Month: October 2008

Pick Me Up Finishes Last at Charles Town

Pick Me Up’s second race in the US went much the same way as his first at Charles Town, West Virginia last Friday evening. Racing on dirt, the 6 year old started brightly but was soon at the back of the field of 9 in the HBPA Governor’s Stakes over 9 furlongs. Hopes that his disappointing showing in his US debut at Delaware Park last month could be put down to running on turf for the first time were dashed as the change in surface made little difference to his performance which was described in the race summary as “finished early”. Pick Me Up will race on in the US before returning to Korea in December.

See the video of the race here. It does not make pleasant viewing for Korean racing fans. (Thanks to fpop for the video).


Good Day Wins Again

Weekend Round-Up: Namchonuijijon / Bally Brae / Procyon all disappoint
Good Day made it thirteen wins from eighteen starts with a routine victory in today’s feature handicap at Seoul Race Park. Under Cho Kyoung Ho, the four year old was sent off the overwhelming 1.3 favourite and came in a comfortable length and a half winner despite the fast finish of second placed Balhaejanggun. Putting in a disappointing run was Namchonuijijon, the second favourite showed at the front of the field in the back straight but faded as they rounded the turn and only beat one horse on the line.

Another horse disappointing was Procyon in the feature at Busan Race Park. The gelding was backed in to 1.7 to break his three race losing streak and things looked good as he took up his usual position at the front of the field. It all went wrong in the home straight, however, as Procyon faded away badly to allow Boryeong Bulbit to claim the honours, two lengths ahead of Luna.

Saturday at Seoul Race Park saw Bally Brae also fail to convert a favourite’s chance in the big handicap. Back under Moon Se Young for the first time since the Owner’s Association Trophy in June, the six year old led main threat Dongbanui Gangja for every bit of the 2000 metres – except the bit that mattered. In first and second entering the home straight, the two duelled to the line and it was Dongbanui Gangja, carrying 5 kilos less than Bally Brae who took the sprint. It was a sixth win for the impressive colt who has never been out of the money in thirteen starts. Meanwhile six year old Bally Brae is without a win since March.



Weekend Preview – Bally Brae / Namchonuijijon in action

Busan Race Park
Friday Oct. 17: The weekend’s racing starts at Busan tomorrow with a ten race card starting at 13:00. Top race is a cat.1 foreign bred event with Crafty Louis carrying top weight.
Sunday Oct. 19: A six race card gets underway at 12:40. Procyon, Boryeong Bulbit, Luna and Widaehan Bonneung all go in the main event at 16:30

Seoul Race Park
Saturday Oct. 18: Seoul hosts twelve races on Saturday with the first at 11:20. Bally Brae goes in the main event but will once again be giving a lot of weight to his challengers who include Noubeau Riche and Seoul Teukgeup.
Sunday Oct. 19: Eleven more races on Sunday with the first once again at 11:20. Top prize is in a domestic handicap where Namchouijijon will clash with Good Day over 1900 metres at 17:30.

As usual, Jeju Race Park hosts pony racing cards on both Saturday and Sunday with a 12:20 start both days.

Gaeseon Janggun Snatches Minister’s Cup

Last gasp effort makes it third time lucky
Jeolho Chance led for all but ten of the two thousand metres, but favourite Gaeseon Janggun was in front when it mattered in the Minister’s Cup at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. The final leg of the Korean Triple Crown saw all three of this season’s previous Classic winners line up and it was the filly Jeolho Chance who bolted out of the gate under Cho Kyoung Ho and into an early lead. Lucky Dancer and Derby Winner Ebony Storm followed as the Oaks winner continued to set the pace in the back straight.

Gaeseon Janggun bided his time under Park Tae Jong, while Toshio Uchida brought Cup Mile Winner Rainmaker around the outside of the field and into contention as they entered the third corner. It was at this point that there was drama at the back as Magic Victor veered wildly to the right taling Super Goliath with him and ending both horses’ outside chances.

None of this mattered at the front as Jeolho Chance entered the home straight, hugging the rail and with a three length lead. She was tiring though and Gaeseon Janggun was looming. Park Tae Jong shifted the colt outside and the chase was on. For a long while it looked as though the filly would do it with neither horse nor rider prepared to go quietly as the gap closed but then seemed to stabilise once more with 100 metres to go. It was then that Park Tae Jong was able to find a little more from Gaeseon Janggun and they finally swept past within touching distance of the line. A full eight lengths behind the leading pair, Namchon Party salvaged a small amount of pride for Seoul horses as he beat out Rainmaker in a photograph for third.

Having finished second in both the KRA Cup Classic and the Korean Derby, today was finally Gaeseon Janggun’s day. Jeolho Chance gave everything that could have been have been expected of her but Gaeseon Janggun is clearly a horse with both speed and stamina and once more, Park Tae Jong judged his run to perfection, the veteran winning this race for the second time in his career. With the win, Busan horses completed a clean sweep of the Triple Crown races through Rainmaker, Ebony Storm, Jeolho Chance in the Oaks and now Gaeseon Janggun. In one disappointing piece of news, however, after the race Rainmaker was found to be lame and will be out of action for six months.

