2020/10
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10/01  Gran Alegria Stays

4:31 p.m. The entry for Sprinters' Stakes have been closed and 4 or 5 names have vanished from the entry form. In the expected win odds, Gran Alegria stays the most favored. The barrier draw will be announced tomorrow.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arc de Triomphe will be held this weekend on the same day as Sprinters' Stakes. Yutaka Take is going to ride Japan aiming to beat the undefeatable Enable. Deirdre is also entered, though personally I think she'd do better in a 10 furlong race.

Because Yutaka is going to fly to France and back, he needs to stay locked indoors for 2 weeks after returning which led to the problem of Kiseki running without him in Kyoto Dai-shoten. Suguru Hamanaka is announced to play the pinch hitter in the meantime. I do trust last year's D'erby jockey, but hope he can get enough advice from Yutaka. Kiseki is one horse that's hard to handle.

The End

Caterpillar

10/02  Draws Attention

4:48 p.m. As expected, the barrier draw for Sprinters' Stakes has been announced.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Daimei Princess
2Mozu Superflare
3Danon Smash
4King Heart
5Meisho Glocke
6Right on Cue
7Mister Melody
8Daimei Fuji
9Diatonic
10Gran Alegria
11Love Kampf
12Bien Fait
13Red en Ciel
14Eighteen Girl
15Kurino Gaudi
16A Will a Way

It won't be good for Danon Smash if the pace slackens as he probably don't like to be stuck in a pack, though I think it wouldn't be such a slow pace. Post number 10 is not bad for Gran Alegria as she's a Deep Impact descendant, while Bien Fait who's grandsire is Deep Impact has more advantage as far as the barrier is concerned.

What draws attention is that Mozu Superflare has drawn post number 2, which means it'd be easier for her to take the lead.

The End

Caterpillar

10/03  Not to Regret

7:46 p.m. I've pondered and pondered, moaning as it's the first G1 this autumn. Not that it makes me win but so as not to regret.

Will key Gran Alegria. After all I've worried, I've went once around and came back to the start. On the wheel would be Mozu Superflare, Mister Melody, Diatonic, Bien Fait, and Eighteen Girl. This is what I squeezed out after a long, hard day.

The End

Caterpillar

10/04  Perfect Win, Total Loss

6:31 p.m. A perfect win for Gran Alegria, a close but total loss for me.

I guessed the pace right - to be high pace, but didn't expect Bien Fait to be that persistent. No wonder Mozu Superflare didn't have any change left in the last stretch. Meanwhile, Gran Alegria (and A Will a Way) stayed behind 2nd from last and the last in the field. They were the ones left with the boost while horses that went along with the tight lap all stopped. All things considered, I think Danon Smash did pretty well despite the short interval, it was just that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

As a matter of fact, I'd cut out Bien Fait and bought Right on Cue instead on my trio, with additional exactas of Right on Cue fixed on 1st place on a wheel of Mozu Superflare, Danon Alegria, Diatonic, and A Will a Way. That's what I meant by "close but total loss".

The End

Caterpillar

10/05  My Mind Flies

5:51 p.m. Haven't even started my review for Sprinters' Stakes yet, but my mind seems to fly to this weekend when Mainichi Ohkan and Kyoto Dai-shoten are held.

Mainichi Ohkan is probably going to be a small-field race. It doesn't appeal to me as interesting as Salios will be over-favored and he'd probably win. On the other hand, Kyoto Dai-shoten will be quite interesting with Kiseki entered why of course, with Glory Vase, Stay Foolish, Danburite, Perform a Promise (the usual member) entered. I also see the name of King of Koji who's been winning 4 races in a row. Haven't seen him race yet, but am interested. Can't wait to see his performance.

The End

Caterpillar

10/06  Saudi Arabia Royal Cup

6:19 p.m. There's also Saudi Arabia Royal Cup this weekend, a day before Mainichi Ohkan and Kyoto Dai-shoten are held.

