Nuovo Record won the Yushun Himba (Jpn-I, Japanese Oaks) May 25 at Tokyo Racecourse, narrowly denying overwhelming favorite and runner-up Harp Star a second classic victory.
Reiko Hara's homebred Nuovo Record scored by a neck after finishing third to Harp Star in the Oka Sho (Jpn-I, Japanese One Thousand Guineas) April 13 and second to her in the Tulip Sho (Jpn-III) March 8 in her season opener.
Peisha Felice led early in the Japanese Oaks, with Nuovo Record getting a ground-saving trip along the rail in midpack down the backstretch. Harp Star trackied near the back of the 18-horse field
Jockey Yasunari Iwata guided Nuovo Record off the rail coming off the turn to rally, then encountered traffic in the stretch. Once clear, Nuovo Record charged to the lead at the furlong pole and outlasted a stiff challenge from late-running Harp Star, who unleashed a burst of acceleration on the outside. Sweeping past half the field leaving the furlong marker, Harp Star gave a powerful performance in defeat.
Nuovo Record was timed in 2:25.8 for 2,400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) on firm turf to post her first stakes win for Makoto Saito. The daughter of Heart's Cry earned her third win from six career starts.
"With the 2,400-meter distance and the horse's aptitude to the left-handed course in mind, I think we ran our race today," Iwata said after the race.
"She was well in hand and relaxed up to the straight, which was why we were able to win. I heard Harp Star catching up and just desperately drove her to the line. She is a well-settled filly, which is an important factor for a winner."
Hara bred Nuovo Record out of the winning Spinning World mare Omega Spirit.
Flower Cup (Jpn-III) winner Bounce Shasse finished another neck back in third after clearing the traffic in early stretch. She closed rapidly in the final sixteenth, but Harp Star just edged her for second.