Alondite beats favored Seeking the Dia to win the Japan Cup Dirt.

Alondite beats favored Seeking the Dia to win the Japan Cup Dirt.

Bill Selwyn

El Condor Pasa Colt Alondite Wins Japan Cup Dirt

Alondite recorded his fifth consecutive victory of 2006 in Saturday's $2.4-million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) at the Tokyo Race Course, benefiting from a ground-saving ride under Hiroki Goto that carried him to a 1 1/4-length victory over favored Seeking the Dia and champion jockey Yutake Take.

The 3-year-old colt by the deceased French and Japanese champion El Condor Pasa was overlooked in the wagering, going off at odds of 14-1. The Sei Ishizaka trainee completed the 2,100 meters (about 1 5/16 miles) on a fast track in 2:08.50. Field Rouge finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Seeking the Dia in third. Seeking the Dia, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Storm Cat out of Seeking the Pearl, was one of only two non-Japanese-bred starters in the race, which failed to attract a single international runner for the first time in its seventh running.

Alondite and Seeking the Dia both came from well off the pace, with Alondite taking a rail-skimming route to contention while Take guided Seeking the Dia to the outside for the stretch run. It appeared that Seeking the Dia had the edge over Alondite, but Goto roused his mount with repeated left-handed encouragement down the lane to edge away in the final yards and secure the win. It was the first graded stakes win for Alondite, who races for the Carrot Farm, a group ownership club controlled by the Yoshida family that dominates Japanese racing and breeding. The winner was bred by Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm.

El Condor Pasa, the 1998 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) winner, stood at the Yoshida family's Shadai Stallion Station until an untimely death following colic surgery in July 2002. Alondite is from the third and final crop of foals from the son of Kingmambo.

Alondite was produced from the Kentucky-bred Riverman mare Catherine Parr, a group III-placed runner in France. Alondite began his career on turf in 2005, but following two poor performances he was switched to the dirt, finishing third in a maiden race in May, then breaking his maiden in his next start. He added three more consecutive wins, his latest triumph coming in the Oct. 22 Gintei Stakes at the same distance and the same course as the Japan Cup Dirt.