock odds-on favorite Admire Don and win the $2-million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) by a nose at a drenched Tokyo race course on Saturday.
The Thoroughbred Corporation's Johar, dead-heat winner of the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), heads a contingent of six U.S. horses for which invitations have been accepted for the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) and Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) Tokyo Racecourse.
The Thoroughbred Corporation's Johar, dead-heat winner of the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), heads a contingent of five U.S. horses for which invitations have been accepted for the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) and Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) Tokyo Racecourse.
Television personality Alex Trebek livened up Thursday morning activities at Nakayama racecourse, joking during a press conference that he would spend the night teaching his Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) contender Reba's Gold how to "turn right."
Among the horses preparing for the Nov. 23 and 24 grade I races in Japan are Abreeze, Indigenous, Red Sun, and Storming Home, who are already in Japan.
Japanese owner and breeder Fusao Sekiguchi has bought an ownership interest from Gary Tanaka in Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) winner Sarafan, who trainer Neil Drysdale said was scheduled to depart for Tokyo on Tuesday night to contest the Nov. 24 Japan Cup (Jpn-I).
Favorite Reba's Gold lost the lead briefly in mid-stretch, but battled back under jockey David Flores to capture Sunday's $72,850 Steinlen Handicap by a head over longshot Mercenary.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s War Emblem, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner who has been purchased for stud duty in Japan by the Yoshida family's Shadai Stallion Station, has been nominated for the Nov. 23 Japan Cup Dirt, the main track companion race to the Japan Cup turf race held the following day.
Kurofune, the Kentucky-bred son of French Deputy who captured the second running of the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) in spectacular fashion last month, has been retired to stud after suffering a tendon injury to his right foreleg. The gray 3-year-old colt will join his sire, who was purchased from Three Chimneys Farm one year ago, at the Yoshida family's Shadai Stallion Station on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
American-bred Kurofune showed on Saturday why some Japanese racing fans are calling him a "superhorse," as the 3-year-old gray colt by French Deputy galloped to an impressive seven-length victory in the second running of the $2-million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) at Tokyo race course.
Trainer Robert Frankel would rather be in Kentucky, sending Lido Palace out against reigning Horse of the Year Tiznow in the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. But with Tiznow retired to stud, the Hall of Fame conditioner is content to be in Tokyo, Japan, taking a shot at the $2-million purse in the second running of the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) on Saturday.
The United States will have a strong contingent of seven horses at this year's Japan Cup (Jpn-I) and Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) invitational races at Tokyo racecourse next Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 24-25, including horses trained by Hall of Fame conditioners Jonathan Sheppard, Neil Drysdale, Richard Mandella, and Robert Frankel.
Lido Palace, winner of the grade I Whitney and Woodward, will make his next start in the $2.3 million Japan Cup Dirt on Nov. 24, trainer Bobby Frankel confirmed Thursday morning. Frankel also will send Turf Classic winner Timboroa for the Japan Cup, to be run on the turf the following day.
The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships aren't the only races being run this Saturday. Just ask Ron Anson, who with wife Susie owns a 4-year-old colt named Sign of Fire, scheduled to run at Tokyo Racecourse on Saturday in the $750,000 Musashino Stakes (Jpn-III).
Former American claimer Lord Sterling gave his connections a thrill as he battled for the lead on the turn for home in the first running of the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Race Course on Saturday, but Ron and Susie Anson's gutty Black Tie Affair gelding was overtaken in midstretch by a pair of Japanese runners, winding up third behind Wing Arrow and Sanford City in the 1 5/16-mile event.
American runners John's Call, Timboroa, Euchre, and Lord Sterling had their first serious exercise at Tokyo race course on Thursday in preparation for the Japan Racing Association's two major group I international races: the inaugural $2.4 million Japan Cup Dirt at 1 5/16 miles on Saturday and the $4.4 million Japan Cup run at a mile and a half over the turf on Sunday.
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