Luna Stakes

Luna Stakes Sunday Busan & Seoul: Race-By-Race Preview (April 10)

The Filly Triple Crown gets underway on Sunday at Busan as fourteen – seven from the south-coast and seven from Seoul – line up over a mile in the Luna Stakes. There are 6 races at Busan from 12:00 to 16:40 and 11 at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

A small field of three-year-old maidens with three of the eight racing for the first time. (3) FUN CRAZY is set to be a warm favourite. After an inauspicious debut over 1300M, he significantly improved at start number two at this distance on February 27th, when settling back in the field and running on strongly for 2nd. In this field, he should have too much. It took (6) TWOTWO KITTEN three trials to qualify but when she did, she did it in style, winning a March heat on a wet track in fine fashion, sitting handy and running through the line well. That should see her in good fitness for her racecourse debut and ready for a bold showing. (5) SONGAM DRAGON was also a trial winner last month and she too can make an impression first-up in this company. Returning to those with prior experience, (4) GLOBAL PRIME and (8) NAMSAN MUJEOK can improve.

Selections(3) Fun Crazy (6) Twotwo Kitten (5) Songam Dragon (4) Global Prime
Next Best8, 2
Fast Start2, 3, 4, 5

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Another small field and another warm favourite, this time (3) USEUNG BARAM. He has a 2nd and a 3rd from two starts to date, over 1000M and 1200M. He has settled in midfield and run on both times and from a friendly barrier, should make it third time lucky today. We’ll give another chance to (5) JEONGMUN JILJU. He got a long way back on debut but did run on to finish 9th of fourteen. Prior to that he won a trial in good order and with a better start today can get much closer. (7) SINHAN TEUKSONG ran on fairly for 4th on her debut on February 27th. She was a long way behind a good winner but should have come on for that experience and with some natural improvement can be in this. (6) CAMP SAVER and (1) FLYING GOLD others who could have placing claims.

Selections(3) Useung Baram (5) Jeongmun Jilju (7) Sinhan Teukseong (6) Camp Saver
Next Best1, 8
Fast Start2, 3, 6, 7

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

(10) P N S CHANCE overcame the widest gate at her latest start on March 20th, to sit just off the speed and then run on for 2nd place behind Concorde Queen. Kim Yong-geun, who rode her that day, remains on board and this filly, who is out of a Korean Oaks winner, can make her breakthrough here. (8) HAMPYEONG FIGHTER has shown improvement since being stepped up to this trip, with a 4th and a 5th from two attempts at it. On her latest start, she led from gate eleven until mid-stretch, ultimately not losing by a huge amount. She should be on or close to the pace again and can go close. (7) ACE PLAN has a runner-up finish to his name over 1200M. He too should be on pace here and is at least in the placing hunt. (4) TIFFANY BLUE and (3) RAON THE WILD, have both hinted at ability and should be competing for at least the minor money.

Selections(10) P N S Chance (8) Hampyeong Fighter (7) Ace Plan (4) Tiffany Blue
Next Best3, 5
Fast Start3, 7, 8, 10

Busan Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 40 Million

Three-year-old maidens open proceedings on the south coast. It’s competitive but we’ll tentatively side with (3) SOUTHERN KING, who ran a good 2nd at this trip when settling forward for the first time on March 13th. He draws even more favourably here and won’t need to improve too much to win. (5) BAEK GU looks the primary danger. She beat three of these on his way to 2nd place over 1200M on March 11th when settling handy to the lead and running on well. That was her best finish in five starts to date but she has only missed out on the top five once, and she has solid claims here. (7) ADELE ALLIE’S ran 4th behind Baek Gu in tat March race. That was just his second start and showed significant improvement from his debut. If he can maintain that trajectory, there could be more development here. The solitary debut-maker (2) YASAENGHWA trialed up pleasingly, settling back and running on and this seems a suitable first race for her to make an impression in. (9) MEOTJIN HARU another who can progress.

