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2020/ 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

5/01  Kiseki Holds the Key

4:46 p.m. Kiseki seems to hold the key of Tenno-sho (spring).

The horse's performances for the past couple of races especially, Hanshin Dai-shoten, haven't been satisfactory compared to his earlier career. Kiseki has done a blunder at the start in his previous race Hanshin Dai-shouten, staying behind in the barrier while his competitors rushed off to gain their positions. I wonder if the rider meant it, but Kiseki lost his harmony in the 2nd lap to break off and catch up to the leading horse. As a result, he ran out of stamina in the last stretch which comes as no surprise. Kiseki had a bad start since he was 3 years old, though the nasty habit seems to have become worse over the past year.

And now Yutaka is being counted on as a savior to perform a miracle. I'm counting on him, too. The horse has got trouble but also has high potential. Many a horse I've seen making a miraculous come back by the help of skilled jockeys. If anyone could save Kiseki, it's Yutaka Take.

The End

Caterpillar

5/02  Cases Are Limited

7:14 p.m. It'a been another hard delivery... I couldn't quite decide which horse to key as every horse had little glitches.

And here's my conclusion. Will key Fierement on 2nd and 3rd place of trifectas on a wheel of Danburite, Kiseki and Mikki Swallow. Fierement probably has the highest potential among these competitors however, I couldn't be sure he'd win following his performance in Arima Kinen. Cases are limited when you can fully trust a Deep Impact descendant.

Will also buy some exactas keying Fierement on the 1st place though, in case I was wrong.

The End

Caterpillar

5/03  Ouch Again

4:44 p.m. Ouch again. I've got Fierement and Mikki Swallow right, but left out Stiffellio...

Yutaka has done a good job with Kiseki. The start was good which I wasn't much worried about, though the harmony didn't work out well. This was what I feared and half knew would take some time to fix even with the help of the genius. I think Yutaka tried to stay on the safe side at the beginning and this seemed to work well however, Kiseki started to break away in the home stretch of the 1st lap. Thus, Yutaka tried hard to calm the horse down, In vain, he let Kiseki take the initiative to take the lead. The fuss on the home stretch consumed too much stamina to hang on for the last 3 furlongs, I guess.

Speaking from the result, it might have been better to let Kiseki take the lead from the start to calm him down around the 1st-2nd corner of the first lap. The horse would probably fight the jockey if he tries to be hard on the reins while the horse wants to go. The best would be to let the horse have its way until he vents out a bit. Still, it might have been difficult to harmonize Kiseki, as the horse seems to think he's the boss, not the rider. This is the result of training and riding so it would only be improved through training and riding.

The End

Caterpillar

5/04  Too Long

9:16 p.m. Seeing Kiseki's previous two races, I suspect the distance may be too long for the horse. He did win Kikka-sho yes, but that doesn't automatically mean he's a cup horse. Perhaps he'd do much better in 1800m or 2200m races assumingly.

Have taken a peek on the entry list for NHK Mile Cup though without much interest for now, as Resistencia would be difficult to beat. A couple of horses caught my eye but it's too early to say anything yet. At least not until the barrier draw. I'd rather be on the alert for the governor's announcement on the extension of the stay-home order.

The End

Caterpillar

5/05  Kashiwa Kinen

9:01 p.m. Perhaps you might have forgotten but Kashiwa Kinen was held at Funabashi today.

It must have gathered considerable attention since the betting tickets sold more than last year. Actually, it broke the record of sold betting tickets for one day in Funabashi history. This could be one of the bright sides of the stay-home order.

I didn't expect Wide Pharaoh to win but then, the horse has drawn the inner-most post on a bull track which gives advantage to the horses that go up front. What was unexpected for me was the loss of Le Vent Se Leve. True, he just came back from a year-and-a-half break due to injury however, his performance was far from good. The horse has performed well after blanks and I don't think he's the type to do a blunder after breaks. Concerning. Will have to keep an eye on the horse.

The End

Caterpillar

5/06  Be My Guest

5:19 p.m. Additional support may be announced for small businesses in Tokyo related to the extension of the stay-home order, which is important to decide my working style. Not that I'm sitting here doing nothing, I've been sesking and preparing for other ways of income for a while.

