Good Day beats Tu Won / Symphony Sonata tuning up nicely
Mexicali Blues outsprinted her rivals to take the honours in the 8th Segye Ilbo Cup for Fillies and Mares at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. In an open betting race, the four year old started as second favourite and sat comfortably in the pack as old stager Why A Duck under Lee Shin Young set the early pace in the seven furlong race. Kim Ok Sung, completing a successful weekend following his win on Playing Politics yesterday, asked Mexicali Blues for an effort as the entered the home straight and as Why A Duck faded, they hit the front with a furlong to go.
Favourite Meni Cherry looked well positioned but failed to find a run and in the end it was the fast finishing Hwanggeum Dwaeji who proved the biggest danger, coming from the back of the field to the front in the straight. The line came soon enough though for Mexicali Blues to record the biggest of her five career wins to date. Angel Pegasus came in third.
Mexicali Blues, who finished fifth in this race last year, is owned by the Segye Construction Company. Although it took her seven races to break her maiden, once she did she won three in a row but, one more win aside, had struggled since moving up to class 2 races last summer while racing against mostly male opposition. Aside from Meni Cherry, who finished fifth, another filly to disappoint was the three year old Jangjagang who never featured, eventually coming in twelth.
In other races, Tu Won made the step up to class 1 racing, but the three year old gelding ran straight into an in-form Good Day, who made light of the six kilos he was giving his younger rival and outsprinted him in the straight to record his fourteenth win in his twenty first start. Second favourite Triple Seven was a further length and a half back in fourth. While beaten, Tu Won did enough to show he belongs in this company and his progress will be interesting to watch as the year goes on.
Another who is being closely watched is Symphony Sonata. By E. Dubai and out of the Dixieland Band mare First Violin during her short stay in Korea (and thereby qualifying as Korean bred), the colt only made his debut at the age of three, getting beaten by the highly rated gelding Something New. Winning his next start easily, he found the going similarly favourable in race 7 this afternoon, his first outing as a four year old, going wire-to-wire for an eased-down five length win over seven opponents.
In other races, two three year olds broke their maidens, both sent off odds-on favorites. The filly Born Revival in race 2 and the colt Badasin in race 4. Won Jung Il was the only jockey to record a double, taking race 3 on D Day and race 11 on Daechun.
At Busan Race Park, Ikuyasu Kurakane followed up his treble on Friday with a double today including taking the feature race on Shane Bob. Japanese jockey Kurakane moved from Seoul to Busan following countryman Toshio Uchida’s decision to take an extended break back home and is coming close to matching the remarkable Uchida’s success. The stand out result of the day at Busan, however, was a shock ten length win by 19.1 shot Orion’s Gold in race 3. The American import had only placed once in seventeen previous starts but led from start to finish and was well out of sight of the field at the end of the six furlongs.
Meanwhile, it was a frustrating day on Jeju Island as thick fog forced the late cancellation of all the day’s races at Jeju Race Park.
Seye Ilbo Cup – Seoul Race Park – 1400M – Feb 22, 2009
1. Mexicali Blues (USA) [Golden Missile – Golden Made (Allen’s Prospect)] – Kim Ok Sung – 5.0
2. Hwanggeum Dwaeji (AUS) [Langfuhr – Proudest (Sir Tristram)] – Cho Kyoung Ho – 6.2
3. Angel Pegasus (USA) [Gold Case – Sahara Princess (Alphabet Soup)] – Ham Wan Sik – 5.7
Distances: 1.25 lengths/0.5 lengths – 14 ran