2018/9
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9/01  Last Summer Grade Race

1:22 p.m. Blast One Piece has eventually remained as the most favored. The last of the summer grade race is going to run tomorrow and I can't even be sure of the track condition, since the forecast says it will be sunny tomorrow although the track now is yielding.

My key horse is Blast One Piece. I couldn't shake off the feeling that he has the most advantage. Some people seem to worry about his background, but then there's the example of Dierdre who was also a Harbinger descendant. On the wheel would be Maitres d'Art, Stoneware, Realista, Gruyeres and Seda Brillantes. Okay I admit, I chickened out from putting Stoneware on the key but so what?

The End

Caterpillar

9/02  Against All Odds

9:43 p.m. Blast One Piece has won against all odds.

And I've added to my mountain of loss to finish up my summer races, thanks. Shonan Bach was completely off my mark but now that I take a closer look on his career, I realized that he has won on Niigata turf before although it was a lower class race. That backs up his potential on Niigata turf.

And I've just realized that he is an older brother to Kitasan Black... why did I miss all this? Why?

The End

Caterpillar

9/03  Some Things I Learned

3:31 p.m. My summer races ended in a disaster but there were some things I learned, too.

Because the summer races are run on local race tracks, it is important that the horse has the potential and ability to perform well on the track where the race is run. Each race course has its own features and the horses that perform well must have the ability to make the best out of it. I discovered that looking at each horse's racing career helps to find if the horse has such ability on a particular course setting.

So what I want to say is it wasn't all in vain.

The End

Caterpillar

9/04  Prep For Autumn G1

2:26 p.m. The summer grade races have finished and the prep races for the autumn G1 series is starting from this weekend. We have dropped way down in the ranking assumingly because I've been losing race after race, but never mind that.

Centaur Stakes runs on Hanshin tracks, a prep for Sprinters' Stakes held at the end of this month, while Keisei-hai Autumn Handicap will be run on Nakayama turf for horses that aim to win Mile Championship. Before the two races are run, Shion Stakes will be run on Nakayama turf on Saturday, with its distance extended since 2007 to 2,000 meters, which is the same as the enterees' goal Shuka-sho.

Autumn races are starting.

The End

Caterpillar

9/05  Typhoon Damages in Training Center

4:30 p.m. The typhoon has left serious damages in the Kansai area and Ritto Training Center where horses are kept also seem to have had some damages of fallen trees or flooding, although they weren't critical thank god.

Still, schedule of some horses returning to the training center from their summer break in Hokkaido are being altered because of the ferry delay due to the typhoon. And we're merely at the entrance of the typhoon season. There may be more coming in the next few weeks, who knows.

The End

Caterpillar

9/06  Natural Disasters

3:21 p.m. I've just written about the typhoon damages yesterday and today Hokkaido gets hit by a M 6.7 earthquake... We are being hit by natural disasters one after another.

Fortunately, news has arrived that no big damages besides blackouts were reported by Shadai Group stables where may race horses are still taking their summer break. It seems damages were most big near the mid-east area of Iburi province, located on the Pacific coast of Hokkaido across from Sapporo.

I visited a family-run race horse farm in Mukawa more than a decade ago, because they kept one of my favorite horses, Tayasu Bloom. The farm is near the places reported to have had huge landslides from the earthquake so am a bit worried.

The End

Caterpillar

9/07  Barrier for Centaur Stakes

2:22 p.m. Meaanwhile, the barrier draw for Centaur Stakes has been announced.

The most favored Fine Needle has drawn post number 14, whereas Love Kampf drew 2 and Diana Halo, 7. The most favored in win odds has been performing well in Centaur Stakes, but Fine Needle had better go up front considering his outside starting position in order to do so.

The End

Caterpillar

9/08  Soft Track in Hanshin

3:20 p.m. Looks like it's been raining quite heavily in Kansai and Hanshin tracks' condition is announced to be soft. It might not dry up by the time of the race tomorrow.

