Korean Triple Crown

The Korean Derby 2015: The Final Preview

The 18th running of the Korean Derby takes place at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon. Eight horses from Busan, including the KRA Cup Mile winner Rafale take on five from Seoul in the second leg of the 2015 Korean Triple Crown.

Queen's Blade won last year's Derby. Who will succeed her in 2015? (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Queen’s Blade won last year’s Derby. Who will succeed her in 2015? (Pic: Ross Holburt)

If you’ve never been before, get down to Seoul Racecourse for this one. Although the Derby is the feature, it is one of ten races with the first at 10:50 and the last at 18:00. The Keeneland Cup is another big race on the day while K-Pop is provided by “Mamamoo”.

Here is a full run-down of the field (Name [Pedigree] (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd) – Jockey):

The Korean Derby (KOR G1) – Seoul Racecourse – 1800M – May 17, 2015 (16:55)

1. Yeonggwanguitaepung [Menifee – Grand Pass (Grand Slam)] (9/3/2/2) – Masakazu Tanaka
A really quick finisher, he flew home in the Cup Mile to just be edged into 4th. He is a winner over 1800M already and is likely to go to the back early and try to close. Trainer Kim Young Kwan won the Derby in 2009, 2013 and 2014 and there is a real chance here of Masa Tanaka becoming the second foreign jockey to win the race.

2. Daegunhwang [Menifee – Lusi Pond (Elusive Quality)] (6/5/1/0) – Seo Seung Un
Seoul’s great hope. After a second place on his debut, he’s won five in a row generally from the front and without coming under any real pressure. He should be close to the early pace and is going to finally be subjected to a stern examination here. So far there is nothing to suggest he isn’t up to it and failure to at least place will be very disappointing.

3. New White Socks [Secret Weapon – Wonder Queen (Canadian Silver)] (7/5/0/0) – Moon Se Young
Another highly promising one from Seoul. He was a winner over 1700M last time out in a decent time beating both Seonbong and Smart Time in the process. He has raced close to the front on most starts – although he has had little to stop him doing that, has plenty of potential and may sneak into the money. Jockey Moon Se Young won the Derby in 2012 on Jigeum I Sungan while trainer Lee Shin Young would become the first female Derby winner.

4. Doraon Hyeonpyo [Colors Flying – Kilcoe Castle (Gone West)] (7/5/2/0) – Kim Dong Young
He and Rafale exchanged Champion Juvenile races last year and he was then overhauled in the closing stages of the Cup Mile by the same horse having hit the front three furlongs out. He won a slow mile race the time before that but hasn’t been tried at this distance. He will probably try to take the early initiative and with the home straight at Seoul generally being less taxing than at Busan, he may well hold on.

5. Triple Nine [Ecton Park – A Little Poke (Pleasant Tap)] (5/4/1/0) – Oh Kyoung Hoan
The second string from the Kim Young Kwan stable didn’t run in the Cup Mile but comes in here after four consecutive wins, the most recent two of which were over a mile. He also has a quick finish and will try to come from just off the pace. Jockey Oh Kyoung Hoan, now based at Busan, won the Derby on Gwangyajeil in 2011.

6. Yeongcheon Ace [Menifee – Dixie Avenger (Dixie Union)] (8/3/3/2) – Choi Si Dae
Along with Yeonggwanguitaepung, this is the other noted closer in the race. He came from off the pace to finish 3rd in the Cup Mile and has never been worse than 3rd in eight career starts. The distance won’t be a problem – he beat Rafale over 1900M in March and he must be strongly considered. Jockey Choi Si Dae won last year’s President’s Cup and Grand Prix at Seoul but is yet to win the Derby.

7. Sanggam Mama [Peace Rules – Miss Merit (Old Trieste)] (5/3/1/1) – Park Eul Woon
He has plenty of speed, putting in some really quick times but is yet to be tried at further than 1400M. As such, others will be favoured although he did beat Seonbong over 1300M earlier this year. His only shot is perhaps to go out quickly and try to hold on so expect to see his jockey try to get to the front before the first turn. Park Eul Woon is yet to win a Graded race.

