Earnestly opened a substantial lead in the homestretch and held off favored Buena Vista in record time to win the Takarazuka Kinen (Jpn-I), an all-star race worth $3.2 million held at Hanshin Racecourse June 26.
Espoir City, Japan's hope for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) to be run at Churchill Downs Nov. 6, drilled six furlongs over the Louisville track to lead a host of workouts on the morning of Oct. 23.
The Yushun Horse Club's Japan-based star Espoir City arrived at Churchill Downs Oct. 19 for a run in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)), settling in his stall in the quarantine barn early in the morning.
Heavy favorite Espoir City, Japan's champion dirt horse last year, got his 2010 campaign off to a great start by easily winning the US$2.2 million February Stakes, the first grade I race of the season Feb. 21 at Tokyo.
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.
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