3 minute read
Do Deuce wins this year’s Arima Kinen at Nakayama.
Second favorite Do Deuce, partnered with Yutaka Take for the first time since early this season, claimed his third G1 title in the Arima Kinen against a quality field that included eight G1 winners. The Heart's Cry colt, who won both the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1, 1,600m) as a two-year-old and then the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby, G1, 2,400m) at three, had a major setback after another graded victory in February this season in the Kyoto Kinen (G2, 2,200m) in which he was ruled out of his intended overseas challenge in the Dubai Turf with a lame left foreleg, then, in his comeback this fall in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1, 2,000m) in October as well as the following Japan Cup (G1, 2,400m) in November, his regular rider Yutaka Take was unable to take the reins due to injury from another race—he finished seventh and fourth, respectively. Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi claimed his 18th JRA-G1 title—his latest being the 2022 Champions Cup with Jun Light Bolt, while Yutaka Take scored his first G1 victory since the Osaka Hai with Jack d'Or in April and 81st overall. Take previously won the Arima Kinen with Oguri Cap (1990), Deep Impact (2006) and Kitasan Black (2017), making this his fourth Arima Kinen victory which ties Kenichi Ikezoe for most wins in this race.
Do Deuce was unhurried out of the gate and rated near the rear outside a rival. Held back and still well behind the pace along the backstretch, the four-year-old colt advanced along the outside approaching the third corner and was already joining the front group turning for home while still about four lengths behind the leader. With 200 meters to go, Do Deuce, together with Stars on Earth, closed in on the leader with a strong late charge to pin that foe 100 meters out and then out-dueled Stars on Earth just before the wire for a 1/2-length victory.
"It's great to comeback with Do Deuce to win this race against some really strong opponents. He was in good shape coming into this race and although the colt was a bit keen and I had to keep him in hand and maintain a good rhythm and not let him rush and gave him the go from about 700 meters out. His response was very good rounding the last corner and gave a terrific late charge to the wire. We did have our struggles after winning the Kyoto Kinen early this year but I was determined to show his true strength and prove what he was really made of in this big race," commented Yutaka Take.
Seventh pick Stars On Earth broke sharply from the widest stall under Christophe Lemaire and tracked the leader off the rails in second. After allowing the pacesetter to open the margin by a distance, the Duramente filly maintained her position while joined by the eventual winner on the outside and matched that foe up to the wire while outdueled in the end by 1/2 length.
Sixth choice Titleholder shot out of the gate to dispute the lead with Stars on Earth and eventually assumed command entering the homestretch (first round). Eventually opening the gap by more than seven lengths along the backstretch, the son of Duramente continued strongly to maintain his lead until finally being caught by the top two finishers after the 100-meter marker and hold off the fast-closing Justin Palace to finish third.
Race favorite Justin Palace missed a beat coming out of the starting gate and raced at the very rear, almost 20 lengths or so from the leader along the backstretch, before making headway approaching the third corner and circling wide into the homestretch. Under strong urging from the jockey, the Deep Impact colt closed strongly with a furlong to go and, while unable to reach the top two, turned in a strong finishing run to just miss third place by a head margin.
5th: (2) Shahryar—sat in 4th on rails, gradually closed in on leaders but needed more
6th: (13) Tastiera—ran in 9th, driven after 3rd corner, met traffic before 200m pole, lost
7th: (12) Win Marilyn—settled around 6th, ran gamely until 200m pole, even paced thereafter
8th: (1) Sol Oriens—was off a bit slow, saved ground around 10th, showed effort until 100m out
9th: (11) Harper—positioned in 5th, remained in contention until 200m pole
10th: (3) Ho O Emmy's—hugged rails near rear, angled out, passed tired rivals
11th: (7) Iron Barows—settled around 6th, dropped back after 800m pole
12th: (15) Through Seven Seas—advanced to 6th, circled wide, failed to respond
13th: (8) Lilac—sat around 14th, angled out for stretch run, lacked needed kick
14th: (14) Pradaria—tracked leaders in 3rd form wide draw, outrun after final corner
15th: (6) Deep Bond—raced around 10th, dropped back turning last corners, never fired
16th: (9) Heat on Beat—traveled 3-wide around 10th, checked at final corner, showed little