8. Yeongung Bolt [Colors Flying – Haneul Gisang (Duality)] (7/3/1/1) – Song Keong Yun
One of two fillies in the race, she didn’t run in the Cup mile and her saddle slipped on her only try at further than 1400M so far. She won at that distance last month and is likely to try to take up a position just behind the early leaders. She won’t be among the favourites as the others are far more proven but it is worth noting that fillies do have an excellent record in this race and have won the last two renewals.

9. Mac And Cheese [Menifee – Squared (Posse)] (8/5/0/1) – Kanichiro Fujii
Well-fancied for the Cup Mile, he was a real disappointment, never getting into the right position and never travelling well ending 8th of 11. He had been an impressive winner over the same distance the time before A disappointment in the Cup Mile, running 8th of 11 when well-fancied, he had been an impressive winner over the same distance the time before. If he can get to the front entering the home straight, he has a chance but he won’t be among the favourites this time. Joe Fujii won the 2013 Derby on Speedy First.

10. Rafale [Colors Flying – Dongbang Cheogo (Al Naba)] (8/5/2/0) – You Hyun Myung
The KRA Cup Mile winner will no doubt have plenty of support in the Derby too. He won a class 2 race at this distance in January although Doraon Hyeonpyo beat him on his only previous visit to Seoul and he also finished behind Yeongcheon Ace over 1900M in March. Others were finishing faster in the Cup Mile but he got the job done. He won’t want to lead but neither will he want to be too far away and if he finds a run in the home straight, he can win this. You Hyun Myung is yet to win the Derby but he has won the Grand Prix Stakes at Seoul.

11. Smart Time [Ft. Stockton – Charon (Jade Robbery)] (6/3/2/0) – Ham Wan Sik
The other filly in the race, she will one of the rank outsiders.A filly, she will be an outsider here. She was second to her talented stablemate Meni Money in the Sports Seoul Cup but was 4th on her only try around two turns so far with both New White Socks and Seonbong beating her and this will be a tough ask.

12. Yuseong Fighting [Didyme – Maggies Prayer (Songandaprayer)] (7/4/0/1) – Lee Hee Cheon
He led for much of the Cup Mile but didn’t stay on, fading to 6th. Going an extra furlong today, the distance will again be the primary negative against him as he gives every impression of being a sprinter. He will probably go forward again as he’s certainly not going to win by coming from the back, but he will be a long shot. Jockey Lee Hee Cheon’s biggest win came at Seoul last October on Never Seen Before in the Minister’s Cup

13. Seonbong [Duality – Megabuck Gal (Montbrook)] (7/3/2/1) – Lee Joon Chel
He was just beaten a neck by New White Socks last time out over 1700M having led at one stage. He will probably settle in the middle of the pack and should stay on. He will not be among the favourites but is certainly capable of putting in a good performance. Jockey Lee Joon Chel’s biggest win to date came in the Owners’ Cup in March this year.

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Filly Queen’s Blade Romps to Korean Derby Victory

A Triple Crown may on the cards in the United States but any hope we may have had of getting our own in Korea this year vanished in the Seoul sunshine this afternoon as filly Queen’s Blade crushed all-comers in the Korean Derby.

Kim Yong Geun and Queen's Blade Cross the line as Derby winners (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Kim Yong Geun and Queen’s Blade Cross the line as Derby winners (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Most morning lines had KRA Cup Mile winner Cheongnyeong Bisang down as the likely winner so it was mildly surprising to see punters send Queens Blade, who had finished 5th in that race, off as the slight favourite for this, the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown.

They were very quickly vindicated. Raon Morris, 4th in that Cup Mile in Busan last month, set the pace but Queen’s Blade went right with him. Cheongnyong Bisang tried to close in the home straight but he had too much to do. Queen’s Blade was out of sight.

Queen's Blade in the Derby Winner's Circle (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Queen’s Blade in the Derby Winner’s Circle (Pic: Ross Holburt)

The distance on the line was 10 lengths. It may as well have been 20 such was her superiority today. Jeongsang Bima, a 40/1 outsider, was the only one who did close semi-successfully, coming home 2nd while Raon Morris stayed on for 3rd, one place ahead of Cheongnyong Bisang.

Peter Wolsley’s Jungle Jim managed an unlikely 5th but it was a generally depressing race for the foreign contingent; Darryll Holland the highest finisher among the 5 foreign jockeys in the race, coming 6th on Wild Rush.

