Month: November 2008

Power Boy Does Good in Breeders’ Cup

Power Boy storms home / Areumdaun back in form / Good Day loses
Power Boy established himself as the top juvenile at Busan Race Park with victory in the Busan Breeders’ Cup this afternoon. Third favourite Noseon Jilju set the pace in the 1200 metre sprint but Toshio Uchida on Power Boy was always close and the colt kicked on in the stretch to gain a three length win over Best Partner, who has now finished second in all of his four starts. Noseon Jilju ran on for third.

In the following handicap, Areumdaun Jilju got the better of Sinjin Gangja as the two fought a private battle way ahead of the eleven others in the field. With both horses carrying 62 kilos, Sinjin Gangja was the pace-setter throughout the 2000 metres but when it mattered, Areumdaun Jilju had the quicker sprint to take victory by just over a length. Earlier, there was an impressive debut for Impeccable, who was exactly that when trotting up by ten lengths in race 3.

Up at Seoul Race Park, there was an upset in the feature race as Good Day went down to a surprise defeat. Starting 1.6 favourite, the four year old with 13 wins from 19 previous starts was always well placed but never got into top gear as third favourite Balhaejanggun emereged from the field to take a half length win from outsider Gang Gwon. Good Day at least managed third but second favourite Namchonuijijon never figured and eventually finished eighth.

In other races at Seoul, K J Khan was back in the winner’s enclosure for the first time since June. The Japanese bred gelding had struggled since moving up to category 2 but comfortably saw off a field including Mexicali Blues and Samson’s Echo.

Breeders’ Cup – Busan Race Park – 1200M – Nov. 30, 2008

1. Power Boy (KOR) [Lost Mountain – Keon-Gon-Ch’eonggi (Pro For Sure)] – Toshio Uchida – 2.1
2. Best Partner (KOR) [Horse Chestnut – Lend (Coronado’s Quest)] – Chae Gyu Jun – 2.7
3. Noseon Jilju (KOR) [Creek Cat – Daehanui Ttal (Psychobabble)] – Yoo Hyun Myoung – 7.8
Distances: 3 lengths/0.5 lengths – 8 ran



Angus Empire in Element at Chilly Seoul

New Heart debuts strongly / Wangsan takes it easy
Angus Empire relished the cold conditions to sweep to victory in the feature at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. The four year old, who only seems to win in winter, came wide round the field off the final turn to to take the win under Shim Seung Tae. Gamadongja, with Nozomu Tomizawa on board had, as usual, roared out of the gate and set a brisk pace in the back straight. However, the sprint specialist locked up in the straight and the field came by. Seungnyu Sinhwa also came with a late run to finish second with Seongpacheonha in third.

The US bred Angus Empire [Lion Cavern – Clever Dorothy (Clever Trick)] now has seven career wins since his 2006 debut – all coming between 27 October and 1 March.

With temperatures down to 3C, a number of jockeys opted to wear jackets on their way down to post. The clear skies and biting wind made conditions feel even cooler on what was already the coldest day of this winter season so far. As usual for this time of year, two year olds were the focus of the early races. There was an impressive debut for the grey filly New Heart, who landed race 2 by eight lengths. Race 3 saw a first win for Nuri Wangja, the American import leaving it late to get to the front over 1200 metres.

In other races, Wangsan cruised to his third win from his last four outings. The gelding sat in mid field for much of the 1700 metres, before making light work of his rivals in the stretch. The four length win gave jockey Kim Young Jin his first win since returning from more than a year away. Being the only jockey to record more than one win, Choi Beom Hyun was once more jockey of the day. Racing returns to Seoul tomorrow at 11am with eleven live races plus four simulcast from Busan where it is Breeders’ Cup Day for the two year olds. Busan’s card begins at 12:20.


Weekend Preview

Busan Race Park

Friday November 28: Ten races on Friday at Busan with the first off at 13:00 and the last at 17:30.