Saudi Arabia RC is famous as the gateway to success for young horses. Descendants of Maurice, Duramente, Gold Ship, Epiphaneia, Leontes and more are entered this year and it's going to be a race to foresee successful horses in the future. Just look at the names of winning horses in the past couple of years: Salios, Gran Alegria, Danon Premium. I can't miss this one either.

The End

Caterpillar

10/07  Popular!

5:29 p.m. It's been announced that Fierement who scratched off from All Comer due to fever, is going to enter Tenno-sho (autumn). Additionally, the rider will change from Christophe to Yuichi Fukunaga. Wow, Yuichi has become so popular hasn't he? Thinking back, I can still recall his white face when he rode in his first D'erby on the back of King Halo. I'm happy he's grown into a good jockey.

There have been talks about Fierement's next race, some saying Japan Cup is his aim while others say the crew's target is Arima Kinen where the horse performed well last year. Whichever race becomes the crew's goal, it's good to run a high-level, medium-distance race before a long-distance race although the horse might not win. That's not the point, you see, the aim is the long-distance.

One more thing. It has nothing to do with horserace, but I'd like to take this opportunity to pay my greatest respect to Eddy Van Halen. Eddy, you changed the world with your guitar (and your smile). You were innovative as well as a hard worker. Van Halen wouldn't have become legendary if it weren't for you. Thank you so much. RIP.

The End

Caterpillar

10/08  A Heart's Cry Descendant

3:22 p.m. It suddenly struck me that Salios, although he will be the most favored in Mainichi Ohkan, was a Heart's Cry descendant. And Heart's Cry descendants don't do well when shortening distances from their previous race...

Well, this is only a tendency and doesnt necessarily mean every Heart's Cry descendant downgrades its performance when the distance of the race is shortened. Broodmares and broodmare sires also affect each horse, not just the sires. However, Salios has been performing highly for the all five past races since his debut. If there could be a dip in his career, it could be Mainichi Ohkan.

Incidentally, Heart's Cry descendants usually perform better in a full-field high pace race. The situation surrounding Mainichi Ohkan doesn't look good for now, but you never know. Maybe this rain might do some good. Heart's Cry descendants perform well on tough, power-consuming turfs.

The End

Caterpillar

10/09  Typhoon Landing Avoided

2:07 p.m. The barrier draw for both Mainichi Ohkan and Kyoto Dai-shoten have been announced. Saliios has drawn post number 9 while the 2nd favored Satono Impresa drew 8. The landing of the typhoon seems to be avoided, but the track is expected to become fast even under the rain. Spontaneous speed will be required to perform highly in this race.

For Kyoto Dai-shoten, Kiseki drew post number 2 which might work well for the horse if the track becomes soft. The 3rd favored King of Koji drew post number 17 that might become a disadvantage of a full-field race on a soft track. Whereas the 2nd favored Glory Vase drew post number 13, an ideal post for a Deep Impact descendant if the track dries off.

The End

Caterpillar

10/10  Tokyo Turf, Heavy

6:58 p.m. Not sure how the turf condition of Kyoto is, but Tokyo seems to be heavy. No surprise there with this rain. There's been rain dripping in several places of this rickety old workplace, we needed to gather all the buckets and bowls to set underneath. Even in the bathroom...

From today's race results, Kyoto's turf seems to have recovered from heavy to yielding by the main race. Still, I don't think it will recover to firm by tomorrow afternoon. Hence, I will key Kiseki for Kyoto Dai-shoten. The tough turf condition will help pinch-hitter Hamanaka-kun control the horse. On the wheel would be Stay Foolish (as I feel intention behind his entry with merely one week's interval between All Comer), Duomo, Glory Vase, Perform a Promise, and King of Koji.

Pretty much fed up with the rain and my realtor not replying to my mail. Miss the sunshine.

The End

Caterpillar

10/11  The Highest Potential

4:57 p.m. Kiseki lost to 2nd place against Glory Vase, but he showed the highest potential of horses. Hamanaka-kun has done a good job in the absence of Yutaka.