Meanwhile, opinions saying Resistencia will not do well in NHK Mile Cup are popping up here and there. I disagree, though I can understand their wishful thinking as she is sure to be the most favorite while Asahi-hai winner Salios, or horses like Galoire Creek, Win Carnelian that performed well in Satsuki-sho are not entering. Win Carnelian seems fit for a Tokyo mile. I wonder if he's going to the D'erby?

Firement has been announced to head for Takaraduka Kinen, by the way. Be my guest. Oh, but he might scratch off due to bad condition.

The End

Caterpillar

5/07  The Undefeated

2:53 p.m. Resistencia's rival in NHK Mile Cup would probably be the undefeated Satono Impresa. Currently his win odds are pushing against the second favored Taisei Vision.

Satono Impresa hasn't lost a race in his career so far, winning 3 races in a row. He's a Deep Impact descendant meaning, he performs well on fast, firm track as well as soft. The key to success for this horse would be the same as that of the usual Deep Impact descendants, the barrier and the damage.

The End

Caterpillar

5/08  Barriers Out

2:55 p.m. The barrier draw for NHK Mile Cup has benn announced so let's take a look.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Shachi
2Taisei Vision
3Resistencia
4Prince Return
5Shine Garnet
6Gilded Mirror
7Meisho Titan
8Succession
9Rhinebeck
10Harmony Magellan
11Lauda Sion
12Bon Om Touk
13Nishino Storm
14Luftstrom
15Soul Train
16Stone Ridge
17Satono Impresa
18Win Greatest

Ah, Resistencia (Alice Synthesis Thirty) has drawn an inner post. That's good for her. The outer post would be better for Satono Impresa too, as it will prevent having to hit the breaks while peeding up. Outer posts are doing well in this race however, Mainichi-hai winners don't seem to do very well. Mainichi-hai champion that did well in NHK Mile Cup goes way back to Danon Chantilly.

The End

Caterpillar

5/09  If Necessary

7:50 p.m. I'm sorry but I just couldn't come to a convincing conclusion. So my call fopr NHK Mile Cup might change, though I'll upload what I've got up till now anyway.

Will key Resistencia why, of course. On a wheel of Taisei Vision, Gilded Mirror, Succession, Luftstrom and Satono Impresa. The thing is, I just can't imagine NHK Mile Cup finishing with the top 5 favored horses. Will keep pondering and perhaps make some changes if necessary.

The End

Caterpillar

5/10  And Yet Again

4:43 p.m. And yet again... Resistencia came in 2nd with Gilded Mirror in 3rd, but it was Lauda Sion who won. I guessed the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th horse right skillfully leaving out only the winning horse...

What's more regretful is that I had Lauda Sion on my wheel last night. Though I'd repladed him for Rhein Beck around noon today. I thought the pace wouldn't be so tight so Resistencia would be taken over by some speed horse, which lead to thinking it should be a Deep Impact descendant. I realized Lauda Sion was a Real Impact descendant which was almost the equivalent to Deep Impact. Also realized the horse had the potential to perform well however, I'd already bought the betting tickets at the time so it was too late.

The End

Caterpillar

5/11  Better Pep Up!

4:20 p.m. Although I feel like saying this repeatedly for the past several years, let me say it one more time that I would make good use of this NHK Mile Cup loss to win Victoria Mile coming up this weekend.

NHK Mile Cup is run on Tokyo mile as well as Victoria Mile and Yasuda Kinen. The track condition will change with time (and weather), the pace would differ according to the competitors however, the essential factors to perform well on Tokyo mile stays the same.

So it's up to me to be able to pick up the high-performing horses or not... Better pep up! Though I've been doing blunders every year...

The End

Caterpillar

5/12  The Key to Victoria Mile

5:37 p.m. Thinking about course features mixed with distance.

Front runners tend to perform highly in either a high paced race or an average paced race on Hanshin mile. Recaling Kyoei March, Arrow Carry, Let's Go Donki, or Smile Kana. I think there's a reason for that which I'm eager to find out.

Interestingly, Tokyo mile also seems to share the same phnomenon. This time recalling Asahi Rising, Virxina (I'll never forget), or Minaret. As a matter of fact, It's not easy for closers to take over the front runners on Tokyo course including mile distance, even when they have outstanding speed. Therefore, the position in the race will be quite important. This should be the key to picking up the right horses in calling Victoria Mile.

