Busan Ilbo Cup


After a two-year enforced hiatus, the Korea International races are to return in September and the local contenders take their first step towards the first weekend in September as ten of the nation’s fastest gallopers line up for the Busan Ilbo Sprint (1200M – KORG3) on Sunday afternoon, the first leg of the three-race series that concludes with the International Korea Sprint.

The winner of the last Korea Sprint to be held in 2019, Blue Chipper, takes his place in the gate. But it is a sign of the strength of the race that the six-year-old, who went on to run 3rd in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita, won’t be in the top two of the betting, despite a bullet trial at the end of last month.

Instead, most eyes will be on Raon The Fighter, the brilliant Bayern four-year-old, who is yet to be tested in ten starts, all of which he has won effortlessly. He has usurped Eoma Eoma, who had the misfortune to emerge on the scene just as racing was closing down in early 2020 and he dominated when racing for the reduced prize money on offer in behind-closed-doors racing. He did though win last October’s SBS Sports Sprint and at five, still has plenty to offer.

East Jet is a Graded Stakes winner at sprint distances too and will be another at the head of the market, while along with Blue Chipper, the up-and-coming Yeongung Louis heads Busan’s challenge. Here is a run-down of the field.

1. EAST JET (KOR) [Strike Again – Lend (Coronado’s Quest)] – A Group winner, he began the year running 2nd to Raon First in the Segye Ilbo Cup, having led for much of the way around. He then stepped up to 1400M when he, alongside Eoma Eoma, had a testing day at the office.

The 1200M suits him better, he draws the inside gate and while a place chance might be realistic, he will be in this a long way.

2. EOMA EOMA (USA) [Algorithms – Lignite (Run Away And Hide) – A winner of ten including the SBS Sports Sprint. Disregard his last start on March 20th, when on a very wet track he uncharacteristically settled midfield and while he did make up ground in the straight, appeared to hang in a little and was well back behind the winner, Dixie Again. The time before, on January 9th, he ran 4th behind Raon The Fighter when giving away plenty of weight, and ahead of Dixie Again. He is nicely drawn today and at level weights, things might be closer

3. YEONGUNG LOUIS (USA) [Violence – Don’t Stop To Shop (Unbridled’s Song)] – an up and comer having won his last 2 starts, the last in Class 1. He is better known as a 1400m horse but has won over 1200m at lower levels At his last start on March 27th, which was at 1400M he was an excellent five-length winner over a field that contained, Doctor Carson and the former champion sprinter Doraonpogyeongseon, both of whom go again in the Busan Ilbo. If there is too much pace up front, Yeongung Louis may be the closer and while he is very much up in class, he could measure up.

4. RAON THE FIGHTER (KOR) [Bayern – Clarinda (Empire Maker)] – The current hottest property in Korean racing. He has been flawless in ten starts so far, winning them all and is now only seven short of equaling the all-time record for consecutive wins. He has run super times at this distance, eased down and at his latest start on February 20th, he overcame gate thirteen to ease to the front and win by eight lengths from one of today’s rivals, Dixie Again. The time before on January 9th, he comfortably beat a field containing Eoma Eoma and Dixie Again. He likes to race forward so and will be very hard to beat from a nice draw.

5. MIRACLE DREAMING (KOR) [Federalist – Miracle Worker (Menifee)] – Not a prolific winner but he has fifteen top-three finishes from twenty starts. Enters off a good 3rd place at this distance at class 1 level in February behind Daemangui Gil and Heat Yegam when on pace throughout. He has run solid times, but it is hard to see him being able to run the kind of time that would be needed to beat some of today’s rivals.

6. DORAONPOGYEONGSEON (USA) [Kantharos – Smartybegone (Smarty Jones)] – A two-time SBS Sports Sprint winner, the nine-year-old perhaps has his best days behind him but he is still able to run a good race, as evidenced by his 3rd place over 1400M at class 1 in January. He settles midfield or further back and runs home strong, but he will probably find himself with far too much to do against this kind of speed.