Connections get a cake in the VIP room after a Stakes win, trainer Kim Young Kwan is on the right of the picture (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Connections get a cake in the VIP room after a Stakes win, trainer Kim Young Kwan is on the right of the picture (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Queen’s Blade is a half-sister to 2008 Korean Oaks winner Jeolho Chance and was today recording her 5th win from 9 career starts. She looks set to be heavy favourite to follow her big sister in the Oaks in Busan in August.

For jockey Kim Yong Geun, it was just a second Stakes race win and his first Classic. For the remarkable trainer Kim Young Kwan, however, it was a third Korean Derby win. All three of those have been with fillies with today’s win adding to those of Sangseung Ilro in 2009 and Speedy First a year ago.

Another winner's circle pose (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Another winner’s circle pose (Pic: Ross Holburt)

It’s also another classic win for Busan means the southern track leads Seoul by 4 Derby victories to 3 since competition between the two began in 2008.

While Queen’s Blade and the other fillies today have the Oaks to attend to, the rest of the best of the 3-year-old crop won’t reassemble until the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup at Seoul in October. How many of today’s field make it there is open to debate.

Nothing else in sight. Kim Yong Geun and Queen's Blade win the 2014 Korean Derby (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Nothing else in sight. Kim Yong Geun and Queen’s Blade win the 2014 Korean Derby (Pic: Ross Holburt)

A number of high-profile names didn’t make it into the starting gate today. Gilbert, who placed 2nd in the Cup Mile and the promising Yeonggwanguichampion both suffered injuries after the Cup Mile. Meanwhile Peter Wolsley’s best 3-year-old Never Seen Before failed his barrier trial last week and wasn’t allowed to run.

So dominant was Queen’s Blade today though that it is unlikely any of those three would have come any closer to her than the fourteen she left strung across the track in her wake today. The Queen from Busan, Queen’s Blade is our 2014 Korean Derby Champion.

Korean Derby (KOR G1) – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – May 18, 2014

1. Queen’s Blade (KOR) [Menifee – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] – Kim Yong Geun
2. Jeongsang Bima (KOR) [Forest Camp – Smokegetenyoureyes (Smokester)] – Ham Wan Sik
3. Raon Morris (KOR) [Yankee Victor – Thunder By Night (Thunder Gulch)] – Moon Se Young
Distances: 10 lengths / 0.5 lengths
Also Ran: 4. Cheongnyong Bisang 5. Jungle Jim 6. Wild Rush 7. Royal Impact 8. Namdo Trio 9. Gumpo Sky 10. Gangchi 11. Cupid Girl 12. Clean Up Speed 13. Pureun Geotap 14. Jangsan Horangi 15. Super Rider

K-Triple Crown 2014: Korean Derby 2014 – The Runners & Riders

A field of 15 will contest the 17th Korean Derby at Seoul Race Park this coming Sunday.

If we're going to have a Triple Crown winner this year, it will be Cheongnyong Bisang (KRA)

If we’re going to have a Triple Crown winner this year, it will be Cheongnyong Bisang (KRA)

Cheongnyong Bisang took the first leg of the Triple Crown, the KRA Cup Mile at Busan last month and he returns to his home track to seek to take out the second jewel.

An unprecedented 5 foreign jockeys have rides in the race. Korean racing stalwarts Joe Fujii, Masa Tanaka, Ikuyasu Kurakane and Darryll Holland are joined by newcomer Shinichi Terachi. With trainers Peter Wolsley and Bart Rice both saddling runners, it is set to be the most international running of the Derby to date.

Below is a full run-down of the runners and riders but first here’s what’s happening around Korea this weekend:

Friday May 16
Busan Race Park: 10 races from 13:00 to 19:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 13:25 to 17:40

Saturday May 17
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00 including the JRA Trophy at 17:00
Jeju Race Park: 9 races from 12:30 to 17:15

Sunday May 18
Seoul Race Park: 11 races from 10:50 to 18:00 including the Korean Derby at 16:40
Busan Race Park: 6 races from 12:45 to 17:05

The JRA are in town on Saturday for their annual trophy race and there are some good ones going in that. Our main focus though is the Derby and here is a full run down of the runners with [Pedigree} (Starts/1/2/3) (Trainer) – Jockey (Home Track):

The Korean Derby (KOR G1) – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – May 18, 2014

1. Raon Morris [Yankee Victor – Thunder By Night (Thunder Gulch)] (7/3/1/1) (Lee Shin Young) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
Set the pace for much of the Cup Mile and ran on well to finish 4th at generous odds. He has every chance of improving here and if he gets the lead and others have a bad trip, he just might keep it.

