Breeders’ Cup

Seoul & Busan Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 27)

Seoul and Busan both host their respective 2nd legs of the 2019 Juvenile Series on Sunday with the best in both races qualifying for the final at Busan on the first Sunday in December. There is an 11 race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 while at Busan there are 6 races from 12:40 to 17:05. Here are the previews:

Roller Blade

Roller Blade won the 1st leg of the Juvenile Series at Seoul (Pic: KRA) 

 

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

Maiden juvenile fillies to kick things off and all twelve of them are racing for the very first time. (9) BOHEMIAN MUSIC is the only trial winner among them, taking her heat by leading all the way back in September in a decent time and she’ll be among the top line of favourites here. Fastest though in trials was (7) ROAD RAN. She too led all the way until the closing stages and under Moon Se Young could well start favourite. (3) SONGAM PLAYER took part in a slowly-run heat but ran on very competently and can go well first up here while (8) CHEONJI YEOGEOL also hinted at ability. (11) SOSEONO LEGEND is out of Soseono, a filly who ran well in Korea and has a top trainer/jockey combination aboard.

Selections (9) Bohemian Music (7) Road Ran (3) Songam Player (11) Soseono Legend
Next Best 8, 4
Fast Start 4, 7, 8, 9

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Not the strongest of maidens here. There were six months between his first and second starts and (3) GOOD MOUNT returned to run 4th at this distance on September 28th. He’ll most likely be on the early pace here and won’t need much improvement to win. That’s true too of (8) JOLLY ROGER, an improved 4th on his third start last month. He led for much of that race and is in weaker company here. (7) PRETTY JOY races for the first time since February. And trialled up adequately enough to suggest she has a chance first-up here. (5) GWACHEON ACE and first-time starter (11) ULTRA ANNIE are others who should be in the hunt.

Selections (3) Good Mount (8) Jolly Roger (7) Pretty Joy (11) Ultra Annie
Next Best 5, 2
Fast Start 2, 3, 8

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

Competitive maiden. (7) CHOEGANG MAGIC gets the decision having run 2nd and 3rd in his latest two, at this distance and at 1700M. He’s likely to be among the early leaders here and could have too much. (9) ROYAL REMEMBER ran an improved 4th at this distance last month and should join Choegang Magic on the early speed and pose the biggest threat. (10) BEST LUCKY showed some progress on his latest outing and may appreciate the increase in trip today while (12) CHEONNYEONUI GODO has finished 4th in each of his last three starts and coule well finish 4th again today. (4) SOUTHERN MAN looks best of the rest.

Selections (7) Choegang Magic (9) Royal Remember (10) Best Lucky (12) Cheonnyeonui Godo
Next Best 4, 8
Fast Start 4, 5, 7, 9

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

Banker favourite of the day time. (2) KING OF RULES may still be a maiden, but he’s finished as runner-up in four of eight starts so far, beaten by useful ones each time. From gate 2, he should lead from the start and would be a big surprise where he to not finally make the breakthrough here. (5) LUCKY BEOPJEON is in a similar position having finished as runner-up behind TK Day and Stretto, both talented juveniles. He’s up in class here but does have a win in him sooner or later.  (10) BAEKSAEK GWANGCHAE ran 2nd on his first try at this level on September 29th and should be competitive here too. (1) KAHINAH and (11) SOLGAEBARAM look best of the rest.

Selections (2) King Of Rules (5) Lucky Beopjeon (10) Baeksaek Gwangchae (1) Kahinah
Next Best 11, 4
Fast Start 1, 2

Busan Race 1 Selections: 5, 1, 10, 11

Seoul Race 5: Class 4 (1300M) handicap / KRW 60 Million

(8) SPEEDOM was an emphatic five-length winner on debut over 1000M on September 21st. He’s up in distance today but looks to have plenty more in him and he can make it two from two today. (3) CHEMI BLUE remains a maiden after thirteen attempts but comes in having finished as runner-up in each of his latest three, just beaten a nose last time. He’ll be on pace from the start and today looks as good a chance as any he has had so far. (4) MUNHAK REWARD showed some progress on what was his second start a month ago, running 3rd and can build on that today. (5) EOMAMUSI was a good maiden winner last start and should be competitive. (9) SOULY MAJESTIC looked sharp when winning a trial last week and is the wildcard.