Selections(3) Southern King (5) Baek Gu (7) Adele Allie’s (2) Yasaenghwa
Next Best9, 10
Fast Start1, 5, 7, 8

Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Fillies (and one mare) and a lot of last starts are going to need to be forgiven here, including that of the pick and probable favourite (11) BARO QUEEN. She was sent off as favourite two weeks ago but on a very wet track while she was quickly into the lead, she just as quickly faded. We will instead go on her two starts leading up to that when she ran 3rd on both occasions. She has a good start, last time aside, generally finishes off her races, and she is worth another chance here. (7) KKANGDORI looks logical second pick. While she too only managed 7th at her latest start, she did at least beat a couple of today’s rivals and at the start before she ran well for 2nd at 1300M. She will be on pace here and will be in this a long way. (2) LUXURY GOLD was one of those beaten by Kkandori last time out but from a great draw, can get an easier trip today and be competitive. (8) PRINCESS DAY and (5) GEUMGUKHWA others who can go close.

Selections(11) Baro Queen (7) Kkangdori (2) Luxury Gold (8) Princess Day
Next Best5, 3
Fast Start2, 5, 7, 11

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

(11) INDIE MAGIC comes in here having run 3rd at his latest start on March 20th, when from the same gate as today, he got to a handy position, and then ran on well, in the process recording a time more than a second faster than any of today’s have managed at the distance. A similar run here will see him home on top.  (7) DOCTOR TANGO is yet to finish in the top three but enters off a solid 4th over 1300M when settling back and running on strong. The time was fair, and, in this company, she can be aiming to match or better. (10) CHONGAL CHARM races for the first time since bearing Doctor Tango as the pair ran 4th and 5th at this distance on March 11th. That was just his second start and with some natural improvement he too should be in this a long way. (9) NAREUCAT and (4) GOLDEN BROOM are others in the frame.

Selections(11) Indie Magic (7) Doctor Tango (10) Chongal Charm (9) Nareucat
Next Best4, 6
Fast Start4, 7, 10, 11

Raon Fillies First & Pink On Top At Seoul & Busan

It’s becoming an unwelcome habit that we are posting these things days late, but it was a pair of “full” sisters ( I dislike that term, for some reason), who took top honours at Seoul and Busan last Sunday. Four-year-old Raon First took out Seoul’s Class 1 feature while a year here junior, Raon Pink won the Luna Stakes, the first leg of the 2021 Filly Triple Crown. Both are by Musket Man and out of the Southern Image mare, Pink Candy.

Raon First (Pic: KRA)

Raon First was a champion as a juvenile and has since gone on to establish herself at class 1 level, running 2nd to Dia Road in a Graded race for fillies and mares last year and finishing 2rd in her latest two, including behind Eoma Eoma. In all those races she had led, only to be taken down close to the line every time.

On Sunday though, Raon First would be no sitting duck. acing up and comers Legend Day and Carving Cross, among others, Raon First was drawn wide but instead of being ridden up hard to the pace, after being slightly slow away, Choi Bum-hyun in the saddle took a sit behind the lead and waited patiently. Choi made his move on Raon First at the top of the straight, punching through a gap with ease and the filly ran on to score by a length and a half in a fast time for the 1400M.

Outsiders Cupid Guy and Myeongpum Chukje chased Raon First home in 2nd and 3rd with Legend Day and Carving Cross both enduring poor days at the office and in the case of the latter especially, seeing their chances of qualification for any of the late season Stakes races diminishing. For Raon First it was seventh win in fourteen starts as she stakes her claim to succeed Dia Road as the top filly or mare in training in Seoul.

At Busan, younger sister Raon Pink was imperious in the Luna Stakes. Sent off as favourite in a sixteen-strong field of three-year-old fillies, who had thirty-six race victories between them coming in, Raon Pink jumped well and slowly worked to the lead and was comfortable in the pace she set. On the corner she slipped away and on straightening went well clear and was strong to the finish under Park Tae-jong. Jedi was 2nd and Smart Officer, who missed the break an excellent 3rd as Seoul fillies swept the top five finishing positions.

