Myeongmun Gamun is Horse of the Year

2008 Review Part 2: The Horses
Myeongmun Gamun won the Horse of the Year award for 2008 but while the Seoul based seven year old gelding was the top money earner of the year, it was Busan horses who dominated the three year old ranks, winning all the classics. In his fourth season, Myeongmun Gamun was imperious. A reversal at the hands of the filly Baekpa was the only setback prior to his second consecutive third place finish in the Grand Prix race where again, he was the first domestically bred horse home. Highlight of the year was his retention of the President’s Cup in November when he broke through the billion won prize money mark.

Outstanding filly of the year was Busan based Jeolho Chance. Running against males in all but her Oaks victory, she was only narrowly defeated by Gaseon Janngun in the final strides of the Minister’s Cup in October. For Gaeseon Janggun, that victory came after running second in both the KRA Cup Mile and the Derby. The Derby itself was run on a saturated track and rank outsider Ebony Storm took the honours but hasn’t won since. Cup Mile winner Rainmaker also subsequently disappointed and is now out injured until at least March. Prolific winner of the year at Busan was Areumdaun Jilju. The four year old harvested big handicaps throughout the year and is possibly the most feared horse on the peninsula right now.

The absence of any domestically bred three year olds in Seoul’s top ten speaks volumes about the dismal three year old crop at the track this year. For the imports, Dongbanui Gangja finally came through in the Grand Prix to leap into second place overall for the year and become Korea’s top imported horse. Through Jeolho Chance and Areumdaun Jilju, Didyme is sire of the year and his sire, Dixieland Band is also the damsire of the other two in Busan’s top four.

Seoul Race Park – Top Horses 2008
1. Myeongmun Gamun (KOR) [Future Quest – Guided Dancer (Incinderator)] G 7 – 7/5/1/1
2. Dongbanui Gangja (USA) [Broken Vow – Maremaid (Storm Bird)] C 3 – 9/5/3/1
3. Baekpa (KOR) [Revere – Grey Crest (Gold Crest)] F 4 – 10/2/3/0
4. Namchonuijijon (KOR) (Concept Win – Intriga (Lord At Law)] H 4 – 9/3/3/0
5. Secret Weapon (KOR) [Native Regent – Aheadofthetimes (Gold Alert)] H 5 – 9/6/0/0
6. Top Point (KOR) [Tom Cruiser – Mooncello (Northern Baby)] F 4 – 7/5/0/1
7. Good Day (KOR) [Double Honor – Fanciest (Lear Fan)] H 4 – 8/4/2/1
8. Geumsuni (KOR) [Big Sur – Monster (Waikiki Star)] F 4 – 10/3/3/0
9. Saerounbisul (NZ) [Danske – Miss Golly (Casual Lies)] G 4 – 9/2/2/3
10. Bally Brae (USA) [Yarrow Brae – Political Bluff (Unaccounted For)] G 6 – 7/2/3/1

Busan Race Park – Top Horses 2008
1. Gaeseon Janggun (KOR) [Duality – Diamond Star (Dixieland Band)] C 3 – 8/3/3/0
2. Jeolho Chance (KOR) [Didyme – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] F 3 – 9/3/1/1
3. Ebony Storm (KOR) [Buster’s Daydream – Sorority Jazz (Dixieland Band) C 3 – 11/3/2/2
4. Areumdaun Jilju (KOR) [Didyme – Chills of Nepal (Nepal) H 4 – 9/7/2/0
5. Rainmaker (KOR) [Revere – Wandering Katie (Tejano)] C 3 – 10/3/1/1
6. Hardride (USA) [Colony Light – Lametta (Lomond)] G 3 – 11/4/2/0
7. Wonder Love (USA) [Wild Wonder – Love Spanish (Spanish Drums)] H 6 – 9/1/2/4
8. Boryeong Bulbit (KOR) [Revere – Windy Ruki (Wind and Wuthering)] G 4 – 11/5/1/2
9. Yongdu Baram (KOR) [Our Poetic Prince – Leave The Nest (Euclase)] G 4 – 12/5/2/1
10. Florida Native(USA) [Kissin Kris – Binndiana (Jose Binn)] H 4 – 11/3/3/1

Pick Me Up Finishes Last at Charles Town

Pick Me Up’s second race in the US went much the same way as his first at Charles Town, West Virginia last Friday evening. Racing on dirt, the 6 year old started brightly but was soon at the back of the field of 9 in the HBPA Governor’s Stakes over 9 furlongs. Hopes that his disappointing showing in his US debut at Delaware Park last month could be put down to running on turf for the first time were dashed as the change in surface made little difference to his performance which was described in the race summary as “finished early”. Pick Me Up will race on in the US before returning to Korea in December.

See the video of the race here. It does not make pleasant viewing for Korean racing fans. (Thanks to fpop for the video).

Weekend Round-Up

Korean Derby video online / Moon’s lead down to four / Challanhanbit wins / Hannam Daegyo wins at Busan

A video of yesterday’s Korean Derby is now online. The conditions during the race make identification of some of the horses difficult at times.

Cho Kyoung Ho managed to narrow the gap at the top of the Jockey’s table slightly by scoring four wins over the weekend to Moon Se Young’s two. Moon now has 52 with Cho on 48. Shim Seung Tae’s win in the Derby on Ebony Storm was quickly followed by another in race 10 on another outsider, Bernie C (16.6). The third-placed horse in the Derby, Namdo Jijon, was ridden by Kim Ok Sung, a late replacement for Ham Wan Sik who picked up a late injury and had to give up all his weekend rides. Shim moves into joint fourth place. It was a good weekend for Boo Min Ho, who marked his hundredth ride on Saturday with his third winner – and then picked up his fourth on Sunday with a win on Colosseum (7.5) in race 2.

Sunday’s handicap came before the Derby when the track was slightly less wet. It was won by Challanhanbit (2.4) for Cho Kyoung Ho. Sunday’s feature race at Busan, where in stark contrast to Seoul, there was beautiful sunshine for much of the afternoon, was won by second favourite Hannam Daegyo (5.4) a head in front of top-weight and favourite Seongsan Daegun (2.3).

Seoul Jockey’s Championship
1. Moon Se Young 52
2. Cho Kyoung Ho 48
3. Park Tae Jong 24
4. Ikuyasu Kurakane; Shim Seung Tae 18

KRA Cup Mile video online

Rainmaker’s win in yesterday’s KRA Cup Mile at Busan Race Park is now online, courtesy of Fallight. Click here.

I’ve added a page for Top Horses in Busan which includes Rainmaker. It’s currently based on the top money winners over the past year. Given the current stage of the season, the list is likely to change frequently so I’ll keep adding any new entrants to the top five. Top Horses in Seoul remains in place.