Selections (8) Speedom (3) Chemi Blue (4) Munhak Reward (5) Eomamusi
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 3, 5, 8, 9

Busan Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Having debuted last November, it wasn’t until September 27th that (11) YEONGSEONG HOPE finally returned to the track. It was a winning return though, as he scored by three-lengths over 1000M. He’s up in class and distance today but should be equal to both and is favoured to win again. (4) AMOR FATI got his maiden win at the fourth time of asking a month ago. It was at this distance and he made all. He’ll try to get to the lead right away today and looks the main danger. (8) NAEGA SAEGANGJA enters with recent form reading well and should be challenging for a place, as should (3) DONE IT MY, who may be a twenty-nine-race maiden but is capable of finding the money in this type of company. (9) GIDAEHAE another in the hunt.

Selections (11) Yeongseong Hope (4) Amor Fati (3) Done It My (8) Naega Saegangja
Next Best 9, 6
Fast Start 4, 7, 8, 11

Seoul Race 6: Class 5 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Tricky race but (4) HWANGGEUM DOYAJI looks the pick. She may only have been 5th last start but she was only half a length off 4th and ran on strongly. Today marks her firs try at 1700M and it may well suit. (3) CITY CHAMP is still a maiden after twenty-six starts but comes in having raced well lately with a 3rd and a 2nd from his most recent two, both at this distance. He should be placing again. (6) INDIAN BOSS and (1) CHEONJI MYEONGJANG came home 3rd and 4th respectively when they raced each other over 1300M on September 29th and both should be aiming for some money here. (11) CHOEGANG SINGI, up in class today, looks best of the rest.

Selections (4) Hwanggeum Doyaji (3) City Champ (11) Choegang Singi (6) Indian Boss
Next Best 1, 5
Fast Start 2, 5, 10

 Busan Race 3: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(6) WONDERFUL COUNTRY ran out a good class and distance winner just two weeks ago. As a result, he carries an additional 4.5kg today but if anything, the competition is not as strong as it was that day and another win is possible. (5) DAEHO JILJU enters in similarly good form with a win and runner=up finish from his latest two and should be a threat while (3) YEONGGWANGUI CHEER is better than his latest couple of outings suggest and back in trip today, can get closer. There are two wildcards. Both (1) SPEED FURY and (7) TANGENT are returning from lengthy spells on the sidelines and both looked well in trials.

Selections (6) Wonderful Country (5) Daeho Jilju (1) Speed Fury (7) Tangent
Next Best 3, 12
Fast Start 2, 3, 6, 11

Seoul Race 7: Class 3 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 75 Million

(3) VICAR BRACING enters having completed a hat-trick of victories in his last three starts, the most recent of which was at class and distance and four in a row is not (more…)

Seoul & Busan Sunday – Breeders’ Cup Day: Race-By-Race Preview (December 2)

Korea’s champion juvenile will be crowned on Sunday as the Juvenile Series comes reaches its conclusion in the Breeders’ Cup (KOR G2) which this year, for the first time, is being run at Busan. 13 line up including the winners of both Seoul and Busan’s primary races, Dae Wan Ma and King Socks. There is a 6 race-card at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10 and an 11-race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00.

Dae Wan Ma Dokki Blade Gwacheon Mayor's Cup - KRA

Dae Wan Ma (1) and Do Kki Blade are at Busan to take on King Socks in the Breeders’ Cup (Pic: KRA)

  1. YEONGGWANGUI FIGHT – Never got going in the Gimhae Mayor’s. Two good wins prior to that. Not a fast starter and additional trip today may suit.
  2. TOP OF WORLD – 4th in Gimhae Mayor’s having led and tired off a stiff early pace. Three for three prior including at 1300M. Likely to lead and has a chance.
  3. WONDERFUL EVIL – Well beaten by Do Kki Blade in August but has won his latest two. Will need more here. Settles midfield.
  4. DAE WAN MA – Beat Do Kki Blade by a neck in the Gwacheon Mayor’s. Only defeat so far a DQ. Will be on pace and is one of the favourites.
  5. MIGHTY POWER – Beaten nine-lengths by King Socks on debut but has since won two of three including at a mile. Distance no issue and could be a wildcard.
  6. KING SOCKS – Dominant eight-length winner on the Gimhae Mayor’s having sat behind the fast early pace. Only defeat was on debut. Favourite here and can win.
  7. RULES ICHEON – Takes his chance having got his maiden win on his third start a month ago. Stablemate of Dae Wan Ma. Big outsider.
  8. DAEJI CHAMP – Eye-catching scores at 1300M and 1200M in his latest two, making all both times. This is much tougher.
  9. PRECEDE –Stablemate of King Socks with just two starts. Won on debut over 1000M then was beaten a head at 1300M at the end of October. Never rule out the trainer.
  10. GWONTOJUNGLAE – One win from three over 1000M. 4th place at 1300M last time makes him hard to recommend.
  11. DO KKI BLADE – Just beaten a neck by Dae Wan Ma in the Gwacheon Mayor’s. Looks to be getting better and distance should suit under likely patient ride.
  12. YEONGGWANGUI SECRET – 2nd to King Socks in the Gimhae Mayor’s, albeit beaten eight-lengths, was his first defeat. Placing chance.
  13. MYEONGPUM CHUKJE – Won his first two before running 3rd to Dae Wan Ma and Dokki Blade in Gwacheon Mayor’s. More to find.