Raon Pink now moves on as favourite for the Korean Oaks, back at Busan over 1800M on November 14.

Sunday Busan & Seoul: Luna Stakes Day Race-By-Race Preview (October 17)

Following Heat Yegam’s victory in the KRA Cup Mile last weekend, the fillies get their chance this Sunday with the opening leg of the filly Triple Crown, the Luna Stakes, over 1600M at Busan. The race is part of 6-race card at Busan from 12:10 to 17:30 while there is also a 9-race card at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00. Here are the previews:

The scene on Luna Stakes day last year…. (Pic: KRA)

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

As is almost always the case right now, juvenile maidens kick things off and this time four of the nine race for the very first time. One of the experienced ones will be the hot favourite though. That’s (3) TOUGH GUY, who after posting a good time in a trial in August, debuted on September 12th when he put in a front-running effort at today’s trip to ultimately finish 3rd in a good time. He draws well here and should have too much. Running better on debut that his finishing position suggests was (4) AMAZON KING. Ran 6th but in a fast time in a good race. That came off an impressive trial and is the main danger to the favourite here. (8) CHAMJOEUN CHINGU was slowly away from a wide gate on her debut but did make ground late and finished in a decent time in a fats race and she too will be expected to improve here. Among the first-timers, (7) EUNHYE was the fastest in trials and perhaps has the best chance of making an impression first-up. (2) SUNNY BLADE too did nothing wrong in her heat.

Selections(3) Tough Guy (4) Amazon King (8) Chamjoeun Chingu (7) Eunhye
Next Best2, 5
Fast Start3, 4, 6, 9

Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Fillies only here. (5) FLYING FULL MOON has been knocking on the door in his latest three outings including 3rd place last start on September 19th at this distance with a couple of today’s rivals behind him. A front runner, he draws nicely so expect him to be on pace and he can lead gate to wire. (1) VIENTO came home 4th behind Flying Full Moon in that race on what was her fourth career start. She looks like she is figuring things out and from another very good draw she could make further progress today. (4) EOMCHEONGNAN GIRL put in a significantly improved 2nd at this distance on August 15th in a fair time behind a good winner. She had already shown she can finish off her races well but for the first time raced prominently throughout and a similar run should see her in the finish again. (7) SEMYEONG HAETSAL is the only previous winner in the field and as such comes into the calculations after three consecutive 4th place finishes. (11) SISEON JUMA has made an encouraging start to her career with three top five finishes from three starts. She led in her best finish to date when 2nd but has run well from behind as well and steps up to 1300M for the first time with solid claims to continue her development.

Selections(5) Flying Full Moon (1) Viento (4) Eomcheongnan Girl (7) Semyeong Haetsal
Next Best11, 10
Fast Start3, 5, 11, 12

Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1700M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Unchartered territory for all of these maidens as none of them have tackled two-turns before. A few have hinted at ability and finished off their races well at shorter distances, including (5) FLYING BARBIE. She comes on off a decent 3rd place at 1300M, her best performance to date, when she came from well off the pace run down plenty. The extended trip may be what she needs. That’s true too for (4) SEMYEONG CAPTAIN. He ran fairly for 3rd over 1400M at his latest start on August 22nd when he overcame a wide gate to do his best work late. He should be in the finish here. (1) TAEYANGTAGO was 4th in that race behind Semyeong Captain in August and followed it up with another 4th place a month ago, also at 1400M when she made ground from last place entering the straight. She too may like the additional trip. (6) SEONBONG GOLD and (3) HELLO GEUMSEONG are others to consider.

