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.
Edward P. Evans's Virginia homebred Tap Day rallied through the lane before drawing off to a three-length score in the $500,000 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup (gr. II) on Friday night.
Alumni Hall figures to be ready for one of the toughest challenges of his racing career Friday night, when he takes on eight rivals under 121 pounds of high weight in the $500,000 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup (gr. I).
Jay Em Ess Stable's homebred Suave overcame a stumbling start to give trainer Paul McGee his first Saratoga graded stakes victory, carrying jockey John Velazquez to a 2 ¾-length victory in the $245,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at 10 furlongs before a crowd of 55,503.
Offlee Wild, winner of the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park in his last start, will face just five rivals Sunday in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at the Spa. With Edgar Prado back up, the son of Wild Again will tote high weight of 118 pounds.
Offlee Wild took the lead rounding the far turn and then continued on gamely to win Saturday's $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park by 1 1/4 lengths over 26-1 longshot Tap Day.
Remind should be the favorite in Saturday's Red Bank Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park, but behind him it looks like a very well matched field.
Paul Pompa Jr.'s Zakocity, who finished third in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) behind Eddington and Pies Prospect March 5, will tote high weight of 117 pounds Saturday in the Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Tap Day and Pie's Prospect were added to Sunday's $1-million Haskell Invitiational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park bring the total field to seven starters.
Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) and Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) winner The Cliff's Edge drew the outside post position when a full field of a dozen 3-year-olds were entered Thursday for Saturday's $100,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in Florida.
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