Verdict: The winner’s of the two second legs at Seoul and Busan, (4) DAE WAN MA and (6) KING SOCKS will be favourites to battle it out here with King Socks on his home track slightly favoured. (2) TOP OF WORLD and (11) DOKKI BLADE may both appreciate the extra distance today and can be competitive while (7) RULES ICHEON and (9) PRECEDE may be the surprise packages.

Selections: (6) King Socks (4) Dae Wan Ma (2) Top Of World (11) Dokki Blade

Busan Selections

Race 1: 2, 3, 1, 9
Race 2: 8, 12, 9, 7
Race 3: 5, 8, 3, 4
Race 4: 1, 2, 7, 8
Race 6: 3, 2, 7, 8

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

Juvenile maidens to begin with and six of the eight have prior experience. (6) WIND RIVER was by some margin the best on debut, running a good 3rd over this distance on November 10th. It was a decent time and a similar performance should see her home on top today. One of the others have really impressed although (9) FULL MOON OCEAN did nothing wrong for his 6th and can improve today. Similarly (3) RAON KEVIN can be given another chance having finished 7th of 12 on his own racecourse bow. That leaves the two debut-makers as contenders. (5) MISS SUNSHINE looks the best of them, running well in a trial just last week. (2) DAEJI YEOGEOL also looked competent enough in her heat and can go well first-up.

Selections (6) Wind River (5) Miss Sunshine (9) Full Moon Ocean (3) Raon Kevin
Next Best 2, 8
Fast Start 3, 4, 8, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juveniles seeking their first win with seven of them having raced once before. The one of those with the best finishing position on debut was (10) CHEONNYEON VIKING, who ran 2nd in a filly-only maiden at this distance all the way back in August. She should be in the mix again, but it wasn’t a fast race that day and she will need to improve. (9) SLING STONE ran faster in 5th on his debut last month and the recency of that perhaps makes him a better bet while (3) VICTORY KING beat a couple of the others who go here on his debut four weeks ago and should beat plenty of them again. However, for our pick we are turning to a newcomer. (8) RAON STORM looked like he meant business when running strongly in a trial at the end of October and if he brings that form to the races, he should win. Another first-time starter (4) YEOKDAE CHOEGO will also be well-backed first-up having won a trial. Watch the market with both for additional clues.

Selections (8) Raon Storm (9) Sling Stone (10) Cheonnyeon Viking (4) Yeokdae Choego
Next Best 3, 11
Fast Start 8, 9, 10, 12

Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Fillies only here and having beaten a couple of these on her way to 2nd place at class and distance on November 4th, (8) RAON SERENA is favoured to prevail here. She’s yet to win in four outings but has never been worse than 3rd and she can come out on top today, most likely leading all the way. (3) EOMJI YEOWANG and (2) DANGDAE SONYEO chased Raon Serena home that day in 4th and 5th and they may well be the ones who pose the greatest threat here although they do have almost three lengths to make up.  (1) KKEULEOJUNEUN SON remains a maiden but is capable if finding the places in this kind of race while the same is true of (7) NAMJJOK NARA, another maiden but up in class today after a useful 3rd last time out.