The End

Caterpillar

5/13  Red Light Alert

5:38 p.m. I've used Zoom as part of my work for the first time in my life. Didn't think it was so useful as its said well, at least not for my purpose. Pretty tired after a 90-minute session...

Summing up my little left energy, here's a piece of info about Victoria Mile. Briefing through the past 10 years of results, I realized that Hanshin Hinba winners haven't performed well. Uh-oh. That puts Sound Chiara in a tight corner.

The recent high performances puts her even at more risk. 3 grade race wins in a row since January... Also, Sound Chiara has lost in 7th place in last year's Victoria Mile after performing well for 4 consecutive races, rapping up her 5th Kyoto mile race with a win. This could be concerning. Red light alert for Sound Chiara.

The End

Caterpillar

5/14  Bad Habit

4:26 p.m. The entry for Victoria Mile has been closed today and as expected, Almond Eye seems to lead a couple of steps ahead in expected win odds.

I guess that can't be helped considering her career though that doesn't exactly mean the horse has nothing to worry about. If my memory is right, Almond Eye failed to harmonize with Christophe in at least 2 races; Dubai Turf and Arima Kinen. Until then, I never felt it necessary to worry about harmonizing in Almond Eye's case. However, in the former mentioned 2 races, Almond Eye behaved like a different horse, trying to break away from Christophe's grip.

Taking in account that it's been a while since Almond Eye has run her last race, there is a possibility of her bad habit resurfacing.

The End

Caterpillar

5/15  Nothing Unusual

4:14 p.m. Having a troubled time thanks to my client who's asking me a big favor as if that's nothing unusual, while my parents keep increasing unwanted house chores for me. I'm pretty much exhausted, though the barriers have been out so let's take a look.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Loves Only You
2Beach Samba
3Shadow Diva
4Shigeru Pink Dia
5Primo Scene
6Tosen Bless
7Danon Fantasy
8Dimension
9Therapeia
10Megere Su
11Satono Garnet
12Almond Eye
13Trois Etoiles
14Scarlet Color
15Arusha
16Normcore
17Contra Check
18Sound Chiara

The main act takes the good part, looks like. Almond Eye drew a good post while Yutaka seems to be down on his luck drawing the outer post 2 weeks in a row. Still, he could go up front this time so that's a blessing I guess. Mirco can lead Loves Only You to a heaven or a hell depending on where he takes position in the race.

The End

Caterpillar

5/16  In the End

7:29 p.m. As is the usual these days, I've swayed this way and that being forced to put a stop to it because I've ran out of time.

In the end I settled for Almond Eye. I know things have said though since I can't come up with a horse to beat her, there's nothing I can do about it. Will key Almond Eye on the 1st place of my trifectas on a wheel of Beach Samba, Primo Scene, Therapeia, Scarlet Color, and Contra Check.

The End

Caterpillar

5/17  Last Year, Next Year

4:48 p.m. Epic fail. In the sense that Sound Chiara came in 2nd and Normcore 3rd.

I got as close to the point that Hanshin Hinba Stakes was the key to winning this race, and that horses that failed to perform well in Hanshin Hinba although they had the stregth to would perform well in Victoria Mile, but I've missed in picking up the right horse.

Last year's win was just that I got lucky. This year I've failed as a result of the laws of nature since I hadn't fully understood the mechanism of high-performing horses in Victoria Mile. Now I know where I went wrong, so I'll be able to win next year.

The End

Caterpillar

5/18  What to do in Confusion

4:19 p.m. I've never been good at adjusting to new changes and the last couple of weeks have been tough, having to take in a lot of new information, carefully choose the facts from it, and then decide what kind of action to take when necessary and make action. I know it's been hard for all of you in a difficult time like this, though personally I think we owe the large part of this difficulty to the media and politicians, thank you.

Anyway, unexpected things popping up here and there have eaten up my time and energy that was originally meant to be spent on calling races. I'll do my best to start moving earlier this week, but there could be new matters popping up again unexpectedly... What I need to do in such confusion would probably be... to get back to my routine. Right. Let's get on with the reviewing.

