The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby makes its usual detour to the Kawasaki Racecourse on December 15th for the second leg of a series of four races that give the winner a guaranteed place in the Churchill Downs Starting gate on the first Saturday in May.
Halfway through the Japan Road is a series in name only, however, as none of the two-year-olds who competed in the first stage, the Cattleya Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse, on November 27th, is returning for the second stage. the Zen Nippon Nisai Yushun.
Greater Tokyoâs Kawasaki Racecourse is part of the National Association of Racing – a structure that is separate from the Major League Japan Racing Association‘s tracks. It is inducted into the series organized by Churchill Downs annually as the NAR facilities are known for conducting dirt racing.
Kawasaki is particularly popular as a family-friendly travel destination and for its night races, which are administered by the Kanagawa Prefecture Kawasaki Racing Association.
Five of the participants in the Zen Nippon Nisai Yushun are horses from the JRA, the others represent six different NAR paths.
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Sekifu, one Henny Hughes Colt, looking for his fourth straight win. His last attempt was a listed race at Sonoda Racecourse on November 25th. combustion, through Discreet cat , finished second in that race after starting his career with victories at the Tokyo and Chukyo racetracks, and is returning for another shot.
Sekifu is trained by Koshiro Take and Mirco Demuro is booked for the ride. Demuro has a hot hand after riding Circle of life to victory on 12.12. with the Hanshin Juvenile fillies (G1).
Ice giant and Dry stout both go undefeated after two starts. Ice giant, from Dunkirk from the Captain Steve mare Ice doll, is 2 for 2 with the most recent score in a listed race over a sloppy Mombetsu racetrack. Dry stout, from Dark minister , won on Chukyo and Toyko racetracks, both off-track.
Kaikano Kiseki is the only filly in the field. Through Kinshasa no Kiseki , she finished second in a Class 3 affair at Hakodate Racecourse after winning her debut, but then entered fifth in her latest performance after a four-month hiatus.
Among the NAR runners Nine vipers has two wins and two seconds out of five starts, all at Kawasaki. Both of the Hokko Tarumae Colt’s victories came in the slop. Nudge, a son of Fenomeno , won four out of nine starts and finished second to Ice Giant in her last race.
S’il Te Plait, Sea sky, and Ryan all have four previous wins. Ryan is the only representative of the deceased Deep Impact.
The winner of the 1,600 meter long Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun receives 20 points on the Japan Road in the Kentucky Derby leaderboard and takes the top spot. The second gets eight points with four and two points for the third and fourth placed.
Consigliere Earn 10 points for winning the Cattleya Stakes.
The outcome of the streak will likely not be decided until the points on offer grow at each stop along the way.
Churchill Downs started the series after that Lani won Cattleya in 2015 and then finished third in the 2016 Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1). It hasn’t had much of an impact on Run for the Roses so far.
Master fencer finished fourth in the series and accepted the invitation to the 2019 derby when the top three declined the award. the Only one way Colt finished seventh, but was after the disqualification of. Sixth Highest security .