Sunday November 30: Only six races at Busan on Sunday, however, there are two big ones. The first race is off at 12:20 with the Busan Breeders’ Cup race for two year olds off at 15:15. Just eight will line up – six colts and two geldings – for the race which could give some idea as to which horses will be contesting the Triple Crown in 2009. Meanwhile, the feature handicap sees Areumdaun Jilju and Sinjin Gangja going up against one another with both carrying 62 kilos.

Seoul Race Park

Saturday November 29: Seoul comes under orders at 11:00am with an eleven race card. Gamadongja, Noubeau Riche and Seungyu Sinhwa all go in the feature at 16:50.

Sunday November 30: Another eleven race card with an 11:00am start. It’s the turn of domestic bred horses to provide the feature and Good Day should be favourite to see off eleven rivals including Namchonuijijon at 17:15.

Jeju hosts its regular Saturday and Sunday cards with the first of ten races at 12:20 both days. Currently, the weather forecast is for a dry and cool Friday and Saturday with showers on Sunday.

Pick Me Up Unplaced at Laurel

The unsurprising news overnight from the US is that Pick Me Up’s third American outing ended unplaced. The six year old ran over a mile on dirt in race 8 at Laurel Park, a $40,000 allowance race. He finished seventh of the eight runners behind winner Kaufy Big Shot.

UPDATED: The video of the race is now available, should anyone be so inclined, courtesy of fpop.

Pick Me Up Goes Wednesday at Laurel

Pick Me Up will try to make it third time lucky – or at least a first time without humiliation – when he goes at Laurel Park in Maryland on Wednesday afternoon. The six year old, in the USA for the KRA’s internationalization experiment, will go on dirt over a mile at 3:57pm local time in race 8 on the card. The allowance race has a purse of $40,000. Pick Me Up has suffered disappointing reverses in his first two outings in the US, first on turf, then on dirt and, unsurprisingly, is rated the outsider of 10 in this race. We’ll have a full report of how he does on Thursday morning.

Seoul Stewards’ Reports in English

Following the introduction of English language stewards’ reports at Busan Race Park during the summer, Seoul Race Park has now followed suit and has added English translations of the stewards’ reports to their website. As with the Busan reports, they are currently only available on the Korean language section of the KRA website, so we will be linking to them directly from the results page of this site. While the Busan reports are generally available on the day of the meeting, what with Seoul’s race days being consecutive, it is anticipated that it will take two to three days for the reports to be published. Both Seoul and Busan Race Parks have one foreign steward on their regular panel. Click here for the first English report from Seoul.

Geumsuni Takes NACF Trophy

Geumsuni stayed on to win the NACF Chairman’s Trophy at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. Despite having won the Dong-A Ilbo Cup and coming second in the Gwacheon Citizen’s race in her last two outings, the four year old started as an outsider in her first test against category one horses. It was Hwanggeum Mulgyeol, under Kim Hyo Seob, who was quickest away with Geumsuni latching on to second. Pre-race favourite Seonju Jangsu settled in the middle of the pack and was never able to make a move from there.

The line-up remained unaltered until the final furlong when Hwanggeum Mulgyeol fell away. Geumsuni didn’t, however, and Han Sung Yeol took the filly to her fourth career win, the late charge of second favourite Seungni Yongsa not enough to overtun her. Lcuky Mountain, under Choi Beom Hyun sneaked into third ahead of Seonju Jangsu.

In other races, there was a debut for highly rated two year old, Land Imperial. Under Moon Se Young, the colt went wire to wire but had to hold off a challenge from Forest Sun to win by less than a length. At Busan Race Park, the day’s feature was won by Hwanggeumbit Taeyang, the six year old Australian bred gelding scoring his second consecutive win this autumn.

