Freshman sires Espoir City and Lethal Force get their first winners, while second-crop sire Bated Breath gets his first black-type stakes winner.
Katsumi Yoshida's 4-year-old Gold Dream held off Best Warrior by a neck to win the one-mile, February Stakes (G1) Feb. 19 at Tokyo Racecourse.
Sachiaki Kobayashi's Copano Rickey, upset winner of last year's February Stakes (Jpn-I), became the first horse to capture the race in back-to-back years Feb. 22, this time as the favorite.
Japan's first group I race of the year was won in fine style by Copano Rickey, who pulled off a massive upset with his half-length triumph over Hokko Tarumae in the February Stakes Feb. 23 at Tokyo Racecourse.
Espoir City appeared on his way to a second February Stakes (Jpn-I) win Feb. 17 at Tokyo, but Grape Brandy wore him down in the final 100 meters to secure the win in Japan's first top-level race of the season.
After a runner-up effort in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) earlier this month, Wonder Acute returns in the Tokyo Daishoten (Jpn-I) Dec. 29 at Ohi Racecourse in search of a breakthrough win at the top level.
Nihonpiro Ours scored his first win at the top level with a dominant performance in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) on Dec. 2 at Hanshin Racecourse.
Rising star Roman Legend puts a six-race win streak on the line in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) Dec. 2 at Hanshin Racecourse while facing two previous winners of the race in his group I debut.
Kentucky-bred Testa Matta came from off the pace to register a two-length win in the $2.45 million February Stakes (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Racecourse Feb. 19.
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.
Espoir City seeks Breeders' Cup glory for Japan. Read More
With only two workouts by Breeders' Cup World Championship entrants, the scene on the backside of Churchill Downs the morning of Nov. 3 was all about Zenyatta.
Zenyatta's first appearance on the Churchill Downs track dominates today's news minute. Also, works for Espoir City and Dakota Phone, and a weather report. Watch Video
Lookin At Lucky, the nation's top 3-year-old contender for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, got his first tour of the Churchill track under exercise rider Jorge Alvarez the morning of Wednesday.
With the morning temperature about 10 degrees warmer than the 34 reading the day before, more than a dozen contenders for the Breeders' Cup World Championships completed their works at Churchill Downs on Oct. 31.
Espoir City, Japan's hope for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) to be run at Churchill Downs Nov. 6, drilled six furlongs over the Louisville track to lead a host of workouts on the morning of Oct. 23.
The Yushun Horse Club's Japan-based star Espoir City arrived at Churchill Downs Oct. 19 for a run in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)), settling in his stall in the quarantine barn early in the morning.
Japanese star Espoir City could add intrigue to the Breeders' Cup Classic. Read Blog
Heavy favorite Espoir City, Japan's champion dirt horse last year, got his 2010 campaign off to a great start by easily winning the US$2.2 million February Stakes, the first grade I race of the season Feb. 21 at Tokyo.
For the second year in a row, top race mare Vodka was voted Horse of the Year in Japan, becoming the first female to win the title twice.
Favored Espoir City became the 10th champion of the Japan Cup Dirt Dec. 6 at Hanshin Racecourse, going wire-to-wire from the rail post to finish 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Silk Mobius for his first group I victory.
The torch was passed from dirt champions Kane Hekili and Vermilion when Success Brocken edged Casino Drive by a neck in record time while winning the $2.2 million February Stakes (Jpn-I) before 70,000 at Tokyo Race Course Feb. 22.
Favored Vermilion, Japan's champion dirt horse last year, dominated the field in his debut for 2008 with a 1 3/4-length win in the February Stakes (Jpn-I) at Tokyo racecourse Feb. 24 before a crowd of 53,029.
Sunrise Bacchus, a son of Hennessy with several grade I placings over the dirt course at Tokyo, finally broke through for a well deserved win in the February Stakes (Jpn-I) held at Fuchu racecourse Sunday in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 people.
Upcoming Stakes Entries
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