The Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun

  • Location: Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun
  • Inaugural Race: 1999
  • Distance: 1,600 meters (about one mile)
  • Track Type: Left-handed, Dirt
  • Age Qualifications: Two-year-olds
  • 2019 Purse: 59,500,000 yen (about $524,000)
  • 2019 Race Date: Wednesday, December 18th
Le Vent Se Leve winning the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun at Kawasaki Racecourse (Photo courtesy Akihiro Takeda/Churchill Downs)

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2018 Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun Entries and Results

POSTORDER OF FINISHHORSEJOCKEYWINSHOWRTKD POINTS EARNED
121Nova LendaYuichi Kitamura7.502.1020
52Derma LouvreC P Lemaire1.558
113Gal ViharaMasashige Honda1.354
24Make HappyCristian Demuro2
1TBDMighty WarriorMasashige Honda0
3TBDIgnacio D'oroRyu Abe0
4TBDJardineroDaisuke Mashima0
6TBDHikari OsoJyukiya Takigawa0
7TBDM O TaishoMasaaki Kuwamura0
8TBDKanetoshi TekkinMitsuhiro Masuda0
9TBDShonan GanadorTakuya Ono0
10TBDMutuallyNorifumi Mikamoto0
13TBD Win TafelTaito Mori0
14TBDSuzu Blue SkyTakafumi Hattori0

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The History of the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun

The Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun has been the premier dirt race for juveniles in Japan for some years. It is held on the second-tier National Association of Racing (NAR) circuit, which is generally on dirt courses and usually of a lower standing than the Japanese Racing Association (JRA) circuit. It is the only NAR juvenile race with local grade one status and has international listed status.

The race gained increased international standing when the 2017 edition was included in the Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby series. Along with the Cattleya Sho, run a month earlier, the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun awards points to the first four horses in the race on a 10-4-2-1 basis.

Though it is the most prestigious dirt race for juveniles in Japan, recent winners haven’t had a great record later in their careers, with many flaming out very quickly. The best have been 2013 winner Happy Sprint, who won another four times in his career and finished fourth in the Tokyo Daishoten, the only international grade one race on the NAR circuit; and last year’s winner Rieno Tesoro (Speightstown), who finished second in the NHK Mile Cup (G1) on turf for 3-year-olds on the JRA circuit this year.