7. SINGSING MARY (USA) [With Distinction – Amylimehouse (Limehouse)] – The probable longest shot on the board and the only mare in the race. She is still at class 2 but there is space in the race, and she takes her chance here. It is a very slim chance. Does get a 2kg allowance on the rest of the field.

8. DIXIE AGAIN (KOR) [Ecton Park – Wild Dixie Gal (Wild Event)] – A winner of eight from sixteen, he took a while to get to grips with class 1 level but ran (a distance) 2nd to Raon The Fighter at this distance in February, before upsetting Eoma Eoma and East Jet on a wet track over 1400M on March 20th. He was getting plenty of weight in those races and today will ne harder. Half-brother to multiple Korean Graded winners Beolmaui Kkum and Kkakjaengi.

9. DOCTOR CARSON (KOR) [Hansen – Carson’s Cat (Mountain Cat)] – He came to prominence in a series of wins over Blue Chipper when well weighted in handicaps throughout last spring and summer during the reduced prize-money racing season but has just come up a little short in the biggest races at level. At his last start, he was 4th behind Yeongung Louis at 1700M. He has run fast times for the distance and can be competitive but minor money would be a good result.

10. BLUE CHIPPER (USA) [Tiznow – Dixie City (Dixie Union)] – The 2019 Korea Sprint winner and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile 3rd placegetter has had his setbacks over the past couple of years but showed he remains a force on his day with victory at 2000M at class 1 level in January. He hasn’t raced since but stormed home in a trial on a wet track on March 26th. The draw is unkind, but the quality is there and at level weights, don’t rule out a good run.

Selections: (4) Raon The Fighter (2) Eoma Eoma (1) East Jet (3) Yeongung Louis

The Busan Ilbo Sprint is race 5 on the six-race card at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon and has a post time of 15:55 local time.

Silver Wolf Beats Power Blade in Sprint Series 1st Leg

Champion mare Silver Wolf downed Power Blade in a stretch battle to win the Busan Ilbo Cup, the 1st leg of the 2018 Korean Sprint Series at Busan on Sunday afternoon.

Power Blade was sent off the hot favourite but with a slightly more favourable draw, jockey Kim Dong Soo kept his nerve and kept Silver Wolf on the rail where she was able to gain valuable lengths on her rival as they rounded the turn. Power Blade meanwhile went wide around the field and had significant ground to make up in the straight.

Make it up he did and when Silver Wolf took the lead from early front-runner Perdido Pomeroy, Power Blade was right there. He got to within a length and no more, however, as Silver Wolf held on for what may not have been the richest win of her career but was certainly the best.

More to follow on the race over the next couple of days.

Busan Ilbo Cup – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – Sunday April 29, 2018

1. Silver Wolf (AUS) [Orotorio – Ready For More (More Than Ready)] – Kim Dong Soo – 6.0, 1.4
2. Power Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Cheonmacheong (Lost Mountain)] – Lee Hyo Sik – 1.1
3. Doraonpogyeongseon (USA) [Kantharos – Smartybegone (Smarty Jones)] – You Hyun Myung – 1.6
Distances: 0.5 lengths/4 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) 5. Paran Juuibo (USA) 6. Saengil Gippeum (USA) 7. Morning Daero (USA) 8. Dynamic Star (KOR) 9. Success Story (KOR) 10. Party Again (KOR) 11. Macheon Bolt (KOR) NR: Cheonha TOngil (KOR)

Success Story 3rd as Gamdonguibada Wins Busan Ilbo Cup

Success Story was sent off the slight favourite on his return to racing in Korea but just like in his two starts at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, he had to settle for 3rd as Gamdonguibada romped to a five-length victory in the Busan Ilbo Cup, the first leg of the 2016 Korean Sprint Series at Busan this afternoon.

The race was expected to be dominated by a pace duel between Success Story and Beolmaui Kkum, both fast starters and difficult to split at the head of the market. That would always be fine for Gamdonguibada who was well-backed by punters who suspected she might be able to take advantage of the favourites potentially over-racing early.

