Japan’s Osaka Hai Has Stellar Field
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
Grade 1 racing continues around the world this weekend, with Japan hosting the Osaka Hai (G1) at Hanshin Racecourse on Sunday, April 5 (Saturday, April 4 in North America). The about 1 ¼-mile race has a purse of US$2.7 million for older horses. Al Ain and Suave Richard are recent winners.
The spectacular field includes Blast Onepiece, who won the 2018 Arima Kinen and ran in last year’s Arc de Triomphe. He won his January prep race for this in the Grade 2 American Jockey Club. He has seven wins from 12 starts.
Danon Kingly is a likely favorite. He was second in last year’s Japanese Derby and third in the 2000 Guineas, but continues to seek his first Grade 1 win. He took his 2020 debut in the Grade 2 Nakayama Kinen, pushing his record to five wins in eight starts. His second dam is Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Caressing.
Wagnerian won the 2018 Japanese Derby, and was third in last year’s Japan Cup. He seeks his sixth win in this and has been off since November. Yasuo Tomomichi trains the son of Deep Impact for Kaneko Maktoto Holdings.
The mare Lucky Lilac was a Grade 1 winner last fall at Kyoto. She was then second in the Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin, then second in the Nakayama Kinen (G2) at Nakayama on March 1. Triple Crown winner Orfevre is her sire.
Makahiki is another son of Deep Impact, and is most famous for winning the 2016 Japanese Derby. He is seven now and has been fourth in this race twice. Tomomichi also trains this runner, who has won five of 20 starts.
Chrono Genesis is another filly expected in the race. She won the Kyoto Kinen (G2) in February for her fifth win in nine starts. She was a Grade 1 winner last October, and is by Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Bago, who finished fourth in the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Grade 1 action from Japan is broadcast live on TVG year round.
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