The End

Caterpillar

5/19  Might Be Fun

4:20 p.m. Because Victoria Mile has been such an easy win for Almond Eye without even a stick, there are talks that she may enter Yasuda Kinen.

I don't think that's realistic considering the gap between both races. Almond Eye has never run a race in less than a 5-week gap, which I think has contributed to her high performance and success. And there's no reason for Silk Racing Co. Ltd to break that rule and push this plan forward however, it might be fun to see a re-match of last year with Danon Premium and Indy Champ. A re-match with Damian Lane on Danon Premium.

The End

Caterpillar

5/20  As A Treat

4:00 p.m. I've gone to check the entry list for Japanese Oaks as a treat for my 90-minute online meeting session.

25 horses are entered as of today... that means at least 7 of them will drop out by tomorrow. There was one name that caught my attention however. Evergarden. I wonder if it has any relations with Violet Evergarden? Will go check at JRA.

The End

Caterpillar

5/21  The Lucky Post

5:22 p.m. It's been another exhausting day but well, the barriers for Oaks is out so let's see which horse drew the lucky post.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Des Ailes
2Cravache d'Or
3Ablaze
4Daring Tact
5Ho O Peaceful
6Ria Amelia
7Win Mighty
8Smile Kana
9Intermission
10Miyamazakura
11Lily Pure Heart
12Magic Castle
13Woman's Heart
14Fiori Chiari
15Chain Of Love
16Win Marilyn
17Maltese Diosa
18Sanctuaire

Too bad Evergarden couldn't make it. The top 3 favored horses all drew inner posts and the lucky post number 1 goes to Des Ailes with Damian on her back. Sure sounds lucky. But the way Des Ailes stays in the back, it could become critical.

The End

Caterpillar

5/22  Ohka-sho Winners

4:22 p.m. While Daring Tact is being extremely favored, I decided to release my notes from last year about Ohka-sho winners. There are two things to keep in mind when making up your mind whether or not to buy Ohka-sho winners.

One is that Ohka-sho winners who haven't won a grade race over 1600m will not perform well in Oaks. And two, you need to be careful about intervals between races to prevent picking up the wrong horse. Specifically, horses that had a gap of at least 5 weeks within the past 2 to 3 races would be the one to choose. Others you can dismiss as not able to perform well due to piled up physical/mental damage.

When I apply this to this year's Ohka-sho winner and the currently most favored Daring Tact, uh-oh. She doesn't meet condition one, because she hasn't won a grade race in 1600m besides Ohka-sho. Well, judging from her pedigree, I think she has the potential to do well in Oaks, though. The horse must have had some damage after the tough Ohka-sho, but as long as she's keeping up her weight and in good condition, I don't think there's much to worry.

The End

Caterpillar

5/23  Making an Excuse

5:48 p.m. Let me make an excuse that there's been an unexpected incident and I haven't been able to fully focus on calling races.

Given that, I've keyed Daring Tact on a trio wheel with Cravache d'Or, Miyamazakura, Win Marilyn, Maltese Diosa and Sanctuaire. I'm also buying some exactas with Daring Tact on the 2nd place. As you can see, I'm not expecting her to win although she might become a double-crwon winner with ease.

The End

Caterpillar

5/24  Different Perspective

7:10 p.m. Since I've announced it here, I bought exactas with Daring Tact fixed on the 2nd place with Cravache d'Or, Win Mighty and Win Marilyn on the 1st... ouch.

I'm getting tired of this close-but-not-quite situation however, looking at it from a different perspective it could be said that I'm getting closer to winning than last year. Maybe I might learn how to win them all next year...

The End

Caterpillar

5/25  Towering Tasks

6:51 p.m. Had to make arrangements for many things and it took me a whole afternoon to just figure out where I should make phone calls to. After the phone calls awaits the dreading task of sorting out what documents and how many volumes of them I need to submit them to their respective offices...

In the meantime, I also have to figure out what I need to fix and what not to in order to win the Japanese D'erby. All these towering tasks are driving me crazy. I hope I can keep my sanity until Sunday. Sigh.

The End

Caterpillar

5/26  Potential Horses?

4:15 p.m. I haven't had the time to review the Oaks yet, though tasks are being processed one by one. It's a tedious job but the important thing is to get them done.

