Defending Champion Secures Breeders’ Cup Ticket With Takarazuka Kinen Win

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The choice of the fan Titleholder (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}) lived up to its star claim with an easy one-two in Sunday’s G1 Takarazuka Kinen in Hanshin, a Win and You’re In event for the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf later this fall. With the top 10 runners in the 2200m chosen by fan voting, the 4-year-old was installed 3-1 as second choice behind Efforia (Jpn) (Epiphania {Jpn}).

Defending champion fought for the early lead Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) before settling into second place. In the final stages, the colt drew close to the pacemaker, caught up with the ailing leader, turned home and walked clear late to score by a comfortable two lengths lead. Hishi Iguazu (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) closed to finish second while the 2020 Triple Crown heroine Fillies Daring Tact (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) offered a nice finishing kick to take third place. The favorite Efforia was sixth. The finishing time of 2:09.7 set the course record for the distance.

“This was my fourth race with the defending champion and I knew how the colt can run in a good rhythm,” commented winning rider Kazuo Yokohama. “The pace was fast but I wasn’t worried because he still had enough power on the straight. He’s still maturing and I think he’ll get better in the future.”


The dark bay was victorious in G1 Kikura Sho (Japanese St. Leger) at Hanshin last season, also won Nakayama’s G2 Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho Kinen and finished runner-up in G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) in the 2021 season. He started this season with a win in the G2 Nikkei Sho at Nakayama in March before returning to his preferred surface at Hanshin to triumph in the G1 Tenno Sho (Spring) on ​​May 1st.

The title holder is the first horse to catch both the Tenno Sho and Takarazuka Kinen in the same year since Deep Impact (Jpn) in 2006.

According to trainer Toru Kurita, “The owner told me that the filly will go to the ‘Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe’ if he wins, so we plan to send him straight to France with Kazuo.”

Pedigree Notes:
Takarazuka Kinen winner Defending champion surpassed his father, two-time Group 1 winner Duramente, who finished second in the 2016 race renewal. The Japanese derby and 2000 Guinea goalscorer is also responsible for this season’s Japanese Paks G1 heroine, Stars on Earth (Jpn). With only two foals named, 13-year-old Mowen (GB) (Motivator {GB}) is also responsible for little winner Melody Lane (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}).

Sunday, Hanshin, Japan
TAKARAZUKA KINEN-G1¥385,400,000, Hanshin, 6-26, 3 yrs/older, 2200 mt, 2:09.70 (NCR), fm.
1-TITLEHOLDER (JPN), 128, c, 4, by Duramente (Jpn)
1st dam: Mowen (GB), by Motivator (GB)
2nd dam: Top Table (GB), by Shirley Heights (GB)
3rd mother: Lora’s Guest (Irish), by Be My Guest
(20,000,000 yen cd ’18 JRHAJUL). O Hiroshi Yamada; Stud B-Okada; T-Toru Kurita; J-Kazuo Yokoyama; 203,780,000 yen. Lifetime record: 12-6-2-0, ¥793,111,000. Plant Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for that eNicks Report and 5 Cross Family Tree.
2-Hishi Iguazu (Jpn), 128, h, 6, Heart’s Cry (Jpn)–La Liz (Arg), by Bernstein. (97,000,000 yen cd ’16 JRHAJUL). O-Masahide Abe; B-northern farm; T-Noriyuki Hori; J Damian Lane. ¥81,080,000.
3-Daring Tact (Jpn), 123, m, 5, Epiphaneia (Jpn)—daring bird (Jpn), from King Kamehameha (Jpn). (¥12,000,000 Ylg ’18 JRHAJUL). O Normandy thoroughbred racing; B-Hasegawa Farm; T-Haruki Sugiyama; J Kohei Matsuyama. ¥50,504,000.
Margins: 2, 2, NO. Odds: 3.20, 8.50, 6.30.
Also Ran: Deep Bond (Jpn), Meiner Fanrong (Jpn), Efforia (Jpn), Win Marilyn (Jpn), Panthalassa (Jpn), Stay Foolish (Jpn), Gibeon (Jpn), Potager (Jpn), Gloria Mundi ( Jpn), Melody Lane (Jpn), Arrivo (Jpn), Iron Barows (Jpn), African Gold (Jpn), King of Koji (Jpn). Scratched: Authority (Jpn). Click for that free catalog style pedigree from Equineline.com. Click for that JRA chart and video.

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