Selections (8) Raon Serena (2) Dangdae Sonyeo (1) Kkeuleojuneun Son (3) Eomji Yeowang
Next Best 7, 9
Fast Start 2, 8, 9

Race 4: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(3) MIREU STORM has won two of her three starts so far and is up in class today looking for a hat-trick. Both her wins have come at this distance and both by leading from gate to wire and she is well-drawn for a good start and a repeat. This is a stiff test though and the primary danger – and possible favourite – is (6) CHAPEL ACE. He’s a class and distance winner and while he hasn’t been exceptional in recent outings, he comes in off a good 4th last time and looks set to got well here. (1) RAON ZEUS drops back significantly in trip following a couple of chastening experiences at 1700M and should be much better today. (5) SERA KHAN won at this distance at class 5 in September and while he only managed 6th on his first try at this level in October, he can improve today. (12) BOMBI’S KING ran a good, if slightly unexpected, 2nd last time out (the jockey got fined for returning half a kilo heavier than he weighed out) and could aim for a place again.

Selections (3) Mireu Storm (6) Chapel Ace (1) Raon Zeus (5) Sera Khan
Next Best 12, 11
Fast Start 1, 3, 7, 9

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

(9) YEOGEOL VISION came up in class following a 2nd place and a win from her first two starts before running 3rd on her first try at this level on November 4th. She’s up in trip today but she’s run on well each time and it may suit her very well. (8) LUCKY BONGHWA remains a maiden after eight attempts but since returning from five months out has registered a 4th and a 3rd in two outings and may be considered to go even better here. (1) DAE BYEONHWA’s recent form reads well and he should have placing claims. (5) CAMP TOUCH and (6) HANEULEUL DALRIDA, the latter up in class after a solid maiden win over this distance a month ago, are others in the hunt.

Selections (9) Yeogeol Vision (8) Lucky Bonghwa (6) Haneuleul Dalrida (1) Dae Byeonhwa
Next Best 5, 4
Fast Start 3, 6

Race 6: Class 4 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(12) DARK PLAYER has run twice so far recording a 3rd and a 2nd. He’s run well on both occasions and with a bit more progress today, he can find his way to the winner’s circle. He’ll have to overcome the widest draw, but he looks capable. (9) PRIMO has been very solid of late, going down by a nose in July, a neck in August and a half-length in (more…)

Ecton Blade Claims Top Juvenile Crown

Two years ago, Power Blade won the Breeders’ Cup to become champion juvenile of his crop. Seven months later he was a Korean Triple Crown winner. On Sunday at Seoul Racecourse, the same connections sent out Ecton Blade and he too returned as the top two-year-old of his generation.

Ecton Blade, the latest product of the Kim Young Kwan training machine, was sent off as third-favourite for the 1400M Breeders’ Cup. Market leaders were World Sun and Choinma who had each won both their big prep races at Busan and Seoul respectively, Ecton Blade finishing a cool four-lengths adrift of World Sun in the Gimhae Mayor’s Cup at the end of October.

World Sun behaved badly on the way to the gate and proved a tough ride in the race itself too. He found himself in a good position coming off the turn but never managed to make it into top gear ultimately coming home in 5th. Choinma ran better though and ultimately got the closest to Ecton Blade as a fast finishing 2nd place.

Having already won over a mile, the distance was never going to be an issue for Ecton Blade and jockey Ham Wan Sik was happy to sit 3rd in the early stages as Global Line and Sinui Myeongryeong set the pace. He took over at the top f the stretch and never looked like being caught. Choinma was solid in 2nd while Sinui Myeongryeong stuck on for a very good 3rd to finish the best of the three fillies in the contest.

Breeders’ Cup (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – December 3, 2017

1. Ecton Blade (KOR) [Ecton Park – Vying Ty Grr (Regal Intention)] – Ham Wan Sik – 8.5, 2.0
2. Choinma (KOR) [Menifee – Kkummaeul (Curia Regis)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 1.4
3. Sinui Myeongryeong  (KOR) (Hansen – Strawberry Rose (Dr Fong)] – 3.9
Distances: 1.5 lengths / 1.25 lengths
Also Ran: 4. King Jjang 5. World Sun 6. Gyeongjuui Durebak 7. Divide Wind 8. Global Line 9. Wonderful Jackpot 10. Icheon Ssal 11. Sin Stealth 12. Okay Queen

Ecton Blade has now won three out of five starts. Owned by Power Blade owner Kim Hyung Ran, he’s trained by Kim Young Kwan. It’s early days but this two-year-old crop certainly looks stronger and deeper than the one a year ago so we will hopefully be set for an exciting Triple Crown season in 2018.

In other races, Tohamsan (Kwaedo Nanma) returned to winning ways in Busan’s feature. The Korea Sprint also-ran was giving his rivals plenty of weight in the 1200M handicap but cruised to an easy victory, his first since May.

