Day: April 21, 2018

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Cheongdam Dokki / Race-By-Race Preview (April 22)

He’s currently the most exciting horse in Korea and on Sunday, Cheongdam Dokki (To Honor And Serve) will line up against seven rivals – six of whom he’s beaten before – in the Herald Business Cup over 2000M at Seoul Racecourse. He faces Clean Up Joy, who won the race last year, as well as Sinjo Daehyeop and Shamrocker. The Herald Business is race 9 on an eleven-race card at Seoul which runs from 10:45 to 18:00. At Busan, there are six races from 12:40 to 17:05.

Cheongdam Dokki

See below for Busan Selections:

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Competitive opener and (5) SONGAM JEUNE beat a couple of these on her way to a solid 2nd place on what was just her second start on March 24th and has every chance of matching or even bettering today. She’ll be on pace early alongside (7) BAEKDUI TAEYANG, himself a good 2nd at the distance last time and likely to be well supported. The one to beat though might well be (1) HAENGBOK STAR. He’s come 4th and 3rd in his two prior outings and the extra half furlong today may be what he needs to get home in front. (9) GANADORA and first-time starter, the modestly named (3) THE KING, are others who can go close.

Selections (5) Songam Jeune (1) Haengbok Star (3) The King (7) Baekdui Taeyang
Next Best 9, 4
Fast Start 5, 7, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old fillies only here and almost any of them could win. Simon Foster’s (3) SURFING POINT ran poorly on debut but improved last time. David Breux returns to the mount today and she has as much of a claim as any of them. (7) BETTINA and (2) MORAN DONGBEAK came home 2nd and 4th respectively when they raced each other at this distance back in January. Bettina races for the first time since then here while Moran Dongbeak has gone on to put in another couple of promising performances and both may be considered here. (6) STAR LIST did little on debut but could improve today while (8) ENJOY MY SHOW has a 2nd place to her name and could repeat in what is a very modest contest.

Selections (3) Surfing Point (7) Bettina (2) Moran Dongbeak (6) Star List
Next Best 8, 4, 12
Fast Start 4, 5, 8

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-olds only and it’s another rather weak maiden. There is, however, an interesting debut-maker in the shape of (3) PRINCE OF SUN. He’s a half-brother to US based Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Mind Your Biscuits and has trialled up impressively. His Korea-based half-brother Baeksan Yeowang hasn’t exactly pulled up trees so far but Prince Of Sun could well have enough to win this. (6) GANGSANUI ACHIM and (11) STRONG LIGHT both come in off 3rd place finishes last time in very similar strength races to this, so both should be looking to at least repeat. (10) RAON OPTIMUS races for the first time since running reasonably well over 1700M in January and can be considered for improvement. (12) RUSSEL showed his first signs of potential ability when running 5th of 12 in an admittedly slow race at this distance a month ago and is another one to take into consideration.

Selections (3) Prince Of Sun (6) Gangsanui Achim (10) Raon Optimus (11) Strong Light
Next Best 12, 5
Fast Start 5, 7, 8, 11

Race 4: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Decent race with plenty entering having shown very solid recent form. The pick of them though is (3) WOOSEORA ICHEON who just came up short when favourite at class and distance on March 24th, his second consecutive runner-up finish. He is well drawn once more to get on pace early and can complete the job this time. (4) JEONGSANG DOLPUNG and (11) BOLD SHINING also come in having performed strongly at this class in their latest efforts and they should be close. Jeongsang Dolpung’s most recent was 2nd at 1000M and he looks ready to take on a longer trip today. Three of the field are up in class following maiden wins last time although for (5) RULE OF SUM, that was a full fourteen months ago. The pick of the up and comers is (10) FRENCH STAR, who also tries further than the minimum distance for the first time.

Selections (3) Wooseora Icheon (4) Jeongsang Dolpung (11) Bold Shining (10) French Star
Next Best 6, 12, 5
Fast Start 2, 4, 10

Race 5: Class 4 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

A couple of standouts here although both will need to bounce back from slightly below-par showings last start. (6) YAHO SMART CAT won his first two races but could only manage 4th on his first try at both this class and at further than the minimum distance on March 24th. Hopefully he can have come on for that and can return to top form today. (more…)

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Afleet Again, 2011 Breeders’ Cup Marathon Winner, Has Died

Afleet Again, longest shot on the board when winning the Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Churchill Downs in 2011, has died at Stud in Korea. The 11-year-old was struck down with colic and passed away on April 12th. 

Afleet Again [Afleet Alex – Lucky Again (Wild Again)] won one race as a juvenile, over 1700M, at Philadelphia Park and won again at the same track at the start of his three-year-old campaign in February 2010 before going on to score in the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct later that Spring.

Although he managed some decent placings, Afleet Again wouldn’t win again for the rest of that season or during the first ten months of his four-year-old campaign and arrived at Churchill Downs for the Marathon as the 41/1 outsider. Under jockey Cornelio Velasquez, Afleet Again came down the outside to win handily from Birdrun and Giant Oak.

He ran once more a month later, finishing 4th of 6 in the Valedictory Stakes at Woodbine before being retired and sold to Korean interests.

In Korea, Afleet Again stood privately at a place called “Happy Farm”, which is home to a band of broodmares and a couple of others stallions including Australian-bred Delago Brom. Among his two crops that have so far made the track, Afleet Again is yet to get any real stars but a good proportion of his progeny have been winners and in line with expectations in terms of the quality of mare he received.