In races run in close proximity to one another early Sunday morning but on the other side of the world in Japan and Hong Kong, a pair of jockeys earned applause for their efforts in stakes victories.
In the Grade I, $2.9 million Tenno Sho Spring Stakes in Kyoto, Japan, ageless Yutaka Take guided Kitasan Black [no relation] to a determined, wire-to-wire victory in 3:15.3. U.S. racing fans have known of Take for years and this weekend the legendary Japanese rider will get a leg up aboard Lani in the Kentucky Derby.
Just minutes later and westward at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong, apprentice jockey Kay Chiong urged home Multiexpress in a minor stakes race for two-year-olds for trainer Tony Cruz. Chiong has now won 20 races at the meet and had gained an immediately following and her ride aboard Multiexpress was nothing less than superb.
Then one race later on the card, Chautaugua broke two steps slow and trailed for three-eighths then unleashed his patented, stellar late kick to win the Grade I, $1.3 million Spring Sprint Championship by nearly a length in 1:08.69.
Chautaugua trailed heading into the lane and was steered widest of all for the stretch drive then uncorked a thunderous late kick to capture the Grade I event as the solid favorite. His performance will not be soon forgotten even by those racing fans on the east coast who stayed up until 3:30 am to watch him run live.