Gamdonguibada did exactly that. However, others were not content to let the favourites dictate and Indian Star, Daepungnyeon and Perdido Pomeroy shot out of the gate leaving Success Story and Beolmaui Kkum back in an unfamiliar 4th and 5th as the race settled down.

Entering the straight, Beolmaui Kkum offered nothing and while Success Story rallied, he had too much to find as Gamdonguibada and Choi Si Dae went through the gears and cruised away from the field, racing on for a dominant five-length win on the line. Perdido Pomeroy and Kim Yong Geun ran on for a strong second with Success Story and Paolo Aragoni a further three lengths back in a strung-out finish.

Gamdonguibada (Werblin) is a quite remarkable mare. A $31,000 purchase at the Ocala Two-year-old sale in 2011, she won the Gyeongnam Governor’s Cup and then the Grand Prix Stakes, Korea’s most prestigious race as a three-year-old. She didn;t win any Stakes races in 2013 but then as a five-year-old in 2014 she won two legs of the Queens’ Tour for fillies & mares to be crowned the series champion. Connections (thankfully) rejected the bonus that was on offer to retire her immediately for breeding and brought her back in 2015.

Gamdonguibada won the Busan Metropolitan City Mayor’s Cup, Busan’s richest race for older horses before running poorly in Singapore at 1200M just three weeks later.There was talk once more she would be retired. She wasn’t.

The win is yet another for the Kim Young Kwan training machine that continues to churn out winner after winner at Stakes level. The next leg of the Sprint Series is the SBS Korea/Japan race at Seoul in early June. The final leg is, of course, the Korea Sprint on International Day on September 11th. Gamdonguibada has staked her claim to be there.

Success Story Headlines Sprint Series 1st Leg

Success Story made his mark at a mile and at 2000M in Dubai earlier this year but he drops all the way down to 1200M for his first start back home in Busan in Sunday’s Busan Ilbo Cup, the first leg of the inaugural Korean Sprint Series.


Back at Busan: Success Story

And what an opportunity it is for Italian jockey Paolo Aragoni who gets the plum ride on Success Story on his first weekend riding in Korea.

That said, it is a very tough race. Beolmaui Kkum – who along with Success Story is owned by Lee Jong Hun – will be there along with up and comers Indian Star and Perdido Pomeroy.  Gamdonguibada, Oreuse  and the always-game Gumpo Sky are also among those with claims..

The Sprint series is new for this year with Sunday’s Busan Ilbo Cup being followed by two international races; the SBS Korea/Japan Cup on June 5th and then the $700K Korea Sprint on September 11th, both of which will be run at Seoul. All three races are to be contested over 1200M.

Success Story placed 3rd in both his races in Dubai, exceeding expectations back in Korea where it had been hoped he would simply manage to stay with the field. Cheongu, who also went to Dubai, put in a slightly disappointing performance on his own return to domestic racing at Seoul last weekend, coming home 6th in a class 1 handicap.

Speaking of Seoul, the capital’s entry for the Busan Ilbo Cup is disappointing – although not unexpected – so credit to the connections of the three who are having a go.

We will have a full runner by runner preview of the race (along with the rest of Busan’s Sunday card) up on Saturday. In the meantime, here is the full field (Name [Sire] Age Sex (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) Trainer – Jockey).

Busan Ilbo Cup (Listed) – Busan Racecourse – 1200M – May 1, 2016 (16:15)