Breeders’ Cup Sunday Seoul & Busan: Race-By-Race Preview (December 3)

Korea’s top juveniles clash on Sunday afternoon with a big Prize and Champion 2-year-old status on the line in the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul Racecourse. There are 11 races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:05.

Choinma Gyeonggi

Choinma has won both his lead-up races for this but faces a tough challenge from Busan’s World Sun in Sunday’s Breeders’ Cup (Pic: KRA)

Both World Sun and Choinma enter having won both of their home track’s two lead-up races for the Breeders’ Cup and the pair are likely to be 1st and 2nd favourite but as ever, it looks a competitive race. Both 2015 winner Power Blade and 2016 winner Final Boss, went on to win the Korean Derby as three-year-olds. Here are the previews:

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

It’s hard to oppose (1) NAM SON. He’s been 2nd and 3rd in his two outings to date and drops back to the minimum distance at which he showed good speed on debut in October. He won’t necessarily lead from the gate but he really should be leading when they hit the wire. Filly (12) SEONGBUL CHAMP has shown a bit of promise too, improving across her two starts to date and narrowly missing out on 2nd last time. She should at least achieve that today. (4) SEOUL STORY was behind Seongbul Champ on debut and can improve here while (11) PALDO GANGTA and (5) GLOBAL NEWS, the latter being quick in his trial, are others to look out for.

Selections (1) Nam Son (12) Seongbul Champ (4) Seoul Story (5) Global News
Next Best 11, 9
Fast Start 4, 5, 8, 12

Race 2: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

The 5th that (7) RAON ACE managed last start was less than half a length away from being a 2nd and a similar performance today should see him home on top. (12) MACHA BUCHA had a hard day at the office in one of the stiffest class 5’s we’ve had at Seoul in a long time three weeks ago but can be given another chance today. (2) SPECIAL LIGHT is up in class following a win over 1300M on November 5th and can be competitive. (3) RAON ROCKY returns from almost five months off and trialled well while (6) CHODONG RACE steps back in trip following a couple of unsuccessful attempts at 1700M and can be better today.

Selections (7) Raon Ace (12) Macha Bucha (3) Raon Rocky (2) Special Light
Next Best 6, 10
Fast Start 6, 9, 12

Race 3: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million 

Up in class having won his latest two (albeit one in the stewards’ room), (6) MAGIC TEN is the one to beat once more. He has an enforced jockey change today but can still win, likely coming from just off the early pace. (2) SUPER PUNCH was a winner at class and distance last start and while he carries an extra 3kg today should be firmly in the frame once more. (1) BULHUUI SEUNGJA went poorly from a wide gate last time but is worthy (more…)

Final Boss Is Korea’s 2016 Juvenile Champion

Final Boss swept home late to land the Breeders’ Cup at Seoul today and be crowned Champion Korean Juvenile of 2016. The Menifee colt followed up his victory in October’s Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup to land a rare triumph for Seoul-trained horses over their Busan rivals. 

Busan’s Europa, winner of the Gyeongnam Sinmun Cup and from the Kim Young Kwan training machine, was sent off as the slight odds-on favourite but while he was well placed entering the home straight, he was able to offer little in the closing stages, coming home in 4th.

Indeed the early pace-setters, Evergreen Tree, Circle Dancer, Athena Thunder and Ice Marine, would all fade as the closers took command late on. Second favourite Daeho Sidae struck the front a furlong out and was joined by the Yonekura Satoshi ridden Muhan Yeoljeong. But on the outside, just as he did in the Mayor’s Cup, Final Boss pounced, jockey Choi Bum Hyun timing things perfectly to go past in sight of the line and take the glory by just under a length.

Breeders’ Cup (KOR G2) – Seoul Racecourse – 1400M – December 4, 2016

1. Final Boss (KOR) [Menifee – Sinsok Dolpa (Lindo Shaver)] – Choi Bum Hyun – 12.4, 3.5
2. Daeho Sidae (KOR) [Simon Pure – Ara Mireu (Didyme)] – Choi Si Dae – 2.2
3. Muhan Yeoljeong (KOR) [Officer – Ridemetothemoon (Malibu Moon)] – Yonekura Satoshi – 4.0
Distances: 0.75 lengths / 1 length
Also Ran: 4. Wonder Wall 5. Europa 6. Indian King 7. Kkumui Silhyeon 8. Meni Bracing 9. Rocket Queen 10. Illyu Star 11. Sunkissed 12. Ice Marine 13. Lead Money 14. Circle Dancer 15. Evergreen Tree 16. Athena Thunder

Final Boss moves on to four wins from six outings and heads into the New Year as Seoul’s big hope to land one of the three-year-old Classics. It’s great news for Seoul, however, it will be tempered by the fact that the next five place-getters were all from Busan.