The field became long duriong the first half of the race so I thought the pace could be speeding up, though in fact it wasn't. Judging from the lap time, it was really a slow pace. All things considered, Glory Vase won because he was in a higher, better position throughout the slow pace. On the contrary, Kiseki lagged at the start (though he got out of the barrier without incident) positioning the last of the field, sweeping up the outside halfway in the 3rd corner. It must have consumed a lot of stamina, which only shows how high a potential Kiseki has.

If the pace had been a bit more faster, Kiseki could have won. If Yutaka had been riding, he'd probably chose to push the horse up through the midst of the field because he has the skills to cut through the other horses. Then, Kiseki would have won. But I'm pleased enough to see Kiseki keeping up his condition.

The End

Caterpillar

10/12  Too Good for Me

4:04 p.m. The rain has finally stopped, the buckets and bowls all emptied and put away. Have already finished the review for yesterday's Kyoto Dai-shoten. Too good for me I need a treat.

The reason I'm ahead of schedule which rarely happens is of course, because Shuka-sho is coming up this weekend. Unfortunately, my Saturday is fully booked with work so I thought I should start things earlier when I can. Not that I can keep up with my own rules, but at least I have the intention to do so.

The End

Caterpillar

10/13  Enable, a Historical Legend

2:16 p.m. The great Enable has finally announced her retirement. Winning eleven (!!) G1 races with two of them being the Arc is a historical legend that will stay in our memory. I pay my respect to the horse and the crew.

As for the Japanese horses, the plan for Kiseki and Daiwa Cagney to head to Tenno-sho (autumn) has been announced. Think it's good for both horses since Daiwa Cagney is a Tokyo specialist and Kiseki, not to mention as I've written about him a couple of days ago.

The only concern now is whether Yutaka will be able to ride Kiseki in Tenno-sho, since there's a plan for Matera Sky to challenge Breeders' Cup.

The End

Caterpillar

10/14  Feeling Reluctant

5:01 p.m. It's about time I started thinking about Shuka-sho knowing that it's going to be hectic in the weekend. Though I feel reluctant, since it feels more and more likely for Daring Tact to win the 3rd crown undefeated. It's a matter of motivation.

Additionally, I have several minor incidents that have been nagging in my mind. Like my newly ordered bluetooth earphones which I've been waiting for the reply from the retailer while they are waiting for the supplying manufacturer to deliver the product. It's been weeks since I ordered them and the irritating thing is no one can tell me when I will be released from this anxiety.

Still, I've whipped myself up to at least take a look at my notes from last year and it says, "horses that performed well in Oaks with high spontaneous speed will also perform well in Shuka-sho." I think I'll do the analysis tomorrow.

The End

Caterpillar

10/15  Entry Closed

5:42 p.m. The entry for Shuka-sho has been closed and the 18 competitors are now waiting for the barrier draw. Now that I see proper procedures being carried out normally, I'm forcing myself to start my preparation.

Personally, I think the experience of racing in high level grade races such as the spring classics is very important. Horses, especially at younger stages, learn and grow through their experience of races. However, such high-level races leave physical and mental damage on the horse, if/when the horse has performed highly. So the quest is to seek for horses with high potential and tough experience though having little or no left-over damage. Okay, I made my goal clear. Let's get to work. First, from typing in the horse names...

The End

Caterpillar

10/16  Ideal Post

5:04 p.m. The barrier draw for Shuka-sho has been announced, so let's take a look.

Post NumberHorse Name
1Miyamazakura
2Ria Amelia
3Maltese Diosa
4Ho O Peaceful
5Win Mighty
6Dantsu Elise
7Musica
8Soft Fruit
9Sanctuaire
10Cravache d'Or
11Fiori Chiari
12Magic Castle
13Daring Tact
14Oh My Darling
15Miss New York
16Pallas Athena
17Win Marylin
18Ablaze

Looks like we're having a defeatless triple crown winner. Daring Tact has drawn an ideal post. The focus is now on which horse she'd bring in tow. As for Ohka-sho and Oaks, the second and third place horses were relatively unfavored, except for Resistencia who was the 2nd favored.