2. Gangchi [Volponi – Regal Heir (Regal Intention)] (10/3/1/1) (Bart Rice) – Masakazu Tanaka (Busan)
Bart Rice is the new star of the Busan trainer colony and he saddles his first Korean Derby runner here. Gangchi made little impact in the Cup Mile and will need to show a lot of improvement to challenge here.

3. Jeongsang Bima [Forest Camp – Smokegetenyoureyes (Smokester)] (9/2/3/2) (Park Hui Cheol) – Ham Wan Sik (Seoul)
A winner over the distance, albeit at class 4, he has a nice turn of foot and likes to come from just behind the leaders. Could be worth a place interest.

4. Jangsan Horangi [Forest Camp – Steal The Show (Cat Thief)] (5/2/2/1) (Kim Jeom Oh) – Oh Kyoung Hoan (Seoul)
Lightly raced and untried at further than 1400M and hasn’t won at higher than class 5. Has plenty of promise and has never finished worse than 3rd but is difficult to recommend here.

5. Wild Rush [Forest Camp – Wisconsin Girl (Smart Strike)] (7/2/3/2) (Kim Young Kwan) – Darryll Holland (Busan)
Won a minor event on Cup Mile day and yet to go further than a mile. Kim Young Kwan doesn’t bring horses to Seoul unless he has high expectations though and with Darryll Holland on board, punters will take note.

6. Gumpo Sky [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] (8/3/2/2) (Kwan Seung Joo) – Jeong Dong Cheol (Busan)
Comes into the race in excellent form with two consecutive wins behind him, the most recent of which was just 2 weeks ago over a mile. Expect him to be close to any early pace, he’ll need to show a bit more speed than he has to date in the home straight to challenge.

7. Jungle Jim [Peace Rules – Diamond Stephanie (Lucky Lionel)] (5/2/1/1) (Peter Wolsley) – You Hyun Myung (Busan)
Peter Wosley is searching for his first winner at Seoul and while this colt is not without claims, he will have to improve to win this. Rallied well for 2nd over a mile last start and if he comes on here, he could cause problems at the business end of the race.

8. Queen’s Blade [Menifee – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] (8/4/3/0) (Kim Young Kwan) – Kim Yong Geun (Busan)
Sent off as the odds-on favourite in the Cup Mile, she finished a disappointing 5th having shown briefly at the front with a furlong to run. The half-sister to 2008 Oaks winner Jeolho Chance will have plenty of backers to put things right here. Kim Young Kwan will no doubt have fixed her final furlong but will others have come on more?

9. Royal Impact [Cielo Gold – Skeemo (Meadowlake)] (8/2/3/0) (Kim Byung Hak) – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
The closer never closed in the Cup Mile, staying in 11th position the whole way around. Needs others to run poorly to have a chance.

10. Super Rider [Ft.Stockton – Poyeon (Road Of War)] (9/1/0/1) (Choi Yong Goo) – Shinichi Terachi (Seoul)
Little to recommend this one-time winner who is yet to start at further than 7 furlongs. Japanese jockey Shinichi Terachi gets a first Derby ride in just his 2nd week in Korea.

11. Clean Up Speed [Pico Central – Rich Emotions (Rizzi)] (7/4/1/0) (Seo In Seok) – Ikuyasu Kurakane (Seoul)
The Oaks may be a more realistic target for this filly but she’s a frontrunner with a quick finish who’s beaten colts before. These may be a bit too good though. Was in great form until a disappointing 5th last time out.

12. Namdo Trio [Didyme – Tapas (Sky Classic)] (10/2/4/1) (Baik Kwang Yeol) – Kanichiro Fujii (Busan)
The surprise package of the Cup Mile, he closed very strongly to land third. Joe Fujii rode Speedy First to win this race last year and while he’ll not be favourite to win here, heis not without a chance.

13. Cheongnyong Bisang [Volponi – Miss Alwuhush (Alwuhush)] (8/5/0/0) (Kim Jeom Oh) – Seo Seung Un (Seoul)
The Cup Mile winner and favourite. He was superb in Busan last month and if he repeats that form, he wins. Cheongnyeong Bisang’s defeats have come when he’s had a poor trip and Seo Seung Un is going to have to work very hard to get him into his favoured position from gate 13.

