Contrail Streaks Towards Triple Crown Glory
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Just one week after Daring Tact swept the Japanese Fillies Triple Crown, unbeaten Contrail will try to do the same as he takes on the $2.4 million Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger), a Grade 1 race that completes Japan’s Triple Crown. The Kikuka Sho takes place at Kyoto Racecourse over 3000 meters, or 15 furlongs. 29 horses were nominated to the race, which will have a full field of 18 starters.
Contrail will attempt to be just the eighth winner of the series, and the first since Orfevre in 2011. The son of the late Deep Impact - who also captured the series in 2005 – is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Rhodochrosite, who is out of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) heroine Folklore. Contrail was the winner of the Hopeful Stakes (G1) in December, then rattled off wins in the Japanese 2000 Guineas, the Japanese Derby (Tokyo Yushun), and most recently the Kobe Shimbun Hai (G2) as a prep for this race. Yoshito Yahagi trains the colt, who will be ridden again by regular partner Yusaku Oka.
Standing in his way is Babbitt, who won the Grade 2 Ashai Hai St. Lite Kinen in September. The speedy son of Nakayama Festa is four for six lifetime with two second place efforts. Tamio Hamada trains.
Satono Flag is another son of Deep Impact, who was second behind Babbitt last out in Grade 2 company. He was a surprising 11th in the Japanese Derby, but was a Grade 2 winner in March and also finished fifth in the 2000 Guineas. He has won three of seven starts overall.
Galore Creek was sixth in the Derby, and third behind Babbitt last out. The son of Kinshasa no Kiseki and the Kingmambo mare Gold Relic is trained by Hiroyuki Uehara, and seeks his third career win in his eighth try. He was a Grade 2 winner in March, and third in the 2000 Guineas in April.
Weltreisende has been second or third to Contrail three times already in their careers, including last out in the Kobe Shimbun Hai. The son of Dream Journey was a listed stakes winner last October, but has yet to win in 2020.
The Kikuka Sho has been won by the likes of popular Japanese stars Kitasan Black, Gold Ship, Epiphaneia (sire of Daring Tact), Delta Blues, and Narita Brian since 1994. The seven Japanese Triple Crown winners are St Lite (1941), Shinzan (1964), Mr. C.B. (1983), Symboli Rudolf (1984), Narita Brian (1994), Deep Impact (2005), and Orfevre (2011).
- October 22, 2021
For good reason, much of the attention on the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) will be on the international runners who come to Del Mar for the 12-furlong contest. In the last decade, just three winners have hailed from the United States, with the other seven coming from Europe. Since 2000, that split is 16 Europe, six for America.
- October 21, 2021
This is the last of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
- October 20, 2021
A superb edition of the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is on tap November 6, and the prospective field is a list of one sparkling star after the other.