Favored Transcend successfully defended his title in the $3.4 million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) Dec. 4, winning a showdown with 2009 victor Espoir City at Hanshin Racecourse.
Coming off his victory in last year's Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I), Transcend proved a popular winner of the February Stakes Feb. 20 at Tokyo Racecourse, tallying by 1 1/2 lengths in the first grade I event of the season.
Favored Transcend went gate to wire in spite of pressure to win the $3 million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) by a neck at Hanshin Racecourse Dec. 5.
The sixth leg of the Global Sprint Challenge produced one of the closest finishes in Japan's Sprinters Stakes (Jpn-I) history when Laurel Guerreiro edged B B Guldan by one centimeter to prevail in the US$2 million event on Oct. 4 at Nakayama Racecourse.
Laurel Guerreiro upset favored Sleepless Night, last year's Japanese Racing Association champion sprinter, while posting his first grade I win in the US$2.25 million Takamatsunomiya Kinen at Chukyo racecourse March 29.
Asian Winds, making her group I debut, drew away from the challenger Vodka in the closing strides to win the US$1,675,000 Victoria Mile for fillies and mares before 60,038 at Tokyo Race Course.
Edgar Prado and Javier Castellano are to represent the United States in the 20th World Super Jockeys Series to be held Dec. 2-3 at Hanshin Racecourse.
Should Japan owner Shunsuke Yoshida accept the challenge of running Eye Popper in the Melbourne Cup (Aust-I), he should be assured of a greater representation from his country's media at Flemington Nov. 1 than witnessed the horse's grand Caulfield Cup (Aust-I) second Oct. 15.
Japan capped the first half of the year with the Takarazuka Memorial (Jpn-I) June 23 at Hanshin. The Takarazuka is the last group I until fall, and one of two races in Japan in which entrants are partially selected by fan ballot.
Admire Don emerged as Japan's champion 2-year-old colt with a three-quarter-length win of the 1,600-meter Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (Jpn-I) at Nakayama Racecourse on Dec. 9. Unbeaten in his previous two starts, the son of Timber Country went postward a strong favorite in the 16-horse field of classic hopefuls for 2002.
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