14. Cupid Girl [Vicar – Sheza Hot Dish (Rubiano)] (9/4/0/1) (Park Jae Woo) – Cho Kyoung Ho (Seoul)
A decent filly but another for who the Oaks is a more likely target. A creditable 8th in the Cup Mile, a similar position here seems achievable.

15. Pureun Geotap [Menifee – Charmin Strike (Smart Strike)] (9/2/2/3) (Ji Yong Cheol) – Lee Chan Ho (Seoul)
Had an abortive attempt on the Cup Mile but otherwise has form at this distance, winning a slowly run race here in March. This will be tougher though.

K-Triple Crown 2014: The Korean Derby – First Preview

While the great and good of Asian racing are living it up at the ARC in Hong Kong this week, back here in Korea we turn our attention away from the Steamed Spotted Garoupa Fillets and Ferrero Rocher for a moment because we are just over a week away from the big one. The 2014 Korean Derby will be run at Seoul Race Park on Sunday May 18.

If we're going to have a Triple Crown winner this year, it will be Cheongnyong Bisang (KRA)

If we’re going to have a Triple Crown winner this year, it will be Cheongnyong Bisang (KRA)

It’s the 2nd leg of the 2014 Triple Crown, the first jewel, the KRA Cup Mile at Busan last month, having been claimed by the capital raider Cheongnyong Bisang. He heads what is currently a field of 16 for the big race.

Eight are scheduled to make the trip up from Busan. Peter Wolsley plans to bring two while Bart Rice is also set to have his first runner in the Derby in his first year training in Korea.

Along with Cheongnyong Bisang, the next four home from the Cup Mile are also entered; Gilbert, Namdo Trip, Raon Morris and Queen’s Blade will be looking to improve on their showings.

We will have a full and comprehensive build-up to the race over the next week but in the meantime, here are the entrants as they stand today (Name, Pedigree, Race Records – Trainer):

Busan

Gangchi [Volponi – Regal Heir (Regal Intention)] (10/3/1/1) Bart Rice
Queen’s Blade [Menifee – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] (8/4/3/0) – Kim Young Kwan
Wild Rush [Forest Camp – Wisconsin Girl (Smart Strike)] (7/2/3/2) – Kim Young Kwan
Gilbert [Yankee Victor – Wonderful Wanda (Fusaichi Pegasus)] (6/3/2/0) – Min Jang Gi
Namdo Trio [Didyme – Tapas (Sky Classic)] (10/2/4/1) – Baik Kwang Yeol
Gumpo Sky [Vicar – Perfect Storm (Didyme)] (8/3/2/2) – Kwan Seung Joo
Heukgangja [Creek Cat – Rosa Gulch (Thunder Gulch)] (7/3/1/0) – Peter Wolsley
Never Seen Before [Ecton Park – Gwangyeolhan (Stormin Fever)] (5/3/1/0) – Peter Wolsley

Seoul

Cheongnyong Bisang [Volponi – Miss Alwuhush (Alwuhush)] (8/5/0/0) – Kim Jeom Oh
Jangsan Horangi [Forest Camp – Steal The Show (Cat Thief)] (5/2/2/1) – Kim Jeom Oh
Pureun Geotap [Menifee – Charmin Strike (Smart Strike)] (9/2/2/3) – Ji Yong Cheol
Clean Up Speed [Pico Central – Rich Emotions (Rizzi)] (7/4/1/0) – Seo In Seok
Raon Morris [Yankee Victor – Thunder By Night (Thunder Gulch)] (7/3/1/1) – Lee Shin Young
Jeongsang Bima [Forest Camp – Smokegetenyoureyes (Smokester)] (9/2/3/2) – Park Hui Cheol
Gamunui Chukje [Biwa Shinseiki – Gamun Nyeonggwang (Concept Win)] (6/2/2/1) – Park Dae Heung
Cupid Girl [Vicar – Sheza Hot Dish (Rubiano)] (9/4/0/1) – Park Jae Woo

K-Triple Crown 2014: KRA Cup Mile Full Preview

The Triple Crown is upon us. We’ve a long slog ahead with 6 months between the first leg and final legs. We begin at Busan Race Park this coming Sunday with the KRA Cup Mile – the Korean 2000 Guineas.

