Sadamu Onishi's Sadamu Patek just hung on from favored Grand Prix Boss in Sunday's 29th running of the Mile Championship at Kyoto. Aside from recording his first Grade 1 title, the son of Fuji Kiseki helped jockey Yutaka Take to fill in a rare gap on his resume.
Take had never won the Mile Championship in 20 previous tries. Moreover, he had not landed any Grade 1 since the 2010 Japan Cup with Rose Kingdom. That last top-level victory came in the stewards' room, via the disqualification of the first-past-the-post Buena Vista.
Now with 66 career Grade 1 tallies on the JRA circuit, Take has won all but one of the majors -- the lone exception being the Grade 1 Asahi Hai Futurity, an omission he could try to rectify on December 16.
A veteran of the Japanese classics last year, Sadamu Patek had been unplaced in four of five starts this campaign, including an eighth in the Grade 1 Tenno Sho Autumn over 1 1/4 miles on October 28. Take, who rode him for the first time on that occasion, believed that the cutback to a mile would help. Although the Masato Nishizono trainee had been beaten in his other attempts at this distance in 2012, Sadamu Patek had captured the seven-furlong, Grade 2 Keio Hai Spring Cup in May, and he returned to that form on Sunday.
Stablemate Silport took up his usual front-running position, with another Nishizono pupil, Cosmo Sensor, and defending champion Eishin Apollon pressing the pace in second and third. Sadamu Patek, breaking smoothly from the innermost stall, settled in mid-division, around sixth from the front, while Grand Prix Boss settled right behind on the outside. Donau Blue, a full sister to Filly Triple Crown heroine and Japan Cup contender Gentildonna, traveled wider out behind the race favorite.
With Sadamu Patek, Grand Prix Boss and Donau Blue rounding the final turn abreast of each other -- Sadamu Patek hugging the rail and Donau Blue traveling the farthest out with Grand Prix Boss in the middle -- the field hit the homestretch with Silport persistently retaining the front.
Once crossing the eighth-pole, Sadamu Patek surged out from the inner route while Donau Blue exploded from the outside. Sadamu Patek took over the lead inside the final sixteenth with Donau Blue challenging right behind. Then Grand Prix Boss exerted a powerful late charge, overtaking Donau Blue by a half-length, only to fall a neck short of catching Sadamu Patek.
Silport checked in fourth, followed by Real Impact, Danon Shark, San Carlo, Strong Return, Cosmo Sensor, I'm Yours, Marcellina, Final Form, Fifth Petal, Eishin Apollon, Leo Active, Garbo, Fragarach and T M Encore, who was making his first start off a 2 1/2-year layoff.
For the first time in seven years, there was no international representation in the Mile Championship.
By stopping the the clock in 1:32.9 on the good turf, Sadamu Patek boosted his bankroll to ¥353,920,000 from his 16-5-2-2 line. As a juvenile, the bay colt broke his maiden over the Mile Championship course and distance, and next made a successful stakes debut in the Grade 3 Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai. He closed his 2010 campaign with a close fourth in the Asahi Hai Futurity, where he was beaten a grand total of a length by Grand Prix Boss.
Sadamu Patek kicked off his sophomore season with a hard-fought score in a classic trial, the Grade 2 Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho. Runner-up to eventual Triple Crown champ Orfevre in the Grade 1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas), he could do no better than seventh in the middle jewel, the Grade 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby). Sadamu Patek returned from his summer holiday with a third in the Grade 2 St Lite Kinen, and wound up fifth to Orfevre in the Grade 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger).
He shortened up for last December's Grade 3 Naruo Kinen, finishing a strong third, but took a couple of starts before peaking in the aforementioned Keio Hai Spring Cup. Sadamu Patek failed to build on that effort when ninth in the Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen on June 3, the premier mile event of the first half of the season, in his last appearance before the Tenno Sho Autumn.
Bred by Shadai Corp. in Japan, Sadamu Patek is out of the winning Helissio mare Summer Night City, who is a half-sister to Grade 1-placed stakes hero and sire Catienus. This is also the family of Aloma's Ruler, hero of the 1982 Preakness.