NACF Chairman’s Trophy – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – Nov 23, 2008

1. Geumsuni (KOR) [Big Sur – Monster (Waikiki Star)] – Han Sung Yeol – 24.1
2. Seungni Yongsa (KOR) [Our Poetic Prince – Jane Lauren (Snow Chief)] – Park Tae Jong – 3.9
3. Lucky Mountain (KOR) [Silent Warrior – Myeonggaheui (Revere)] – Choi Beom Hyun – 6.6
Distances: 1.25 lengths/0.5 lengths – 14 ran



Uchida Lands Five at Busan

Busan Review/Seoul Preview
Toshio Uchida returned to form today after a lean couple of weeks, notching up five winners at Busan Race Park this afternoon. After taking races 4 and 5, Uchida then swept races 8, 9 and 10. However, the day’s feature was taken by another Japanese jockey, Eiki Nishimura, scoring his biggest win since coming to Korea in October. Nishimura guided Hangang Jeil to a comfortable five length win over Jullyakjuk Seongbu in an 1800 metre handicap.

Racing returns to Busan on Sunday with a six race card beginning at 12:10. Seoul Race Park gets underway at 11:00 on Saturday with the first of eleven races. Last Dance Buddy goes against Brilliant Knight in the feature race at 16:20. On Sunday, it is the Nonghyup Bank Cup, one of the bigger races of the season for fillies and mares. A full field of fourteen will go in what is race 9 of 11 with the first, as usual, off at 11:00.


Myeongmun Gamun Retains President’s Cup

Seven year old breaks Billion Won barrier / Baekpa second
Favourite Myeongmun Gamun stormed to his second consecutive President’s Cup at Seoul Race Park this afternoon and in doing so broke the Billion won mark in career earnings. In front of close to 60,000 people on a beautiful autumn day in Seoul, it was Dashing Champ, course record holder at 100 metres below today’s 2000 metre distance, who got to the first corner in front. Flying Cat, making his 71st start followed along with Sports Chosun winner Natural Nine. This was how it stayed through the back straight but, as they reached the third corner, Cho Kyoung Ho on Myeongmun Gamun asked his mount for some effort.

The response was instant as the gelding cruised from sixth to third. Dashing Champ fell away and as they turned into the home straight, Flying Cat was hanging on with Myeongmun Gamun on his shoulder. It wouldn’t last long as an extra turn of pace at the two furlong pole put the defending champion into the lead. Now the only question was where was Baekpa? The filly had been at the back of the field as they began the final turn but Park Tae Jong finally managed to find a clear run and the grey began to eat into the lead. It was too late. While Choi Beom Hyun pulled off a remarkable manoeuvre to bring Triple Seven out wide to come from last to third in the final furlong, Myeongmun Gamun and Cho Kyoung Ho were President’s Cup winners again.

Later, under the lights, Supernatural was looking to get back to winning ways after some disappointing recent outings in the feature handicap. It wasn’t to be though as Crocap held off the favourite’s late charge to take his first win for well over a year. Much earlier in the day, however, things went to form for Something New, the three year old stepping up one class but still winning by nine lengths in race 4. Something New is not the best looking of geldings but looks set to progress further throughout the winter.

While Cho Kyoung Ho took the most prize money, for the second Sunday running, Choi Beom Hyun was jockey of the day in terms of numbers. The in-form Choi again landed four winners with the pick being the odds-on Tu Won in race 10.

Meanwhile at Busan, Procyon was heavily backed to end his dismal run of form in the feature handicap. He looked good to do so as he comfortably led the field through all four turns of the 2000 metre race. Unfortunately, when Chae Gyu Jun asked the four year old to kick on in the straight, there was nothing left in the tank and the field came past with Yongdu Baram taking a half length win on the line from Scramble. Formerly the number one horse at Busan, Procyon is without a win – and has only been placed once – in five starts.

Today, however, was all about Myeongmun Gamun, who retained his trophy in imperious fashion:

President’s Cup (G1) – Seoul Race Park – 2000M – 16 Nov, 2008

1. Myeongmun Gamun (KOR) [Future Quest – Guided Dancer (Incinderator)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 1.6
2. Baekpa (KOR) [Revere – Grey Crest (Gold Crest)] – Park Tae Jong – 3.8
3. Triple Seven (KOR) [The Groom Is Red – Impudence (Grand Lodge)] – Choi Beom Hyun – 16.1
Distances: 3 lengths/1.5 lengths – 9 ran