More to follow…

Sunday Seoul & Busan Preview: Breeders’ Cup 2016 (December 4)

It’s the penultimate Stakes race of the year in Korea on Sunday as the juveniles take their turn to sort out the champion for 2016. A full field of 16 will contest the Breeders’ Cup over 1400M at Seoul Racecourse. The race is the highlight of an 11-race card at Seoul which runs from 10:40 to 18:00 while Busan goes from 12:35 to 17:05.

20161022_165205-1.jpg

Final Boss won the Gwacheon Mayor’s Cup, Seoul’s Breeders’ Cup trial, in October

Europa and Final Boss, who won Busan and Seoul’s respective trials for this race will both be there to contest the race that Power Blade won a year ago before going on to sweep the Triple Crown as a three-year-old. Irish trainer Thomas Gillespie also saddles his first runner in the capital as the unbeaten Pegasus Farm-bred Evergreen Tree takes her chance.

See here for runner-by-runner form comments. Here for English race cards. And below for brief notes on the three races which will be simulcast overseas.

Race 8: Class 2 / 1700M / Handicap / KRW 90 Million / 15:45

(1) WINNERS GLORY is up in class following a three-length win over this distance on October 30th. He carries a light weight here and runs best on or close to the early speed so gate 1 will suit. He has an excellent chance. Gate 12 will suit (12) SINJO DAEHYEOP who beat both (8) DOUBLE LUCKY and (9) VENI WIN when victorious over 1400M in October. A strong finisher, this is his first time around two-turns and he should take to it well. (11) GAIA THUNDER has already shown aptitude for the distance with a 2nd place in September. He’s up in class following a 3rd place last month at 1400M and will be competitive. Already established at this level is (7) LION STAR. He has placed in each of his last four outings and there’s no reason to suggest that run will end here.

Selections: (1) Winners Glory (12) Sinjo Daehyeop (7) Lion Star (11) Gaia Thunder
Next Best: 8, 4
Rating: 12, 10, 7, 9, 8
Fast Starters: 1, 2, 7
Start-200M: 2, 8, 7, 4, 1
200M-Finish: 12, 11, 10, 8, 1

(more…)

Korea Owned J.S. Choice Set For BC Juvenile Turf

It looks like J.S. Choice will run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf this coming Friday. The Todd Pletcher trained colt is owned by none other than the Korea Racing Authority Stud Farm.

I’m not going to claim this news sets the pulse racing to any great extent although the Korea Racing Authority and the racing media in Korea seem to be quite excited about it and there will be a sizable Korean contingent at Santa Anita to watch him. However, ultimately he’s an American horse, who has never set hoof in Korea, trained by an American trainer running in an American race ridden and will be ridden by an American jockey (Kent Desormeaux).

That’s not his fault though and he looks to be a promising horse. J.S. Choice has raced three times so far and having been 5th on his debut at Saratoga in August, he came back out at the same track to win at the second time of asking on September 5. He was then entered for the Group 3 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont on October 1st and ran 2nd (albeit quite well beaten by Oscar Performance who also runs on Friday) and this has proven enough to allow him to take his chance at Santa Anita.

The experiment is not without merit and is not purely a vanity project. The idea is that he was purchased in the sales having been selected for potential value by the KRA’s “K-Nicks” database and then sent to a top American trainer. He will do his racing in the United States and will then be retired for Stud duties in Korea. Interestingly, he has done his racing on Turf and with the KRA serious about installing a turf track at Seoul – something that would arguably be the biggest development in racing history here and on which work has already begun – stallions who have demonstrated ability on the surface are going to be required and the Authority, Korean horsemen and also punters will all need to become familiar with racing on a surface that was meant to be raced on.

J.S. Choice [Congrats – Oil Empress (Empire Maker)] is named with a nod to 2007 Korean Triple Crown winner J.S. Hold. He runs in the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita on Friday November 4th with an expected morning line of 20/1. I haven’t quite decided if I’ll be setting my alarm for what will be early Saturday Seoul time, but I do really hope he does well.