1. Success Story (KOR) [Peace Rules] 5 H (20/10/2/4) JK Min – Paolo Aragoni
2. Damyang Chukje (USA) [Good Reward] 7 H (32/5/3/4) HJ Bae – Jo Jae Ro
3. Beolmaui Kkum (USA) [Put It Back] 6 H (25/15/3/3) KY Baik – Seo Seung Un
4. Indian Star (KOR) [Adcat] 4 F (11/8/1/1) JB Mun – Ikuyasu Kurakane
5. Oreuse (USA) [Smoke Glacken] 7 H (33/13/4/4) YG Yoon – Kim Dong Young
6. All Su (KOR) [Perfect Vision II] 8 H (66/9/9/10) HJ Bae – Yoon Tae Hyuk
7. Gamdonguibada (USA) [Werblin] 7 M (34/14/5/7) YK Kim – Choi Si Dae
8. Daepungnyeon (KOR) [Pico Central] 4 G (13/70/1) BH Kim – Song Keong Yun
9. New York Blue (USA) [Candy Ride] 5 M (21/7/8/1) KM Lim – You Hyun Myung
10. Perdido Pomeroy (USA) [Pomeroy] 3 C (5/4/0/1) JB Mun – Kim Yong Geun
11. Gumpo Sky (KOR) [Vicar] 5 H (28/9/8/4) SJ Kwon – Lim Sung Sil

*Starts for Success Story and Gamdonguibada include those in races overseas

Busan Ilbo Cup – Full Preview

Busan hosts its first Stakes race of 2014 this Sunday when nine horses go to post for the mile-long Busan Ilbo Cup.

Gyeongudaero, seen here winning the KRA Cup Mile as a 3-year-old, heads the Busan Ilbo line-up(KRA)

Gyeongudaero, seen here winning the KRA Cup Mile as a 3-year-old, heads the Busan Ilbo line-up(KRA)

It’s the first class 1 Stakes race of the year anywhere in Korea and it has attracted a decent line-up. Here’s a full run down of the field:

Busan Ilbo Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – February 23, 2014

1. Fine Fine [Forest Camp – Dream Fantasy (Manlove)] 5 H 52Kg (17/6/2/0) – Lee Sung Jae
Has had a hard time since graduating to class 1 after an impressive summer last year. In his favour is that he will carry by far the lightest weight in the race.

2. Road To Prince [Pico Central – Ransom Bay (Red Ransom)] 5 H 58.5Kg (19/9/3/1) – Lim Sung Sil
Another who has struggled for form of late although ran a creditable 5th in the President’s Cup at Seoul last November. Plenty of talent but is trainer Kim Young Kwan’s 2nd string here.

3. Gyeongbudaero [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] 5 H 60Kg (24/8/6/6) – Choi Si Dae
Top weight reflects that he is a top horse whose win record doesn’t reflect his ability. Won the KRA Cup Mile over this distance almost 2 years ago and even with the weight, will be a contender.

4. Alpha Myeongjang [Pico Central – Lend (Coronado’s Quest)] 5 H 54.4Kg (21/8/6/0) – Masakazu Tanaka
Finished behind Grand Teukgeup in his last two outings and will have to work some to overcome that form here. Only out of the money 3 times in his 21 starts so always goes close.

5. Grand Teukgeup [Menifee – Saratoga Campaign (Mt.Livermore)] 5 M 55Kg (25/9/4/2) – Darryll Holland
The only filly or mare in the race, she was 3rd in the Korean Oaks in 2012 and 2nd in the Ttukseom Cup last year. Won last time out at 7 furlongs and must be considered.

6. Magic Dancer [Forest Camp – Wildly Magic (Peterhof)] 4 C 58.5Kg (10/7/3/0) – Kanichiro Fujii
Kim Young Kwan’s first string, he’s won his only start at this distance although that was at class 2. Skipped the Classics last year and regarded as one to follow this season.

7. Chima Cheolli [Dongseo Daero – Gamhwaryeok (Down The Aisle)] 4 C 57Kg (13/4/4/2) – Kim Dong Young
Has won his last two starts, both at this distance. He steps up in class here but has the speed to make a strong challenge.

8. My Winner [Vicar – Bridlingbride (Unbridled’s Song)] 5 G 57.5Kg (18/5/5/0) – Kim Yong Geun
Peter Wolsley’s runner hasn’t been seen since a disappointing run in the President’s Cup in November but he’ll most likely appreciate the drop back in trip and could be in with a shout of a place.

9. All Su [Perfect Vision II – Seollimwon (Wheaton)] 6 H 56Kg (41/8/5/9) – Song Keong Yun
Reliable campaigner who has been competing at class 1 for two years now. Likes the distance and has wins over a number of his rivals here. Will need to be at his very best to challenge though.