As a reward for my diligent work, I went to see the entry form for the Japanese D'erby. Urm... I hoped there would be a few potential horses from trial races however, now that Authority has dropped out my hope has crumbled away.

The End

Caterpillar

5/27  Troubling

6:33 p.m. It's not hard to imagine undefeated Contrail would be the most favored in D'erby. Though history seems to be against him.

Horses that have won Hopeful Stakes after 2017 when the race was promoted to G1 haven't been performing well in D'erby. Time Flyer has lost big in Satsuki-sho as well as in D'erby, while Saturnalia won Satsuki-sho but lost in 4th place in D'erby, although he was the most favored in win odds. In my humble opinion, piled damge was behind both cases.

Contrail is not an exception to damage, and I am thinking there is a risk he might lose. Especially, if he draws posts on the far outside or inner posts though not the inner most. Still, he is a Deep Impact descendant that performs highly while he is concentrated. Hmm, troubling.

The End

Caterpillar

5/28  Lukewarm Inner Post

5:40 p.m. JRA has officially announced they would continue the races without spectators until the end of June. Due to this extension, all of the spring G1 races including the remaining Yasuda Kinen and Takaraduka Kinen will be held without spectators. While such announcement was made, the barrier draw for the non-spectators D'erby has also been announced so let's check it out.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Satono Impresa
2Al Jannah
3Wakea
4L'Excellence
5Contrail
6Weltreisende
7Black Hole
8Bitterender
9Darlington Hall
10Cortesia
11Galore Creek
12Salios
13Deep Bond
14My Rhapsody
15Satono Flag
16Man of Spirit
17Valcos
18Win Carnelian

Contrail has drawn a lukewarm inner post, looks like. Don't think this would be an advantage.

The End

Caterpillar

5/29  Racking Brains

5:30 p.m. My standard to buy or not buy the horse that drew the lucky post number 1 is basically, if the horse has a grade race victory or not. If the horse has won either a G2 or G3 (G2 preferrable), I include the horse in my wheel. That's why I hadn't had Roger Barows on my wheel last year.

This year, it was Satono Impresa who drew the lucky post number 1 and he's already won a G3, Mainichi-hai. So reflecting my standard, I should buy Satono Impresa. However, I have a feeling he won't perform as well as Roger Barows. Both of them are Deep Impact descendants which means inner posts can be a disadvantage in the sense that the rider might have to hit the break while gaining speed. Roger Barows was a front runner and was able to avoid this disadvantage. Satono Impresa is not a front runner.

So here I go again racking my brains to decide whether or not to include Satono Impresa on my wheel.

The End

Caterpillar

5/30  Slim Chance

6:36 p.m. Very tired after another online meeting. Why do they hold online meetings while they can't handle the situation when something goes wrong? If they're not familiar with the app or computers, just say so and I'd gladly put it off.

Anyway, the D'erby. Have squeezed my brain while fighting another toothache and decided to key Salios because I'm getting pretty suspicious about Contrail. I even think he might have an epic fail. On the wheel would be Al Jannah, Wakea, Contrail (for insurance), Galoire Creek, and Win Carnelian. I kept Contrail on my wheel just for safe keeping, since there is a slim chance for him to perform well. The slim chance is when the pace becomes average.

The End

Caterpillar

5/31  Too Slow

4:41 p.m. The pace was slow, too slow that Contrail's damage didn't surface... I hate to say this to suc a great jockey, but Damian did a blunder on this one. He should have either taken the lead to push at a faster pace or led Salios to stick to the rail for an eraly spart, though the latter wasn't easy considering the post. Salios has more stamina and power compared to Contrail, so his chance to beat Contrail was to burn out Contrail's stamina.

It sounds like an excuse and it probably is, but my toothache has become worse to the point of changing my face's outline and I wasn't in good condition. My biorhythm is down, what with all the new changes in my life. I will do my best to recover for the coming Yasuda Kinen as I'm sure the odds will split. That is, leaving out Almond Eye of course.

Contrail would probably become a triple crown winner if he ever runs Kikka-sho by the way, if he chooses Tenno-sho he still might win as the older horses aren't much of a rival. If he chooses to enter the Arc, I'm sorry to say that the horse will never win again.

The End

Caterpillar