Selections(5) Flying Barbie (4) Semyeong Captain (1) Taeyangtago (6) Seonbong Gold
Next Best3, 11
Fast Start2, 7, 8, 10

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

A small field of juvenile maidens get things underway in Busan and (3) YEONGCHEON SOLEMIO is set to be a warm favourite. He made a bold showing on debut when overcoming gate eleven to lead before being ground down and ultimately finishing 4th in a fast time. He draws better today, should lead and should win (5) FUNNY LIFE registered a faster time than Yeongcheon Solemio when also 4th on her own debut on September 17th although it was on a much wetter and faster track. She too was on pace and looks to be the primary danger here. There are two first-timer starters and both warrant mentions. (8) RAON THE GUTSEN went through two trials, improving in the second of them, crossing the line 3rd in a decent time. He can sit outside the early speed and run-on. (2) LIGHT STORY clearly knows what to do having won his own trial. He draws well and can go well first-up. Returning to those with experience, (6) YOUNG BOSS looks to have the most potential to improve.

Selections(3) Yeongcheon Solemio (5) Funny Life (8) Raon The Gutsen (2) Light Story
Next Best6, 7
Fast Start2, 3, 5, 6

Seoul Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

We’ll go with (6) THE QUEEN JUSTICE here on the grounds that she has the fastest time of any of these at the distance (albeit recorded on a very wet track) and draws a much better gate than her primary rival. She comes in off a decent 2nd place at class and distance on September 11th when she went back and made ground and from the middle can perhaps pick her spot. That main rival is likely to be (12) JEONGMUN JIJON, who comes up in class after a good win on September 12th when she sat handy to the lead, striking the front in the home straight and running on well. This might be trickier from the wide draw, but she still looks nicely in and should measure up at this level. (4) GO GO STAR led at her latest start at class and distance ultimately finishing in 5th place. She draws nicely to lead again and can be challenging for a money finish. (10) JANGSAN GUARD had a poor day at the office in that race, his first at this class, but is better than that and can be given another chance. (1) YULONG STAR another in the frame.

Selections(6) The Queen Justice (12) Jeongmun Jijon (4) Go Go Star (10) Jangsan Guard
Next Best1, 2
Fast Start2, 4, 9, 10

Busan Race 2: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million

Very tricky race. (11) GIANT CAL steps up to this distance for the first time and it may well suit. He doesn’t run on pace so the wide draw shouldn’t be a problem and last time he emerged from the back to run 3rd in a solid time over 1300M. Today could be his day. (8) TRIPLE STORM comes back in trip after a couple of spins around a mile. He ran well at class and distance three starts back when 3rd in a time faster than any of the others here have recorded at the distance and he has to be considered a leading contender. (3) DAEHOMA has raced eight times, finishing no better than 4th although that is something he has managed on each of his latest four starts. He draws well to get on pace again and has claims here. (10) OLD CHEONHA hinted at ability in two starts in the early part of the year. He hasn’t been seen since April but trialed up adequately last month and a nice race has been picked for his return. (4) RAPIDO QUEEN another who should be competing for at least a place.

Selections(11) Giant Cal (8) Triple Storm (3) Daehoma (10) Old Cheonha
Next Best4, 5
Fast Start1, 3, 4, 6

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

Competitive race. (8) K N LIGHT has finished no worse 5th in six starts to date and comes up in class following a runner-up finish at this distance on August 29th when handy to the lead throughout and briefly leading in the closing stages. The time was good when compared with his rivals here and he should be competitive at this level. (10) CHALLAN HANNAL got preomotd to this class following a win two starts back over 1200M when he flew home from the back of the field. He stepped up to 1300M for his first try at this level on August 29th and almost managed to repeat the trick, ultimately settling for 2nd in a fast race. The slightly extended trip should suit, the draw should be no issue at all, and he will be competitive here. A wide draw shouldn’t be too much of a problem for (12) SECRET BOSS either. He ran 3rd in that race behind Challan Hannal at the end of August and has since repeated the finish, again at 1300M. Expect him to be challenging late here. (9) CHEONGSAN GASE and (2) JOY OF KING are others who can be in the placing frame.

Selections(8) K N Light (10) Challan Hannal (12) Secret Boss (9) Cheongsan Gase
Next Best2, 3
Fast Start2, 3, 8, 11