The Busan Ilbo Cup is the highlight of a busy couple of days of racing on the peninsula. Here’s what’s happening when and where over Saturday and Sunday:

Saturday February 22
Seoul Race Park: 12 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:30

Sunday February 23
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:00 including the Busan Ilbo Cup at 16:10.

Dangdae Bulpae Does It Again

Tenth Stakes Win For Busan Star / Gamdonguibabda Makes Successful Return / Feel So Good Wins At Seoul

Dangdae Bulpae keeps on making history. Recording an unprecedented 10th Stakes win under an unprecendented weight for a Stakes winner and taking his earned prize money to an unprecendented 2.9 Billion won, the 6-year-old cruised to victory in the Busan Ilbo Cup this afternoon.

Pre-race, the weight was an issue. The three-time President’s Cup winner had never been successful when carrying more than 59kg but, as soon as the gates opened, any doubts disappeared.

Jo Sung Gon took Dangdae Bulpae (Biwa Shinseiki) straight to the front and there they stayed. A passenger for most of the race, Jo needed to work a little to keep his mount going straight in the final two furlongs but there was never any question of him not winning.

At the line, the margin of victory was 3 lengths, with Dongseo Jeongbeol and Gyeongbudaero, Classic winners both, filling the placings.

Because of the weights he needs to carry in handicaps, we;ll likely only see Dangdae Bulpae a couple more times before this summer target; successfulyy defending the Busan Metropolitan City Stakes. After that, it may be that an attempt on a 4th straight President’s Cup is on the cards. It would take a brave punter to take him on.

One of very few horses who does have a recent victory over Dangdae Bulpae to her name is Gamdounguibada. And the 2012 Grand Prix Stakes winner was back for her season debut in the finale at Busan.

And it proved to be the easiest winner Joe Fujii will ever ride as
Gamdonguibada (Werblin) recorded a 5 length victory over the always game Viva Ace (Macho Uno). The Champion filly & mare and Champion foreign horse of 2012 is going to be one of the horses to watch in 2013 too.

Perhaps the most exciting – and certainly the most intriguing – horse in Korean racing was on show up at Seoul this afternoon. Feel So Good (Ft.Stockton) was bred in Korea but spent his early years in the US and won a race at Calder Racecourse last year. He returned home last autumn and was an easy winner on his Korean debut.

Feel So Good returns a winner

Feel So Good returns a winner

It was equally easy today as Feel So Good romped to a 6 length win over 1700 metres without seeming to get out of second gear. This year is going to be an interesting one.

Busan Ilbo Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – February 24, 2013

1. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] – Jo Sung Gon – 1.7, 1.1
2. Dongseo Jeongbeol (KOR) [Vicar – Rendezvous Bay (Wonderloaf)] – Joe Fujii – 1.3
3. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee p Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] – Choi Si Dae – 1.6

Distances: 3 lengths/Neck
Also Ran: 4. Alpha Myeongjang 5. Road To Prince 6. Born To Win 7. Yeonseung Daero 8. Powerful Korea 9. Geumsangeo

Dangdae Bulpae Heads Strong Busan Ilbo Cup Field

Busan hosts its first Stakes race of the year this coming Sunday as nine horses go to post for the Busan Ilbo Cup.

Stakes races usually end up with Dangdae Bulpae and Jo Sung Gon in the winner's circle

Stakes races usually end up with Dangdae Bulpae and Jo Sung Gon in the winner’s circle

It has attracted a high quality field with last year’s winner Yeonseung Daero set to have his work cut out to retain the trophy as three-time President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae the likely favourite. Here’s a full run down of the runners with name, pedigree, sex, age, weight (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) and Jockey:

Busan Ilbo Cup – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Sunday February 24, 2013 – 16:15

1. Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] H 6 61kg (28/18/2/2) – Jo Sung Gon
One of the best Korean bred horses there has ever been. A three-time winner of the President’s Cup and the winner of more Stakes races than any other horse in Korean history. Against Korean bred opposition he should always be favourite at any distance between 1400 metres and 2000 metres and he will be here. The only consolation for his rivals is that he has never won when carrying more than 60kg and when he’s not on form, he’s really not on form. If he’s anything close to his best, he wins.