The End

Caterpillar

10/17  Moaning and Growling

7:41 p.m. Sorry to keep you waiting, I've been moaning and growling having to make a difficult choice.

Needless to say I will key Daring Tact. I have no doubts in her winning a triple crown, even taking in account the changing track condition and the pace. On the wheel would be, Win Mighty, Sanctuaire, Cravache d'Or, Pallas Athena, and Win Marylin.

I've been torn between Miyamazakura and Win Marylin, but decided to take the latter with the disadvantage of the rider. She wouldn't be beaten by any other except for Daring Tact. I'm secretly hoping it becomes a tight pace to give Cravache d'Or one last chance.

The End

Caterpillar

10/18  Undefeated Triple Crown Winner

5:05 p.m. I'm flattered. Congradulations to Kohei Matsuyama, it must have been terrifying riding Daring Tact with the pressure of accomplishing a triple crown undefeated. But he got over the pressure as well as the fear to put his (and the horse's) name down in history. Great job well done!

As for my call, I'd taken a wrong turn at some point. I had Soft Fruit and Magic Castle left on my list until yesterday afternoon... Horses experiencing the spring classics mostly went down except for Magic Castle. This seem to be suggesting, though I can't quite pin down what.

One thing I know is that I should make the best out of today's results for Kikka-sho.

The End

Caterpillar

10/19  Living is Learning

5:48 p.m. Have finished my review for Shuka-sho. Have realized for the first time that there's a case when things work better for spring classic runners and a case that don't. This year, things worked better for horses that didn't experiece the spring classic races. The reason, I'll write in a different time since it's going to be long.

Lvinig is learning. Kikka-sho is coming up without interval, so I might as well make use of this new realization. Need to check the entry form but have a huch Kikka-sho could be different. Spring classic runners might get the advantage.

The End

Caterpillar

10/20  Centlight Winners

5:54 p.m. Looking at my notes from last year. According to my notes, Centlight winners must clear the race easily in order to perform well in Kikka-sho.

It says, "only the horses that won Centlight Kinen easily having experienced tough grade races in their career are able to perform well in Kikka-sho" meaning, that because Centlight runners need to be transported to Kyoto for Kikka-sho, they need reserve in their capacity to perform well. And they also need the potential to perform well in a 3-year-old G1.

Kitasan Black has won Kikka-sho by satisfying this condition. Cow's and my biggest concern now is whether Babbitt suits this requirement or not.

The End

Caterpillar

10/21  Losing Hope

6:48 p.m. Distracted, unfocused and losing hope here because my new home hunt hasn't been successful. Ought to be starting preparations for Kikka-sho, but just can't put myself to it.

Have met a guy who won trifectas for Shuka-sho, though. He'd bought a wheel keying Daring Tact including Soft Fruit. Wow. It's always stimulating to learn from successful people. He sounded suspicious about Contrail running this week. Well, more like not sure if he could key the horse. Assumingly, he buys betting tickets on wheels which I think is a good approach. In my humble opinion, it's best not to go against a focused Deep Impact descendant unless there's a good enough reason.

They say the Orionid meteor shower is going to be at peak tonight. Maybe that could cheer me up a bit.

The End

Caterpillar

10/22  Not the Time

5:47 p.m. It's not the time to be wimpering my low motivation, the barrier draw for Kikka-sho has been announced. Must get to work immediately!!

Post NumberHorse Name
1Diamant Minoru
2Galore Creek
3Contrail
4Man of Spirit
5Satono Impresa
6Weltreisende
7Danon Gloire
8Deep Bond
9Aristoteles
10Satono Flag
11Babbitt
12L'Excellence
13Robertson Quay
14Valcos
15Black Hole
16Turkish Palace
17Chimera Verite
18Bitterender

The fact that Contrail drew an inner post is not something I can let pass without consideration, even with the guards of Deep Bond and Chimera Verite. After all, Contrail is not only a Deep Impact descendant, but also has a bad habbit to fumble in the last stretch. Inner posts will not push his back unless the track is soft.