My key horse for Centaur Stakes is Fine Needle though Love Kampf has overtaken the most favored in win odds. On the wheel would be Admire God, Diana Halo, Nero and Aonbharr. Might add Love Kampf if the track stays soft.

The End

Caterpillar

9/09  Ouch!

4:48 p.m. Ouch! Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch!!!

I've thought of Great Charter before the race because the track seemed yielding but dismissed the idea since the horse raced from behind and was starting from an outer post, which was a disadvantage in such condition. However, the lap became tighter than I'd imagined and all the horses that went up front sunk low...

The End

Caterpillar

9/10  Prep at Hanshin and Nakayama

2:25 p.m. Despite that it's the beginning of a week, I am exhausted from a trubulent weekend. It's even difficult to just stay awake but there is not ime to be dozing as the two prep races for the autumn classics will be run on Hanshin and Nakayama.

Rose Stakes, a prep for Shuka-sho is going to be run on Hanshin on Sunday. Have scanned the members on the entry form and so far no name stands out to become a rival for Almond Eye. Satono Walkure? Nah. In the east, St. Lite Kinen which is a prep for Kikka-sho will be run on Monday at Nakayama, since Monday is a holiday. Leyenda, Rey De Oro's brother is entered. The horse's spring season was srewed up due to an injury but now he's back with an easy win in Hakodate.

I am a bit curious about Leyenda's performance who has a reputation of being greater than his older brother. Let's look forward to next week while I struggle through this one.

The End

Caterpillar

9/11  What Is This Time Lag?

3:15 p.m. It transpired that Miss Encore, the mother of 2018 Japanese D'erby horse Wagnerian has fallen victim to the earthquake in Hokkaido. News reports the mare was pastured at the time of the earthquake when she must have hut herself. A fracture in her left hind hock-joint had been discovered early the next morning and the horse has been sadly put to sleep.

I think I had written here about Shadai Group announcing there wasn't any big damage on their horses and farms except for the blackout, and if my memory is correct that was last Thursday. It was yesterday when I first saw this article about Miss Encore. What is this time lag?

The End

Caterpillar

9/12  Oju Scratches Off

3:12 p.m. Ojuchosan has scratched off from Kujyu-kuri Tokubetsu, which is going to be run at Nakayama on Saturday, 22nd. The race was going to be a prep for Arima Kinen as it is run on the same course and in the same distance. But something seemed wrong with Oju's left hind thigh, and the crew has made the decision to scratch off.

Oju will have a recess instead before starting a full-fledged training for Arima Kinen. His goal to win Arima Kinen stays the same. I think the crew and the owner has made the right decision. Oju is a Stay Gold descendant which means he is weak against both stress and fatigue. It's good that his racing schedule becomes relaxed. Oju's potential for Nakayama 2,500m? I've never doubted.

The End

Caterpillar

9/13  Almond Eye Entering Japan Cup

4:08 p.m. There was an announcement about Almond Eye, currently training for Shuka-sho that she might be entering Japan Cup after shuka-sho.

Almond Eye has been entered in Shuka-sho at an early point after she'd finished her spring season with an incredible win of the Japanese Oaks. And we were a bit surprised but also convinced, when the crew revealed their autumn plan to skip the prep races and go straight to Shuka-sho. Almond Eye's entry for Japan Cup came as another surprising and convincing experience. Surprising, because she might become the 2nd fillie to win Japan Cup since Gentil Donna, and convincing, because she has won the Japanese Oaks, which was run on the same course and same distance as Japan Cup impressively.

Personally, I can't help but think they should have tried for the Arc if they were entering Japan Cup.

The End

Caterpillar

9/14  Rose Stakes Barrier Draw

1:54 p.m. It is Friday but the barrier draw for St. Lite Kinen hasn't been announced yet, because the race is going to be run on Monday, not Sunday.

However, Rose Stakes will be run on Sunday and its barrier draw has been announced. The most avored Satono Walkure is in post number 8, while Salacia drew 5 and Cantabile, 13. I guess I should start from thinking whether Satono Walkure will perform well or not.