Cheongnyong Bisang stands to attention after becoming champion juvenile. He'll have plenty of supporters in the KRA Cup Mile

Cheongnyong Bisang stands to attention after becoming champion juvenile. He’ll have plenty of supporters in the KRA Cup Mile

A full field of 16 will line up for the big race – 7 of them fillies. It looks extremely open and hard to call. Here’s a run-down of the runners and riders:

KRA Cup Mile (KOR G2) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Sunday April 6, 2014

1. Classic Cat [One Cool Cat – Deoksugung (Cherokee Run)] (6/3/1/0) – Park Hyun Woo (Seoul)
Faded badly in the final furlong of his last start which was his first try at 7 furlongs. Prior to that he’d recorded some very dominant wins and with plenty of speed, if he runs back to that form he could do feature at the buiness end of the race. Doing it at Busan is a big ask though.

2. Yeonggwanguichampion [Menifee – Manwang (Road Of War)] (7/4/1/1) – Lim Sung Sil (Busan)
Lim Sung Sil has been to be on in Stakes races recently although he’s not riding for trainer Kim Young Kwan this time. Finished 2nd on his only start over the distance to date. He’s a front-runner and will need to have come on since then if he is to hold on here. A chance.

3. Cheongnyong Bisang [Volponi – Miss Alwuhush (Alwuhush)] (7/4/0/0) – Seo Seung Un (Seoul)
Last year’s Champion Juvenile found himself exposed last time out against class 2 opposition. That was over 1800M and he already has a win at 1700M to his name. With the exception of his Breeders’ Cup, his wins have come from the front and he is going to face a lot of competition up there. If he can stay on in the long and tough Busan home straight, he’ll be among the contenders.

4. Pureun Geotap [Menifee – Charmin Strike (Smart Strike)] Filly (9/2/2/3) Lee Chan Ho (Seoul)
The filly was 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup and has gone on to show she can handle an extended trip, with a class 4 win over 1800M. She was hanging on a bit in a slowly run race but should appreciate the drop down to 1600M.

5. Gangchi [Volponi – Regal Heir (Regal Intention)] (9/3/1/1) – Darryll Holland (Busan)
Bart Rice saddles his first Korean Classic runner. Gangchi was a sharp-looking winner over 1300M last time out. Expect to see him just off the lead and if anyone can coax the best out of him, it’s Darryll Holland.

6. Nubi Queen [Menifee – Dream Runner (Our Poetic Prince)] Filly (9/3/1/2) – Oh Kyoung Hoan (Seoul)
Another who has won over 1800M at Seoul, Nubi Queen could only manage 6th when facing a lot of these rivals in the Breeders’ Cup last December and although she’s clearly gone on since, whether she has the pace to match them at the business end of the race is open to question.

7. Winner’s Marine [Volponi – Graceful Ballerina (Posse)] Filly (5/5/0/0) – You Hyun Myung (Busan)
The only unbeaten runner coming into the race, she’s going to have to work very hard to still be unbeaten come the end of Sunday afternoon though. She’s never tried further than 1300M and hasn’t beaten anything special but she is undeniably quick and jockey You Hyun Myung has been in sensational form of late.

8. Raon Morris [Yankee Victor – Thunder By Night (Thunder Gulch)] (6/3/1/1) – Moon Se Young (Seoul)
Seoul’s champion 2-year-old of last year has only made one competitive start in 2014, finishing 3rd over 1700M in January. He has race-trialed twice since though and Seoul’s top jockey Moon Se Young has seen fit to make the journey South – a tip in itself. On his day, he has the fastest sprint and must be respected.

9. Jungang Gongju [Menifee – Command And Hope (Commands)] Filly (7/2/2/0) – Choi Si Dae (Busan)
Winner of Busan’s biggest 2-year-old race last year, she’s been deeply unimpressive in her three starts since. Likes to come from off the pace with a very fast final three furlongs, if she runs to her best, she can win especially if the front-runners burn themselves out. However, she’s not been doing that lately, disappointing punters who’ve backed her into short odds each time. They won’t this time.

