Earthquake damage has forced the cancellation of April race dates at Nakayama and Fukushima racecourses, affecting the first leg of the Japanese Triple Crown—the Satsuki-sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, Jpn-I), according to the Japan Racing Association.
The first Japanese classic, originally scheduled for April 17 at Nakayama, will instead be run April 24 at Tokyo Racecourse. Also the meeting at Kokura on the south Japan island of Kyushu, will be extended through April 10.
Nobunori Furuta, administrative manager of the JRA office in New York, said the the severe situation in Japan brought on by a major earthquake and tsunami might force further changes.
Nakayama’s schedule had been April 2-17, while Fukushima had been scheduled to run April 9-24. The group races to be run at Nakayama have been rescheduled as follows:
April 2: Nikkei Sho (Jpn-II) originally scheduled on March 26 at Nakayama Racecourse will be held April 2 at Hanshin Racecourse. The Nikkei Sho distance will be changed from 2,500 to 2,400 meters. Also to be run on this date is Nakayama Himba Stakes (Jpn-III), originally scheduled for March 13 at Nakayama Racecourse will be held on April 2 at Hanshin Racecourse.
April 3: Lord Derby Challenge Trophy (Jpn-III) originally scheduled at Nakayama Racecourse will be held at Hanshin Racecourse.
April 9: New Zealand Trophy (NHK Mile Cup Trial) (Jpn-II) originally scheduled at Nakayama Racecourse will be held at Hanshin Racecourse.
April 10: March Stakes (Jpn-III) originally scheduled on March 27 at Nakayama Racecourse will be held on April 10 at Hanshin Racecourse.
April 17: Yomiuri Milers Cup (Jpn-II) originally scheduled on April 16 will be held on April 17.
A theme established at the restart of JRA racing is “Aid for Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake.” For racing conducted between March 19 and March 27 at the Hanshin and Kokura meetings, various charity events will take place to support the recovery efforts for those affected from the crisis.
Owners will donate 30,000 yen (about US$370) from each start, trainers 10,000 yen and jockeys 3,000 yen. JRA has donated 100,000,000 yen, Japan Owners’ Association 50,000,000 yen, Japan Trainers Association 5,000,000 yen, and the Japan Jockey Club 5,000,000 yen. The JRA will also donate all admission fees for racing March 19-21.