Grand Prix Boss in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes.

Grand Prix Boss in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes.

Naoji Inada

Grand Prix Boss Captures Asahi Hai Futurity

Two-year-old colt survives inquiry for stretch incident to post mild Nakayama upset.

Grand Prix Boss survived an inquiry to preserve his mild upset victory in the $1.6 million Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (Jpn-I) at Japan's Nakayama Racecourse Dec. 19.

With Buena Vista's disqualification in last month's Japan Cup (Jpn-I) still fresh, Italian jockey Mirco Demuro gave a sigh of relief when racing stewards decided not to wipe out Grand Prix Boss's three-quarter-of-a-length victory in the test of 16 2-year-old colts.

Coming into the final bend, Demuro, who had held Grand Prix Boss on the rail midfield, went wide and into the path of heavily favored Sadamu Patek, who was forced to pull up sharply and would finish fourth.

“I was very happy to win a G1 race, but at the same time I was worried because they are very strict here," Demuro said. "I made a bit of a bad move.”

The decision provided trainer Yoshito Yahagi, 49, with his first grade I triumph.

Grand Prix Boss, sent off as the fifth choice of the public, ran the 1,600 meters (about one mile) in 1:33.9 over firm turf to defeat Real Impact, who finished a head in front of Libertas. Sadamu Patek was a neck farther back in fourth.

Using an impressive turn of foot, Grand Prix Boss shot down the stretch from behind to pass the frontrunners en route to his second straight graded win. He captured the Keio Hai Nisai Stakes (Jpn-II) Nov. 13 in his last start with Demuro aboard.

Grand Prix Boss, by Sakura Bakushin O out of the Sunday Silence mare Rosy Mist, was bred by Northern Racing. He is owned by Grand Prix Co. and is now three for four.

Demuro expressed his relief for having been spared the disqualification but added: “I hope they don’t give me any penalty for the next week. It’s not my usual style.”