Summer Bird, the leading contender for champion 3-year-old male, will run in the 1 1/8-mile Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) at Hanshin, trainer Tim Ice told Daily Racing Form. Ice said an invitation has been accepted to run the colt in the Dec. 6 race, which is held a week after the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) on turf.
Summer Bird, who finished fourth under jockey Kent Desormeaux in Saturday’s Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita, will remain at Santa Anita until flying to Japan Nov. 17.
“I’m filling out my paperwork right now, and Kent is coming by to do his later this morning,” Ice told the Form.
Bred and raced by Drs. Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman, Summer Bird (Birdstone —Hong King Squall, by Summer Squall) has won this year’s Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Travers Stakes (gr. I), and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I).
Only one other United States-based horse has won the Japan Cup Dirt. Fleetstreet Dancer, by Smart Strike out of the Nijinsky II mare Street Ballet, won the 2003 running for Ty Wesley Leatherman. Bred in Kentucky by White Fox Farm, Fleetstreet Dancer earned $1,217,283 for his effort.