Day: February 5, 2015

Weekend Preview: Segye Ilbo Highlights Slimmed Down Seoul / Gyeongbudaero Up For The Fight At Busan

It has been a tense week in Korean racing. However, despite the threat of a boycott by owners, declarations went ahead as normal at Seoul Racecourse on Thursday morning following Busan where it had been business as usual the day before. Although some planned races have been cancelled, a big weekend still awaits.

Let's Run! And we are running this week, albeit not much at Seoul

Let’s Run! And we are running this week, albeit not much at Seoul

There have been a couple of casualties from the uncertainty earlier in the week. The scheduled overseas simulcast on Friday and Saturday was cancelled in case a large scale boycott materialised and a last minute reorganisation of the schedule was required, while there are also no regular class 1 or class 2 races in the capital. The Segye Ilbo Cup, a Stakes race, will go ahead, however, as it remains restricted to Korean bred runners.

Busan hosts class 1 action on Sunday afternoon though and there is a mouth watering clash in store as Gyeongbudaero heads the weights on his first appearance of 2015. The Grand Prix Stakes winner is the best of six Korean bred horses taking on six imports in exactly the kind of race the new rating system was intended to provide. Gumpo Sky (taking on foreign-bred horses fort he first time), and imports Cheonji Bulpae and Spring Gnarly will also be going in the handicap over 2000M.

At Seoul, where not all stakeholders are yet onboard with the new system, we are down to eight races on Saturday and ten on Sunday. The highlight is the Segye Ilbo Cup on Sunday in which the track’s top-rated Korean-bred horse Gwanggyo Bisang will be favoured to get back to winning ways.

To make up for the lost races on Saturday, eight of the nine pony races from Jeju Island will be simulcasted back to punters at Seoul instead of the usual four.

It’s the first weekend of the post Ikuyasu Kurakane era at Seoul but the four Japanese jockeys at Busan; Joe Fujii, Masa Tanaka, Nozomu Tomizawa and Nobuyuki Oyama are all in action.

Full race cards are available here. Here’s what’s happening when and where:

Friday February 6
Busan Racecourse: 11 races from 11:40 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 13:20 to 17:20

Saturday February 7
Seoul Racecourse: 8 races from 11:15 to 18:00
Jeju Racecourse: 9 races from 10:50 to 17:30

Sunday February 8
Seoul Racecourse: 10 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Racecourse: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00

New Owner Joe Dallao Teams Up With Trainer Bart Rice

Korea’s first foreign racehorse owner has been getting plenty of attention from the local media as he attended orientation for new owners at Busan this past weekend.

Joe Dallao (left) with his wife Young Sook at the Busan Racecourse stables with Bart and Pam Rice (Pic: Hankyoreh)

Joe Dallao (left) with his wife Young Sook at the Busan Racecourse stables with Bart and Pam Rice (Pic: Hankyoreh)

The Hankyoreh, Segye Ilbo and Kookmin Ilbo newspapers, among others, all carried the story of Dr. Joe Dallao making a little piece of Korean racing history. Having been based in Korea for a long time, Dallao’s path to ownership was a relatively smooth one once the Korea Racing Authority partially eased restrictions on non-Korean owners at the end of last year.

Impressed with his horsemanship and thorough business-like approach, Dallao has engaged Bart Rice as his trainer and the pair will immediately set about identifying and purchasing suitable horses with a view to start racing horses at Busan Racecourse in the late summer or early autumn.

A New York City native, Dr. Dallao has been a semi-regular fixture in the weekend crowd at Seoul Racecourse over the past few years. Having raced horses as a member of a syndicate in the US, he didn’t hesitate to strike out on his own in Korea when the opportunity arose.

The official entry of "Joseph Dallao" on the KRA's list of licensed owners

The official entry of “Joseph Dallao” on the KRA’s list of licensed owners

Dallao, who told the media that his ultimate aim is to take a Korean horse back to his hometown for the Belmont Stakes, is also known in Korea and elsewhere for successfully racing pigeons.

Joe Dallao and Bart Rice can be followed at the links below:

Dallao Thoroughbred Racing
Bart Rice Racing Stables