Lord Kanaloa wins the Yasuda Kinen in Japan.
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Lord Kanaloa wins the Yasuda Kinen in Japan.
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Naoji Inada

Lord Kanaloa Shines at Mile in Yasuda Kinen

Japan's reigning champion sprinter showed off his ability at a mile with a neck win.

The $2,311,000 Yasuda Kinen (Jpn-I), the spring's defining race for milers in Japan, was won by elite sprinter Lord Kanaloa, who was trying the distance for the first time in 2 1/2 years at Tokyo racecourse.

The 5-year King Kamehameha horse sat off the pace three wide, then rallied down the center of the track to overhaul front-runner Garbo in the final sixteenth. Lord Kanaloa held off a determined charge by Shonan Mighty for a neck victory.

Shonan Mighty stormed from near the back of the field to snatch second in the 18-horse field by three-quarters of a length from Danon Shark.

Ridden by Yasunari Iwata, 4-1 favorite Lord Kanaloa was timed in 1:35.50 to extend his winning streak to five races while earning his fourth group I victory and seventh in a group stakes.

Trained by Takayuki Yasuda for owner Lord Horse Club, Lord Kanaloa has 11 victories, four seconds, and a third from 16 career starts. He was Japan's champion sprinter and miler of 2012 after closing last season with a 2 1/2-length win in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I) at Sha Tin. He entered the Yasuda Kinen off a course-record-setting victory in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (Jpn-I) March 24 at Chukyo Racecourse.

Lord Kanaloa was bred by K.I. Farm out of the winning Storm Cat mare Lady Blossom. His second dam is Saratoga Dew, who was the U.S. champion 3-year-old filly of 1992. He is a half brother to stakes-placed winner Lord Balius.

Lord Kanaloa is among 30 stakes winners, including 19 graded or group winners and three champions, for King Kamehameha, a 12-year-old son of Kingmambo, who stands at Shadai Stallion Station in Hokkaido.