Day: October 14, 2021

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 15)

There will be more Stakes action at Busan on Sunday in the shape of the first leg of the filly Triple Crown, the Luna Stakes. Sixteen fillies go around and we will have a full preview over the next couple of days. In the meantime, the weekend’s action gets underway at Busan on Friday with a six-race card from 13:25 to 18:00.

Busan (Pic: KRA)

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

A small field of juvenile maidens line up in the opener with three of the eight racing for the first time. The only one of the remaining five to have raced twice already, (2) ADELE BOSS, probably did enough on the latter of those appearances to warrant favourite status. Having done little on debut in August, Adele Boss was significantly better on September 17th when settling handy and running on for 2nd place, albeit a long was behind a very good winner, in a decent time. He won’t need to improve much on that in order to win here. (3) OREUDA and (5) I WILL BE FREE trialed up in the same hear on September 11th with Oreuda finishing the better of the pair in a good time. Both hinted at some competence though and they look to be the biggest dangers here. Returning to the experienced ones, (6) GOLDEN BROOM ran a fair race on debut on a wet track and he along with (1) NOBLE SPIRIT have placing claims.

Selections(2) Adele Boss (3) Oreuda (5) I Will Be Free (6) Golden Broom
Next Best1, 7
Fast Start1, 2, 3, 5

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(7) CROWN KING STAR led for much of the way around 1300M at his latest start on September 17th, ultimately being passed at the furlong pole by a good winner and having to settle for a career-best to date of 2nd. He comes back in trip today, draws fairly and this time could lead from gate to wire. (12) RUN AND GUN has been consistent in recent outings with a couple of 3rd places along the way, including last start at this distance. She also has the fastest time of any of these at the distance. She tends to go back in her races so the wide draw shouldn’t be an issue and she has claims here. (5) UNBRIDLED QUEEN was a significantly improved 2nd when returning to action a full ten-months after her original debut. She should have come on for that run and can go close again here. (6) USEUNG HUNTER and (9) HOT PLAY among others in the frame.

Selections(7) Crown King Star (12) Run And Gun (5) Unbridled Queen (6) Useung Hunter
Next Best9, 3
Fast Start1, 5, 6, 12

Busan Race 3: Class 5 (1400M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(12) PUREUN JANGMI broke through at start number three back in July when she made all over 1200M. That followed 3rd and 2nd place finishes form her first two attempts. There are a couple of things to be careful of. She races for the first time in thirteen weeks, she is up in class and she is an on-pace runner drawn in the widest gate. But she should be able to overcome all three and she will be favourite. (6) MARK ACE may only have won one of his twelve races so far but he has finished in the top three on seven occasions. He has run consistently good times at this distance and drops back in trip having beaten a couple of these on his way to a creditable 6th over a mile a month ago. He can settle handy to the speed here and should be a danger at the business end. (7) HAEUNDAE BADA has also run good times at this distance including at his latest start on September 12th when he ran 3rd having led for part of the way around, beating a couple of these in the process. (1) INDIAN PARTY should be better for coming back in trip today while (4) CHOEGANG LIGER is another with placing hopes.

Selections(12) Pureun Jangmi (6) Mark Ace (7) Haeundae Bada (1) Indian Party
Next Best4, 2
Fast Start7, 8, 10, 12

Busan Race 4: Class 5 (1600M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

(10) MENI GLORY has three runner-up finishes from four starts so far, with his latest coming on September 10th when he was returning from five months off. He should strip fitter for that and tackles the mile today with fair claims to register a maiden win. Also on the hunt for a maiden score is (2) K K WON. He has raced thirteen times to date, finishing in the top three on six occasions but still finding the breakthrough elusive. He could well start as favourite here though on the back of a solid class and distance 3rd on September 10th when he overcame the widest draw to almost lead the entire way around. From a better gate this time, he surely goes close. (12) GEUMA GOOD POINT finished behind K K Won back in July but has since put in a couple of decent spins around 1800M and despite the wide draw, can be expected to go close here. (11) KWAEHAN HWANGGEUM is better than his latest couple of outings suggest and along with (4) GOLDEN KAISER, also has placing claims.

Selections(10) Meni Glory (2) K K Won (12) Geuma Good Point (11) Kwaehan Hwanggeum
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start3, 4, 10, 12

Busan Race 5: Class 4 (1800M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(2) HILL MORE registered his maiden win two starts back at class 6 level over a mile before running 2nd on his first try at this class and distance on September 10th, beating several of today’s rivals in the process and only beaten a neck on the line. He comes up 2kg in the weights under today’s conditions but from a great draw can pick his spot and he should be too strong in the closing stages. That 2kg swing can work most in favour of (9) BURNING PARTY, who having led for part of that race on September 10th, ultimately finished in 3rd place and has a four-length deficit to overturn on Hill More. She may well get closer this time. (10) DUMUSAN is the only one of these to have won at this distance. That came at his latest start on September 3rd when he came from well off the pace to win at class 5 level. Despite being in class, he also comes up in the weights but don’t rule out a strong finish from him here. (11) CLEAN SHOT was 4th in the September 10th race continuing his run of consistent finishes and should be in amongst the action again while (8) TRIUMPH KING may also enter the calculations.

