Sambista became the first female winner of the Champions Cup (Jpn-I), run as the Japan Cup Dirt until 2013, when pulling a 66-1 upset Dec. 6 at Chukyo Racecourse.
Shonan Pandora battled down the long Tokyo Racecourse stretch before posting a narrow upset victory in the Nov. 29 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) before a crowd of 102,960. Favored Lovely Day finished third.
A field of 18 is set for the Nov. 29 Japan Cup (Jpn-I), with the foreign contingent showing promise against a home team generally regarded as slightly less imposing than usual for a Japan Cup.
Rejuvenated from a six-month winter/spring Florida vacation, The Pizza Man has come back remarkably strong this season and is now on-track to face Europe's best runner in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Juddmonte Farms' brilliant homebred Flintshire will pass up a chance to run in the Oct. 31 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and will target the Nov. 29 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) instead.
Juddmonte Farms is wrestling with a multi-million dollar decision regarding the next start for its brilliant homebred Flintshire -- the $3 million Breeders' Cup Longines Turf (gr. IT) or the $5.2 million Japan Cup (Jpn-I).
The Pizza Man, who became the first Illinois-bred to win the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 15, will make his next start at Keeneland with an eye on the Oct. 31 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and beyond.
Highlights from the racing career of Japan's champion mare Gentildonna. view slideshow
Epiphaneia eagerly tracked the pace into the stretch in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 30, kicked away to a huge lead as the 18-horse field charged toward the line, and won by four lengths over Just a Way.
The barrier draw did nothing to hurt the chances of the already strong home team for the Nov. 30 Japan Cup in association with Longines (Jpn-I) as the European runners drew gates 2 and 18.
Longines and the Japan Racing Association announced Nov. 6 that this year's Japan Cup (Jpn-I) will be held in partnership with the Swiss watch brand.
Sam-Son Farm's homebred Up With the Birds, Canada's Horse of the Year for 2013, is expected to make his next start in the prestigious $5.2 million Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 30 at Tokyo Racecourse.
The Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association has confirmed that 2009 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Bird died Dec. 23 in Japan due to colic.
Delta Downs, Churchill Downs, Japan Cup, Turf Paradise, Woodbine, and more. view slideshow
In an exhilarating finish to the 33rd renewal of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I), filly Gentildonna nosed out another filly, Denim and Ruby, Nov. 24 at Tokyo Race Course to become the first to win the prestigious event twice.
The limited participation of United States interests in the prestigious Japan Cup in recent years has officials wondering if horsemen are no longer interested in the international stage.
Looking to defend her title in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 24 at Tokyo Racecourse, the filly Gentildonna drew post 7 in a 17-horse field.
The hometown horses may hold a major edge in this year's Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 24. But that doesn't keep some world travelers from trying their luck in the world-class race worth nearly $6 million.
TVG has announced that in partnership with Woodbine Entertainment Group, the horse racing network is expanding its live coverage of racing from Japan in 2013.
In addition to Keeneland graduate American Winner capturing a race on the Japan Cup card at Tokyo Racecourse, Barretts sales grad Shigeru Acerola won an allowance race at Kyoto by 1 1/2 lengths.
Japanese jockey Masayoshi Ebina took a six-point lead into the second day of Japan's 2012 World Super Jockeys Series.
Though the U.S. doesn't have a representative in the Nov. 25 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Racecourse, in a way it can claim Jakkalberry. The son of Storming Home won the inaugural American St. Leger at Arlington Aug. 18.
Many horsemen expect the Japan Triple Crown winner to prevail, but Gentildonna, Japan's filly triple crown winner of 2012, is also a threat.
Solemia and Orfevre, the one-two finishers in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, have drawn posts 14 and 17, respectively, in the Nov. 25 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Racecourse.
An exciting rematch between Japanese superstar Orfevre and French filly Solemia is set for the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 25, according to reports.
Former Japanese classic winner Eishin Flash halted a lengthy winless skid on Oct. 28 when he defeated favorite Fenomeno in a thrilling finish to the $3,437,000 Tenno Sho (Autumn) (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Racecourse.
As the world's racing centers develop their championships, it becomes harder to identify the world's best runners.
Victoire Pisa, winner of the 2011 Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (UAE-I), has been retired from racing to stand at stud at Teruya Yoshida's Shadai Farm in Japan.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge series will be expanding to Japan this year.
A lengthy inquiry resulted in disqualification of the winner of the $5.8 million Japan Cup (Jpn-I) on Nov. 28 when favored Buena Vista was moved down to second and Rose Kingdom was declared the winner.