Minister of Agriculture Cup (G.II) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Oct 12, 2008

1. Gaeseon Janggun (KOR) [Duality – Diamond Star (Dixieland Band)] – Park Tae Jong
2. Jeolho Chance (KOR) F [Didyme – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] – Cho Kyoung Ho
3. Namchon Party (KOR) [Fiercely – Cheulgeoun Party (Big Sur)] – Oh Kyoung Hoan
Distances: 0.5 lengths and 8 lengths.

Meanwhile at Busan, it was Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup Day, one of the biggest Busan races for fillies and mares and it was favourite Haneul Cheonsa who was the convincing winner coming from the back of the field to the front as they rounded the final turn and sprinting away for a six length victory from Mighty Angel:

Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Oct 12, 2008

1. Haneul Cheonsa [Didyme – C’est Avie (Lord Avie)] – Han Sang Kyu
2. Mighty Angel [Revere – Almost Persuaded (Chillon)] – Chae Gyu Jun
3. Myeongpumjilju [Barfighter – Three Hearts (Defensive Play)] – Jo Chang Wook
Distances: 6 lengths and 2 lengths



Seoul Bids a Fond Farewell to J.S. Hold

Saturday Racing Review
Racegoers paid tribute to last year’s Triple Crown winner J.S. Hold in a ceremony at Seoul Race Park this afternoon following the news that the four year old will never be fit enough to return to the track. Following a presentation, jockey Moon Jung Kyun took J.S. Hold out onto the track and down to the two furlong pole before turning and galloping past the grandstands to the winning post to a rapturous ovation.

Another to receive an unusual reception – this time a raucous one – was Japanese jockey Toshio Uchida, in Seoul to ride Rainmaker in tomorrow’s Minister’s Cup. The Busan based rider with a winning ratio of nearly 30% has become a punter’s hero since arriving in Korea earlier this year and was applauded all round the paddock on his first visit to the capital. His one mount today came in race 9, where he partnered Energetic to third place, following a dreadful start behind the improving Exzacta Runner.

On what was a beautiful afternoon for racing, it was very much Moon Se Young’s day on the track as he picked up four wins including back to back victories on promising two year olds Geumgangcheon and Nice Choice. The former took race 5 by five lengths while the latter trotted up by eight lengths in race 6. In other races, Australian import Happy Gwacheon took his fifth win from twelve starts and looks like he will soon be contesting cat.1 events while in the day’s most valuable race, Taebaek Janngun scored a solid win over favourite New Rider over 1900 metres.

Overall, today was a day when punters honoured one of the equine athletes that make the sport so great. In Korean racing it is not something that happens often. It could just be that tomorrow they have another opportunity if the filly, Jeolho Chance, can upset the odds and beat the colts to win the Minister’s Cup. She will have it tough as Gaeseon Janggun, having beaten most of the field recently, is likely to be sent off heavy favourite and Ebony Storm and Rainmaker are both also Classic Winners. That it could happen, however, is why people go racing.

Race 1 at Seoul tomorrow is at 11:20 with the Minister’s Cup off at 17:00. Busan kicks-off its six race card at 12:40 with the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup at 15:35.


Classic Winners Clash Again in Minister’s Cup

Weekend Racing Preview – Busan set to dominate fourth Classic
The final leg of the Korean Triple Crown is the highlight of the coming weekend as Sunday sees Minister’s Cup day at Seoul Race Park. A full field of fourteen will contest the year’s fourth Classic with the three previous winners – Rainmaker (KRA Cup Mile), Ebony Storm (Korean Derby) and Jeolho Chance (Korean Oaks) – all making the trip up from Busan. They are joined by five more southern raiders including Gaeseon Janggun, Lucky Dancer and Sinheung Gangja, all of whom will fancy their chances against Seoul’s disappointing 2008 crop of three year olds. Two fillies are in the race with Daehan Dolpung joining Jeolho Chance. Busan’s star jockey, Toshio Uchida will travel up to partner Rainmaker while Shim Seung Tae will be looking to repeat his Derby win on Ebony Storm.

The big race is off at 17:00 on Sunday and is the culmination of a busy weekend’s racing. The first card gets underway at Busan Race Park at 13:00 on Friday with a ten race card. Busan also hosts six races on Sunday with a 12:40 start time. Headlining Sunday’s card will be the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup. Seoul gets underway at 11:20 on both Saturday and Sunday.

Minister of Agriculture’s Cup (GII) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – Oct. 12, 2008 – 17:00

1. Rainmaker (11/3/3/1) – Toshio Uchida
2. Ebony Storm (13/5/2/3) – Shim Seung Tae
3. Namchon Party (8/4/2/1) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
4. Saerounjeonseol (12/1/3/1) – Kim Dong Cheol
5. Magic Victor (13/3/2/2) – Kim Ok Sung
6. Sinheung Gangja (15/3/2/6) – Moon Se Young
7. Sammuae (16/2/1/3) – Yoo Sang Wan
8. Jeolho Chance (F) (12/6/1/1) – Cho Kyoung Ho
9. Gaeseon Janggun (9/3/3/1) – Park Tae Jong
10. Super Goliath (11/3/4/0) – Kim Hyo Seob
11. Daehan Dolpung (F) (14/2/4/3) – Ikuyasu Kurakane
12. Free Woody (12/4/3/3) – Moon Jung Kyun
13. Lucky Dancer (9/4/2/0) – Shin Hyung Cheol
14. Triple Seven (10/3/2/2) – Choi Beom Hyun