Selections(2) Hill More (9) Burning Party (10) Dumusan (11) Clean Shot
Next Best8, 12
Fast Start3, 5, 6, 12

Busan Race 6: Class 2 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 90 Million

(7) SONIC KING IJI beat four of today’s rivals on his way to an excellent win at this class over 1400M on September 17th. He is back in trip and up in the weights but he is set to be favourite to prevail once more. (3) MIRACLE DREAMING led for much of that race before ultimately coming home in 2nd place. He has three wins but now has no fewer than eight runner-up finishes to his name, He draws nicely here and should be close to the pace again but may well have to settle for 2nd again. (8) FANTASTIC ROAD returns from seven months off but trialed competently enough a couple of weeks ago and comes in here under a light weight. He has every chance of going well first-up. (2) YES PERFECT has a hard time when tried over 1800M at his latest start in August but should be much better for being dropped back to today’s distance – he has beaten plenty of these at it already. (4) I’M YOUR FASHION another with genuine placing claims.

Selections(7) Sonic King Iji (3) Miracle Dreaming (8) Fantatsic Road (2) Yes Perfect
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start1, 4, 5, 8

KRA Cup Mile 2021 Review

A little late but: It was billed as the hottest opening leg to a Korean Triple Crown ever but in the end Heat Yegam turned it into a procession with a scorching gate to wire win in the KRA Cup Mile (KOR G2) at Busan last Sunday afternoon.

The first race of the three-year-old Classic series had been delayed from its usual April spot by six months due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the racing industry. That delay led to what is usually green and unexposed field in the Cup Mile, reaching the starting line this time with in-excess of sixty previous race wins between them.

Heat Yegam was sent off as the betting favourite and from gate nine he got a beautiful start while some of the expected speedsters on his inside faltered and was quickly into an early and surprisingly easy lead. Big rival Winner’s Man was quickly on his shoulder but having come out of gate twelve was being made to work hard. Meanwhile Seoul’s big hope, Heungbaragi, was content to sit handy and wide with jockey Choi Bum-hyun having quickly abandoned any hopes of leading from gate fifteen.

By the top of the stretch, Heat Yegam and Winner’s Man held a four-length advantage over the rest of the field, but it was clear the latter was feeling the effects of the early pace. Heat Yegam though was fresh and while he drifted a little in the final furlong and a half, he cruised home two-lengths to the good. Heungbaragi – who having been wide for most of the race, ended up on the inside fence – ran a strong race in 2nd, while another Seoul raider, Chief Indy closed ominously for 3rd. Mr. Indie was 4th and Winner’s Man a brave 5th.

The win itself may have been soft but the performance was anything but. Heat Yegam completed the first six furlongs just one-tenth of a second outside the track record for that distance – no wonder Winner’s Man couldn’t cope any longer – and then ran on to record an overall time only a second shy of the track record for a mile, held by Blue Chipper.  It was his eighth win in nine starts.

For jockey You Hyun-myung, post-race feelings were a mixture of elation and relief. “Going on my experience with this horse so far, I had to expect him to win,” You told the Korea Racing Broadcasting Channel (KRBC) after the race. “There was always going to be a lot of pressure at the start, so I just wanted to get out of the gate in a straight line with no trouble. As it happened, we got away very well and, in the end, everything was much smoother and easier than I expected.” 

Next up will be the Korean Derby in Seoul on November 7th, as Heat Yegam seeks to emulate J.S. Hold and Power Blade in winning a Triple Crown. You Hyun-myung thinks the horse will be ready. “

Heat Yegam was bred by the Yeonhak Agricultural Corporation at the Yeonhak Farm on Jeju Island and was sold privately to owner Kim Joon-hyun for 150 Million Korean Won as a yearling in September 2019. Sired by Take Charge Indy, during that stallion’s brief sojourn in Korea before his American farm bought him back due to the unexpected success of his Stateside progeny, he is out of Desert Heat, a mare from the final crop by the legendary sire, Mr. Prospector.

How they ran:

1st  Heat Yegam – started favourite today  showed great speed to sit a tad wide but a fast comfortable rhythm, on the corner he applied some pressure to get a good break on the field and while he drifted out in the early part of the straight came back towards the finish. This was a sensational run and the fastest ever KRA Cup Mile run to date.

2nd Heungbaragi – He had a challenge from barrier 15 but showed  good speed to get forward however he was very wide most of the journey lost ground on the corner and then fought on strongly in the straight making up much ground. A stellar performance

3rd  Chief Indy – Settled wide and midfield then on the corner the jockey elected to go inside near the fence where he was balanced up and urged forward. It was at the 150m when he came into the picture and kept taking ground off the leaders. A great run and further distance will also suit him.

4th Mr. Indie – He was ridden hard early to get a more forward position settling on the fence midfield then slotted forward just behind Mach Titan. He stayed on the rails saving much ground, into the straight and he was a clear 4th he kept fighting in the straight to maintain 4th in a strong run.

5th Winner’s Man – Ridden hard early to be on the shoulder of Heat Yegam and was wide from a less favourable gate. Couldn’t maintain that pace after such a fast opening but plenty of merit in the way he ran on for 5th. He may be a different prospect in Seoul at the Korean Derby.