In a scene that has been played out on four continents over the past four years, Vodka, Japan's reigning Horse of the Year, had the fans at Tokyo Race Course cheering wildly as she barely held on to win the Nov. 29 Japan Cup (Jpn-I), joining other recent femme fatales Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and Rags to Riches, Zarkava, Goldikova, and Makybe Diva.
The winner of the 27th edition of the Aug. 8 Arlington Million (gr. IT) will receive an automatic invitation to participate in the $5.6 million Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 29 at Tokyo Racecourse, it was announced by the Japan Racing Association.
Jockey Mirco Demuro rode Screen Hero to an upset over Deep Sky in the Nov. 30, US$4,639,000 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Racecourse.
Admire Moon took the lead at the top of the stretch, and then hung on bravely while three rivals challenged from his outside, taking the $4.6-million Japan Cup (Jpn-I) by a head on Nov. 25 at Tokyo Racecourse.
Dylan Thomas, who was recently named Cartier Horse of the Year and top older horse in Europe, is no longer a contender for the Nov. 25 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) due to not testing negative for equine viral arteritis.
TVG will air special coverage of some of the world's top Thoroughbred races Thanksgiving week, including live broadcasts of the Hollywood Turf Festival, the Japan Cup program from Tokyo, and the Hill 'N' Dale Cigar Mile (gr. I) from Aqueduct.
Favored Meisho Samson avoided traffic problems in the straight that compromised several leading contenders and drew away late for a 2 1/2-length victory in the 136th running of the US$2.45 million Tenno Sho (Jpn-I) Oct. 28 at Tokyo Race Course.
He's saddled starters in several different countries, hoisted trophies at tracks from Santa Anita to Belmont Park, and trained champion horses to victory in the world's top races, but trainer Doug O'Neill came full circle at a bullring track Sept. 9 when he saddled the 1,000th winner of his career during Fairplex Park's 16-day meet.
- By Ray Paulick
Ray Paulick - It's difficult to get away from talk of synthetic surfaces, whether it concerns racing in North America, Asia, Europe, or Dubai.
- By Vic Zast
By Vic Zast - Despite their abiding love for sumo wrestling, karaoke, pachinko, and baseball, the celebrants of bounty descended upon Tokyo Race Course, home of the world's third-richest horse race -- the Japan Cup (Jpn-I). Standing a foot taller in a shirt size I can't buy at the souvenir stands, and realizing I know nothing about which horses to bet on or how to even bet them, I am feeling like a gaijin among insiders.
Reigning Japanese Horse of the Year Deep Impact got the redemption his connections desperately wanted when the 4-year-old son of Sunday Silence rallied from last to win the 26th running of the $4.6-million Japan Cup (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Race Course on Sunday.
- By Ray Paulick
TVG will offer wagering and dual telecasts of the weekend's two major grade I international races from Japan -- Saturday's Japan Cup Dirt and Sunday's Japan Cup, a mile and one-half turf fixture featuring recent Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Ouija Board.
Ed Dunlop, the trainer of British star Ouija Board, got some good news when he talked to the champion mare's regular exercise rider earlier this week while she was preparing for Sunday's Japan Cup (Jpn-I).
TVG is expanding its live coverage from Japan in 2006 in partnership with Emerald Downs, and will air 14 programs, beginning Feb. 18 and concluding with the presentation of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 25.
Alkaased, who won the Nov. 27 Japan Cup (Jpn-I) in world-record time, has been retired to stud at Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Japan following Darley's purchase of the 5-year-old son of Kingmambo.
Japan Cup (Jpn-I) winner Alkaased is just one of many international standouts expected for the Dec. 11 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races at Sha Tin Racecourse.
- By Ray Paulick
Yoshino Matsumoto is willing to do just about anything to get a spot on the rail at the finish line for major races at Japan Racing Association tracks -- including camping out by the front gate for as long as a week.
Frankie Dettori needed every ounce of his riding skills to get Alkaased to the line first in the 25th running of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Race Course on Sunday, winning the 2,400 meter turf race by a nose over the fast-closing Japanese-bred runner Heart's Cry in world-record time of 2:22.10.
Though Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact is sitting this one out, Sunday's 25th running of the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) boasts two Breeders' Cup winners, one winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I), a two-time Vodafone Coronation Cup (Eng-I) winner, and the two previous winners of the Japan Cup.
TVG will become the first American TV network to present live, on-site coverage of horseracing from Japan when it telecasts that country's two most important international racing events – the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) and the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) on Nov. 25 and 26, respectively.
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