The March 28 Fukuryu Stakes at Nakayama Racecourse would possibly—or would possibly not—shut out the Japan Highway to the Kentucky Derby. If it does, the winner may have first dibs on a place within the Churchill Downs beginning gate.
As issues stand, the four-race collection ends with the Fukuryu Stakes. However with the Kentucky Derby Introduced through Woodford Reserve (G1) driven again this 12 months to the primary Saturday in September, Churchill Downs officers are taking into account including races.
A spokesman stated talks are “ongoing” with “various choices however not anything to announce simply but.”
For doable additions, Churchill Downs may just glance to the turf and the grade 1 Tokyo Yushun (Eastern Derby) Would possibly 31 at Tokyo and its preliminaries. After the Derby, there are no grade 1 races for instantly 3-year-olds in Japan till the Oct. 25 Kikuka Sho (Eastern St. Leger).
Or the collection may just flip to the Nationwide Affiliation of Racing, whose native government perform totally on dust lessons. The second one leg of the unique collection used to be run at Kawasaki, a NAR observe.
If none of that pans out, the 40 issues awarded to the winner of the Fukuryu will probably be sufficient to most sensible the leaderboard and earn the Derby nod since none of the present leaders are within the box. In truth, the one issues holders a few of the 13 are the third- and fourth-place finishers within the Hyacinth Stakes, Yaugau, a Gold Attract colt, and Longonot, a son of Pyro. They hang 6 and three issues, respectively.
Cattleya Sho winner Dieu du Vin, Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun winner Holiday and Hyacinth Stakes winner Cafe Pharoah all sit down this one out, however that doesn’t imply the race is devoid of doable celebrity energy.
Danon Pharaoh returns to the collection following a two-race absence. The American Pharoah colt completed 5th within the Nov. 23 Cattleya Sho at Tokyo Racecourse however then scored his 2d occupation victory Feb. 15 at Kyoto going 1,800 meters (about 1 1/eight miles) at the dust, the similar go back and forth because the Fukuryu.
Bred through Northern Racing, Danon Pharaoh fetched ¥194.four million (US$1.629 million) on the 2018 Japan Racing Horse Affiliation Sale of Yearlings and Weanlings and races for Danox. He’s out of Crisp, an El Corredor mare who gained the 2010 Santa Anita Oaks (G1).
Danon Pharaoh is nominated to the U.S. Triple Crown. And, sure, this is how they spell the colt’s identify. It is the “proper” manner.
Others within the Fukuryu box come with:
Miyaji Kokuo, through Victoire Pisa, winner of the 2011 Dubai International Cup Backed through Emirates Airline (G1), and boasts a 2d and two wins from his 3 journeys.
Herrschaft, a Kentucky-bred colt through Will Take Fee , has gained two times however reported 5th within the Hyacinth. Mild Warrior, a Majestic Warrior colt, failed two times at the turf however is 2-for-2 since switching to the dust.
Immortal Smoke and Jigen each are through main 2019 North American sire Into Mischief . Immortal Smoke gained two times at 2, whilst Jigen has discovered his stride at Three with two wins and a 2d out of 4 begins.
Reine Blanche, the one filly within the box, entered the Hyacinth 2-for-2 however completed 10th in that warmth.