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.
Third in the Satsuki Sho (Jpn-I), or Japanese Two Thousand Guineas, six weeks ago, Deep Brillante was ridden to victory by Yasunari Iwata as the 8-1 third choice in the field of 18 Japanese-bred colts. The Japanese Racing Association reported attendance of 115,407 at Tokyo.
Deep Brillante and Deep Impact became the seventh father-and-son Japanese Derby title holder.
The final time for the 2,400 meters (about 12 furlongs) was 2:23.8 over firm ground, a half-second off the race record set by King Kamehameha in 2004.
A bay colt owned by Sunday Racing Co. and trained by Yoshito Yahagi, Deep Brillante was bred by Love and Bubbles Partnership and is out of the Kentucky-bed Loup Sauvage mare Love and Bubbles, a French group winner.
This was the second graded stakes win for Deep Brillante. Runner-up Fenomeno, a son of Stay Gold also owned by Sunday Racing Co., finished three-quarters of a length in front of Tosen Homareboshi. Race favorite World Ace (5-2), runner-up in the Satsuki Sho, was a neck farther back in fourth. Satsuki Sho winner Gold Ship, the second favorite, was fifth, a neck behind World Ace.
Iwata, who won the Tokyo Yushun for the first time in his career, had Deep Brillante placed forwardly in fourth along the rail early with Fenomeno tracking from mid-pack. Tosen Homareboshi pressed pacemaker Zelos in second while World Ace and Gold Ship settled toward the rear of the pack.
Zelos and Tosen Homareboshi opened a gap of more than 10 lengths on the rest of the field as they raced down the backstretch. The field bunched and spread out leaving the final turn and Tosen Homareboshi took over with 400 meters to run. Iwata asked Deep Brillante for his finishing kick and the bay colt responded to his jockey's urging to overtake Tosen Homareboshi with just over 200 meters left.
Deep Brillante finished in a powerful drive as Fenomeno closed tenaciously, surging past Tosen Homareboshi on the outside in deep stretch and coming up just short in the final strides. World Ace and Gold Ship also finished willingly.
Iwata completed a personal Triple Crown with earlier wins in the Kikuka Sho (Jpn-I), or Japanese St. Leger at 3,000 meters, in 2004 with Delta Blues, and the Satsuki Sho in 2009 and 2010 with Unrivaled and Victoire Pisa, respectively. The win also gave Deep Brillante's trainer his first Derby and classic title.