Fenomeno, making his second start of a comeback from injury, fought off two determined rivals to win the Tenno Sho (Spring) (Jpn-I) May 4 at Kyoto Racecourse.
Checked twice in the final 250 meters, Japan's star mare Gentildonna showed just what she's made of March 29 in winning the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) in course-record time at Meydan Racecourse.
Gentildonna's tuneup for the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) next month was foiled in the starting gate as the jittery star mare was sapped before the Kyoto Kinen (Jpn-II) began Feb. 16.
Japanese star Orfevre bowed out of racing in fine style Dec. 22 when winning the Arima Kinen (Jpn-I) by a commanding eight lengths at Nakayama.
Japanese star Orfevre will get a second crack at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) after capturing the Qatar Prix Foy (Fr-II) for the second straight year Sept. 15 at Longchamp.
Orfevre, expected favorite in his title defense in the June 23 Takarazuka Kinen (Jpn-I), was withdrawn from the race after the 2011 Triple Crown champion bled following training June 13.
With stamina to spare as he crossed the finish line, Fenomeno won the US$3,437,000 Tenno Sho (Spring) (Jpn-I) from Tosen Ra and globetrotter Red Cadeaux in a breakthrough victory April 28 at Kyoto.
Hong Kong group I winner Rulership and dual Japanese classic winner Gold Ship look to be the early favorites for the Arima Kinen (Grand Prix) (Jpn-I), the Japan's biggest race and its season finale, on Dec. 22.
Codino and A Shin Top will bid to close the year undefeated Dec. 16 in Japan's marquee race for juvenile males, the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (Jpn-I) at Nakayama Racecourse.
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.
Reigning Japanese Horse of the Year Orfevre made an impressive late charge to capture the Takarazuka Kinen for his fifth grade I victory June 24 at Hanshin Racecourse.
Deep Brillante, a son of 2005 Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact, fended off the late charge of Fenomeno to win the $3.9 million Tokyo Yushun (Jpn-I), or Japanese Derby, by a nose May 27 at Tokyo Racecourse.
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.
Sunday Racing Co.'s Orfevre, who this year became the seventh winner of Japan's Triple Crown, won the $4.89 million Arima Kinen (Jpn-I) at Nakayama Racecourse Dec. 25.
Orfevre became the seventh Japanese Triple Crown winner Oct. 23 when he registered a 2 1/2-length victory as a strong favorite in the $2.7 million Kikuka Sho (Jpn-I), or Japanese St. Leger, at Kyoto Racecourse.
Favored Buena Vista used her stupendous kick to slip past Hikaru Amaranthus approaching the wire, registering a neck victory in the $2.1 million Victoria Mile (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Racecourse May 16.
Dream Journey gave Kenichi Ikezoe the ride of his life at Nakayama Racecourse Dec. 27 when he defeated favored Buena Vista to capture the season-ending grade I Arima Kinen (Grand Prix).
For Sunday Racing Co., life could not be better. The partnership heads into the Derby with a colt that was not only sired by one Derby winner but is half-brother to another - talk about pedigree. And that colt won his final pre-Derby race impressively April 19 to establish himself as the probable favorite for the big race.
Unrivaled took command of the $2.3 million Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) at the top of the stretch and held off a late charge from Triumph March to win by 1 1/2 lengths before 71,201 at Nakayama Racecourse April 19.
Heavy favorite Buena Vista collared second choice Red Desire with 100 meters to run and went on to capture the US$2.1 million Oka Sho (Japanese One Thousand Guineas) by a half-length for the second grade I victory of her career April 12 at Hanshin Racecourse.
Favored Sleepless Night scored a sharp 1 1/4-length victory in Japan's $1.76 million Sprinters Stakes (Jpn-I) at Nakayama Racecourse Oct. 5, for her fifth consecutive victory.
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.
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