10. Queen’s Blade [Menifee – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] Filly (7/4/3/0) – Kim Yong Geun (Busan)
A Kim Young Kwan trained horse must always be in contention in a big race and his filly cones into this race with the most impressive recent form, winning a class 2 race over this distance. She’ll need to go quicker than she did that day to win this but she has the pace and the pedigree to excel here – she’s half-sister to 2008 Oaks winner Jeolho Chance – and could be hard to beat.

11. Gilbert [Yankee Victor – Wonderful Wanda (Fusaichi Pegasus)] (5/3/1/0) – Kim Dong Young (Busan)
One of the bigger colts in the race, Gilbert looks like a sprinter and so far has only run once over 6 furlongs – he finished 8th. Kim Dong Young, who won this race last year on Sting Ray, will be his 5th jockey in 6 races. He’s quick but others are quicker.

12. Namdo Trio [Didyme – Tapas (Sky Classic)] (9/2/4/0) – Kanichiro Fujii (Busan)
A very encouraging run over the distance in March and Joe Fujii on his back are two things that Namdo Trio has in his favour. Likes to close from just off the pace, he should find one or two quicker here but the Fujii-factor will mean he has his backers.

13. Power Champion [Perfect Champion – Perfect Vision (Psychobabble)] (8/4/1/0) – Jo In Kwen (Seoul)
Enters the race in great form, having won his past 4 starts and with Jo In Kwen on board, he’ll have plenty of support from punters. It’s his first try at this distance which could be a concern but he will be among the favourites.

14. Cupid Girl [Vicar – Sheza Hot Dish (Rubiano)] Filly (8/4/0/1) – Park Byung Yun (Seoul)
Another who comes into the race on a winning streak, her’s currently stands at 3, her most recent coming over 1800M. The distance therefore isn’t a concern and she has won both from the front and from off the pace. Should be a good price with an unfashionable jockey on board but likely to find a few too quick here though.

15. Hwanggeumbitjijung [Menifee – Firstclasscat (Catienus)] Filly (6/4/0/1) – Masakazu Tanaka (Busan)
Got squeezed out in a very tight four-way finish over 1500M last time out and the fact that she was passed by 3 class 3 horses in the final few strides of that race is a worry. If she can stay the distance, she should have plenty of speed in store.

16. Royal Impact [Cielo Gold – Skeemo (Meadowlake)] (7/2/0/3) – Song Keong Yun (Busan)
A closer who could well appreciate stepping up a further half-furlong than he’s run before. Although he comes in looking in good form, he hasn’t beaten very much and only has one start at class 3 to his name so he’ll be one of the outsiders. Bet him if you think the pace-setters will sprint each other out the race.

The KRA Cup Mile is race 5 of a 6-race program at Busan on Sunday. The race will also be broadcast live to Seoul Racecourse for simulcast betting.

K-Triple Crown 2014: KRA Cup Mile First Preview

We’re just 12 days away from the first leg of the 2014 Korean Triple Crown. Currently 19 horses remain in the KRA Cup Mile – the “Korean 2000 Guineas” – which will be run at Busan Racecourse on Sunday April 6.

Who will follow Sting Ray as the winner of the KRA Cup Mile? (KRA)

Who will follow Sting Ray as the winner of the KRA Cup Mile? (KRA)

OF those 19 – which will be cut to a maximum of 16 by final declarations next Wednesday, Busan supplies 11 while 8 are planning to make the trip down the Gyeongbu Expressway from Seoul. Only one horse from the capital, Money Car in 2010, has triumphed in the race to date.

Busan’s foreign trainers Peter Wolsley and Bart Rice are represented respectively by Heukgangja and Gangchi while last year’s Champion Juveniles Jungang Gongju (Busan) Raon Morris (Seoul) and Cheongyong Bisang (Overall) are all expected to be present.

Jungang Gongju is among 7 fillies still in the race. Another, Winner’s Marine, is the only entrant who heads to the race unbeaten, having won all of her 5 starts to date.

