Der Flug Wins Final Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby Prep Race

The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby reached its conclusion with the Fukuryu Stakes at Nakayama Racecourse on March 31, though it remains to be seen whether the four-race series will produce a starter for the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Eight horses lined up to contest the 1,800-meter race, though with the well-regarded Derma Louvre on the road for the UAE Derby (UAE-II) and last month’s Hyacinth Stakes winner Oval Ace absent from the action, the Fukuryu field was a bit [...]

2018-19 Road to the Kentucky Derby Kicks Off With Iroquois Stakes

Coady Photography The journey ultimately comes full circle; it begins where it ends, and ends where it begins. That journey, of course, is the 2018-19 Road to the Kentucky Derby, which kicks off on September 15th with the running of the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. It’s only fitting that the Road to the Kentucky Derby should begin at the track where the historic “Run for the Roses” will be held [...]

Gendarme Stretches Out for Hopeful Stakes at Nakayama

Gendarme winning the Daily Hai Nisai Stakes - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association The final Group 1 race of the Japanese racing year is coming up on December 28th, that being the Hopeful Stakes for two-year-olds going 2,000 meters (about 1 ¼ miles) over the turf course at Nakayama. In North America, there are no graded stakes races for juveniles held over such an extended distance, but Nakayama has had no difficulties finding horses to start [...]

Will Kitasan Black Be Beaten in the Arima Kinen?

Kitasan Black winning the 2017 Tenno Sho (Autumn) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association The Japanese racing season will come to a spectacular climax on December 24th when Nakayama racecourse hosts the prestigious Arima Kinen (Jpn-I) at 2,500 meters (about 12.5 furlongs) on turf. With a purse of more than $5.3 million and a field determined in part by fan voting, the Arima Kinen is among the most eagerly-anticipated events on the Japanese racing calendar, particularly so [...]