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.
Favored Danon Chantilly proved himself Japan's top 3-year-old miler with an impressive win in the 15th running of the NHK Mile Cup (Jpn-I), shaving a full second off the stakes mark at Tokyo Racecourse on May 9.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter Daiwa Scarlet (JPN) staked out a place among racing's queens with a victory in the prestigious Arima Kinen (Jpn-I). Just the fourth female to win the race, her victims included just about every top Japanese male still in training, including 2007 Arima Kinen winner Matsurida Gogh (JPN); 2008 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) winner Screen Hero (JPN), and 2006 Japanese champion 3-year-old male Meisho Samson (JPN).
Guided to victory on the front end by jockey Katsumi Ando, favored Daiwa Scarlet became the first female winner of the Arima Kinen (Jpn-I) in 37 years before a crowd of 110,000 at Nakayama Race Course in Japan Dec. 28.
Favored Daiwa Scarlet controlled the tempo then led the dash for home by three-quarters of a length over Fusaichi Pandora in the $1.675 million Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup (Jpn-I) at Kyoto Race Course Nov. 11.
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.
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