We’ll have a full preview and run-down of the final field next week but in the meantime, here is the full list of those 19 who remain in (Name [Pedigree] (Starts/1st/2nd/3rd)

KRA Cup Mile (KOR G2) – Busan Race Park – 1600M – Sunday April 6, 2014

Busan

Heukgangja [Creek Cat – Rosa Gulch (Thunder Gulch)] (5/3/1/0)
Hwanggeumbitjijung [Menifee – Firstclasscat (Catienus)] Filly (6/4/0/1)
Jungang Gongju [Menifee – Command And Hope (Commands)] Filly (7/2/2/0)
Winner’s Marine [Volponi – Graceful Ballerina (Posse)] Filly (5/5/0/0)
Namdo Trio [Didyme – Tapas (Sky Classic)] (9/2/4/0)
Gangchi [Volponi – Regal Heir (Regal Intention)] (9/3/1/1)
Royal Impact [Cielo Gold – Skeemo (Meadowlake)] (7/2/0/3)
Gilbert [Yankee Victor – Wonderful Wanda (Fusaichi Pegasus)] (5/3/1/0)
Queen’s Blade [Menifee – Harboring (Boston Harbor)] Filly (7/4/3/0)
Yeonggwanguichampion [Menifee – Manwang (Road Of War)] (7/4/1/1)
Wild Rush [Forest Camp – Wisconsin Girl (Smart Strike)] (6/1/3/2)

Seoul

Power Champion [Perfect Champion – Perfect Vision (Psychobabble)] (8/4/1/0)
Nubi Queen [Menifee – Dream Runner (Our Poetic Prince)] Filly (9/3/1/2)
Classic Cat [One Cool Cat – Deoksugung (Cherokee Run)] (6/3/1/0)
Cupid Girl [Vicar – Sheza Hot Dish (Rubiano)] Filly (8/4/0/1)
Cheongnyong Bisang [Volponi – Miss Alwuhush (Alwuhush)] (7/4/0/0)
Jangsan Horangi [Forest Camp – Steal The Show (Cat Thief)] (5/2/2/1)
Pureun Geotap [Menifee – Charmin Strike (Smart Strike)] Filly (9/2/2/3)
Raon Morris [Yankee Victor – Thunder By Night (Thunder Gulch)] (6/3/1/1)

Korean Triple Crown 2013: KRA Cup Mile Entrants Published

With just over 2 weeks to go until the 1st leg of the 2013 Korean Triple Crown, 17 colts and 2 fillies remain among the entries for the KRA Cup Mile – the Korean 2000 Guineas – which will be run at Busan on Sunday April 7.

Gyeongudaero won the 2012 KRA Cup Mile - 19 remain in contention to succeed him this year

Gyeongudaero won the 2012 KRA Cup Mile – 19 remain in contention to succeed him this year

Host track Busan proves 11 while 8 could potentially travel down from Seoul for the big race. A maximum of 16 will be permitted to start. None are unbeaten and it is a competitive looking crop.

Aussie trainer Peter Wolsley has 2 possibles in the shape Amell’s Atom and Fantastic Jazz, a half-brother to 2008 Korean Derby winner Ebony Storm – a horse still going strong nearly 5 years after his surprise Classic win.

Pureun Energy, one of the 2 fillies left in, won Busan’s Champion Juvenile crown while Breeders’ Cup winner and overall national Juvenile Champion Yapung is also expected to start.

On the breeding side of things, reigning Champion Sire Menifee accounts for 6 of the entries while Forest Camp and the late Pico Central are also likely to be well-represented.

Here is a full list of the entrants with Sire and race records (Starts/1/2/3)

Busan

Major King (Pico Central) 5/4/1/0
Yapung (Menifee) 9/3/2/1
Global Gangja (Pico Central) 9/4/1/0
Harley (Menifee) 9/4/2/2
Rising Joy (Forest Camp) 10/4/2/1
Battle Field (Menifee) 7/3/3/0
Sting Ray (Forest Camp) 8/3/4/1
Fantastic Jazz (Menifee) 6/4/0/2
Amell’s Atom (Menifee) 8/3/3/0
Raon Boss (Pico Central) 5/4/1/0
Pureun Energy (Menifee) 7/3/2/0 (Filly)

Seoul

Rapide Bullet (Revere) 7/4/1/1
K Top (Menifee) 6/4/1/1
Cheonnyeon Dongan (Ecton Park) 5/3/0/2
Heungyong Bisang (Ft.Stockton) 10/4/1/1
Ruby Canter (Volponi) 6/2/0/2 (Filly)
Energy Cell (Unaccountedlea) 8/3/1/0
Last Mudae (The Groom Is Red) 11/1/3/1
Like The Sun (Forest Camp) 7/2/1/0