The End

Caterpillar

9/15  Will Not Buy

3:18 p.m. Don't think I'll buy tomorrow, but here's my call for Rose Stakes. I'd key Salacia on a wheel of Usubenino Kimi, All For Love, Centelleo, Satono Walkure and Encore Plus.

As for St. Lite Kinen, the barriers have been announced with Leyenda in post number 15, Generale Uno in 4 and Gibeon in 1.

The End

Caterpillar

9/16  Outcome Of Rose Stakes

Okay, this outcome of Rose Stakes was expected. That's why I didn't buy betting tickets for the race in the first place. I'd rather save the money for Shuka-sho.

I thought Lathyros would take the lead, but she didn't so it became a mild race with all the horses that had instantaneous speed having a ready, set, go at the last corner. Well, that isn't surprising as it's almost become an annual event in Rose Stakes. The thing is, if a horse performs too well in Rose Stakes, it will not in Shuka-sho. In this case, Lathyros is most likely.

Cantabile might still do well, but she would need a similar condition; firm, fast tracks and an outward post to avoid getting crushed in the pack. Satono Walkure, I'm not sure what happened, though considering that she hasn't gained weight since spring, I don't think she could become a rival for Almond Eye.

The End

Caterpillar

9/17  A Prep For All Comer

2:28 p.m. I am not going to buy betting tickets for St. Lite Kinen either, as I usually just refer to this race as a prep for All Comer the week after.

The question is whether the most favored Leyenda would perform well to race up to his reputation or not. It seems likely that he'd win despite the outmost post, so perhaps I'm going to see Christophe win 2 days in a row.

The End

Caterpillar

9/18  Yuichi Gets Skull Fracture

5:53 p.m. God, I've been running around like a hamster in a cage. In the meantime, Yuichi fell off to have an open skull fracture whatever that means. The jockey didn't seem to feel pain and has ridden a couple of races after the accident, including one in which he won.

News source reports that he will be riding this year's Japanese D'erby horse Wagnerian in Kobe Shinbun-hai this weekend, if the fracture does not develop further. Not feeling pain being able to ride in races while having your skull cracked... Living in a weird world, aren't we?

The End

Caterpillar

9/19  Fujioka Instead of Fukunaga

5:13 p.m. I've just written about the rider of Wagnerian being Yuichi Fukunaga yesterday and now they tell me that the plan has completely changed. Kota Fujioka will be riding instead for Kobe Shinbun-hai. Latest news says that Yuichi's condition is stable, but his doctor has stopped him from riding in races for the next two weeks to be on the safe side.

Kota has been riding Wagnerian in training actually, even in the training before the Japanese D'erby, too. So there should be no problem in riding the horse. I'm rather suspicious about the horse's condition.

The End

Caterpillar

9/20  Shuka-sho Related News

2:56 p.m. There are some news about fillies aiming for Shuka-sho.

Maulea who has come in 2nd place in Shion Stakes is scratching off from Shuka-sho due to a sprain in her left foreleg. She made the headlines because her rider Yutaka had gotten off soon after she passed the goal. It doesn't seem to be a serious injury, but the horse has been working hard this spring. Think it's good for her to take a break.

Meanwhile, Cantabile the winner of Rose Stakes will be ridden by Yutaka Take in Shuka-sho, as Christophe is definitely going to ride Almond Eye. Also, it transpired that Hirofumi Shii has taken the primary exam for JRA trainer, though that is not Shuka-sho related news.

The End

Caterpillar

9/21  Epoca d'Oro in 8

2:42 p.m. The barrieres for Kobe Shinbun-hai has been announced. Epoca d'Oro the most favored is in post number 8, Wagnerian drew 3 and Etario got 2 in a 10-horse race.

On the other hand, Rey De Oro drew post number 7, Al Ain 1 and Danburite 2 for All Comer which will be run on Nakayama turf. Must make enoubh time to think about both races.

The End

Caterpillar