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.
Orfevre, winner of Japan's Triple Crown, fell one vote short of being a unanimous choice for the Japan Racing Association's Horse of the Year title for 2011.
Joie de Vivre, half sister to multiple grade I winner Buena Vista, claimed her first grade I title in the $1.5 million Hanshin Juvenile Fillies.
Buena Vista, disqualified from first to second for interference in last year's Japan Cup (Jpn-I), found no such problems this year. The 5-year-old mare surged late to win the $6.1 million event Nov. 27 at Tokyo Racecourse.
Sunday Racing Company's Orfevre became the first horse in five years to win the first two legs of the Japanese Triple Crown when he won the Japanese Derby (Jpn-I) before a crowd of 82,240 May 29 at Tokyo Racecourse.
The first classic race in Japan to be run since the devastating earthquake and tsunami took place at Tokyo Racecourse on April 24 when the Japanese Two Thousand Guineas (Jpn-I) was won by Orfevre.
In what trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda called her "best race ever" favored Buena Vista scored a two-length win in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). The 142nd running of the
Sunday Racing's Vermilion saved ground on the backstretch and accelerated past the leaders in the final furlong to win the $2.4-million Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) by 1 1/4 lengths on Nov. 24, in the process setting a new record on the Tokyo Racecourse main track.
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