The End

Caterpillar

10/23  This Year's JBC

1:44 p.m. Came across an article on this year's JBC. On the list of entry for JBC Classic were the names of Omega Perfume, Chrysoberyl, Danon Pharaoh, Chuwa Wizzard, Sound True, Nonkono Yume, Mogiana Flavor and more.

It's amazing. I mean, to see a 3-year-old and a 10-year-old thouroughbred to compete in the same G1 race. Danon Pharaoh is 3 years old whereas Sound True is 10. Danon Pharaoh wasn't even born yet when Sound True has won Champions' Cup in 2016. He must seem like a baby to Sound True.

Yeah, I know. Will get to work as soon as I finish my afternoon session.

The End

Caterpillar

10/24  n Pain

7:49 p.m. Again, I've been moaning and growling in pain trying to figure out what to do in this difficult situation. A difficult situation that Contrail drew an inner post.

To most of you it might sound ridiculous since the horse has won G1 races starting from inner posts. Besides, how could one worry after seeing Kobe Shinbun-hai won so easily? Objection. I've seen many horses sink miserably although everyone thought it would definitely win. My intuition, my instinct tells me, "it's dangerous!"

As a makeshift solution, I've decided to key a different horse, Aristoteles. On the wheel would be Galore Creek, Contrail, Danon Gloire, Babbitt, and L'Excellence. Though this might change, not to mention. Huff, I'm drained.

The End

Caterpillar

10/25  Insight

4:44 p.m. The painful moaning and growling has brought me insight. It suddenly hit me earlier this afternoon what kind of potential a horse needs to perform well in Kikka-sho. As a result, I cut out Babbitt with piercing remorse and included Satono Flag instead.

I appologize for not being able to come up with that to write it here, but you see, these things cannot be controlled. I already paid my price by near-missing with my trifectas which I'd put Satono Flag on the 2nd, so I hope you will forgive me.

Last of all, congratulations to Yuichi Fukunaga. The title of the historical undefeated triple crown winner wouldn't have come his way, if it were not for his unflashy but patient hard work. His father must be so proud of him. A great horse and a great jockey.

The End

Caterpillar

10/26  Behind My Regret

6:30 p.m. Behind my regret, stupid Cow has won trifectas for Kikka-sho. Well, he wouldn't have won if it weren't for my last minute advice to buy Satono Flag, so I'm happy with that.

This week it's the autumn Tenno-sho. Will have to go through another painful pondering whether or not to key Almond Eye, but I'm willing to go through it.

The End

Caterpillar

10/27  The Riders' Slot

6:26 p.m. The riders' slot for Tenno-sho seems to be filled out except for Cadenas.

According to the list, Fierement is going to be ridden by Fukunaga the triple crown jockey, since Christophe is riding his beloved Almond Eye. Yutaka is back in the saddle and riding Kiseki, and I see Matsuoka riding Win Bright. Relieved. I was wondering what to become of Win Bright's rider, but am glad Matsuoka seems to have made it. If Win Bright is going to be in a race, the rider will be no one else but Matsuoka. He's the one who's supposed to know the horse inside and out.

The End

Caterpillar

10/28  Previous Race being Yasuda Kinen

6:44 p.m. My notes from last year says that Tenno-sho entrees with their previous race being Yasuda Kinen are only countable when they've lost big in Yasuda Kinen while they've won the race before. There's no description on horses that either won or came in 2nd in Yasuda Kinen.

One reason is because there weren't entries of horses entering Tenno-sho directly after Yasuda Kinen until a couple of years back. Thus, there isn't enough data to judge whether it's a good step or not. Until lately, it was usual to run a step race before Tenno-sho such as Mainichi Ohkan or All Comer. However, taining methods and the skills in taking short breaks at nearby stables have improved, making it possible for many horses to enter G1 races directly back from recess.

Taking that in account, it looks like Almond Eye is very likely to do well along with the help from her potential rivals reading between the lines and scratching off from the race.

The End

Caterpillar