2. Dongseo Jeongbeol (KOR) [Vicar – Rendezvous Bay (Wonderloaf)] H 5 55.5kg (21/9/3/0) – Kanichiro (Joe) Fujii
Minister’s Cup winner in 2011, he struggled for form last year although he did finish 2nd in this race and picked up a win over the distance. He ended the year in good shape but will have to improve to win here but taking into weight and jockey, cannot be ruled out.

3. Road To Prince (KOR) [Pico Central – Ransom Bay (Red Ransom)] C 4 58kg (9/6/2/0) – Lim Sung Sil
A horse who has really crept up to class 1 under the radar. This will be his debut at this level and as such is a slightly unknown quantity. Seems to have plenty of improvement in him and will like the distance.

4. Gyeongbudaero (KOR) [Menifee – Princess Lanique (Cherokee Run)] C 4 58.5kg (16/5/4/5) – Choi Si Dae
Remarkably this colt hasn’t won since he took the KRA Cup Mile, the first leg of the Triple Crown, last April. The reason is that he only ever runs against the best. 3rd in the Derby, 2nd in the Owners’ Cup, 3rd in the Minister’s Cup, 3rd in the President’s Cup. He usually runs into just one or two who are faster. That could well be the same here.

5. Alpha Myeongjang (KOR) [Pico Central – Lend (Coronado’s Quest)] C 4 61kg (16/7/5/0) – You Hyun Myung
An out-and-out sprinter he was very exposed in the Minister’s Cup last year. If the race was 400 metres shorter, he’d be favourite. It’s not, so he is an outsider. The consitions of the race also land him with 61kg, the same as Dangdae Bulpae.

6. Born To Win (KOR) [Archer City Slew – Bayou Blues (Cure The Blues)] M 5 54.5kg (25/4/5/3) – Narazaki Kosuke
She may well be Born To Win but she doesn’t do it very often and he’ll not do it here either. A pair of class 2 victories last autumn propelled her into the elite class and she beat some useful horses when finishing second over 1900 metres last month but there’s not much in her favour here.

7. Yeonseung Daero (KOR) [Creek Cat – Sensationalkris (Cryptoclearance)] H 7 56.5kg (47/17/9/5) – Park Geum Man
A wonderfully game horse and the defending champion. Yeonseung Daero has been campaigned almost exclusively against foreign-bred horses, hence “only” having 17 wins to his name. Struggled for much of 2012 but was right back in form at the end of the year, he can never be written off. Stablemate of Gyeongbudaero.

8. Geumsangeo (KOR) [Volponi – Dactique’s Quest (Coronodo’s Quest)] M 5 52kg (20/3/5/3) – Chae Gyu Jun
A relative unknown who has risen to class 1 through placing more than winning. Has never faced a field of this quality before and while she does have a big weight advantage, it would be a surprise to see her involved at the business end of the race.

9. Powerful Korea (KOR) [Distilled – Bound To Score (Quick Score)] G 5 58kg (20/6/3/4) – Kim Dong Young
He spent his 2-year old season in the USA and even ran in 3 races in Florida but Powerful Korea has never really lived-up to his potential. He has just a solitary class 1 victory to his name and while he has undoubted ability, will need to find a lot of improvement to win here.

Gyongmaman’s verdict: Even taking into account the weight (which is too high – horses do not need to be carrying this kind of weight in a race that isn’t even a handicap but this is an argument for another day) it is difficult to look beyond Dangdae Bulpae for the win but there won’t be much value in that. Therefore, Gyongmaman will probably leave him alone in the betting and look for options involving Yeonseung Daero and Dongseo Jeongbeol both of whom are carrying reasonable weights, have good jockeys and are almost certain to run solid races.