Last modified on February 24, 2002
Take suffers fall
32-year old star jockey Yutaka Take was racing on Feb 24 at the Nakayama Race Track. Suddenly his horse could not continue, and he fell. He is reported to have broken his pelvis and requires 6 months to recover. Another jockey dropped from his horse too. Take has already chalked up 44 wins this year. He is expected to miss some of the big domestic races this spring as well as races abroad.
Mr CB is dead
On the morning of Dec. 15, Mr. CB died from old age at a stable in Chiba Prefecture. He was 21. Mr. CB was the 3rd race house to become a triple crown winner. He excited fans by passing other horses near the goal to win.
Japanese take Japan Cup
Top favorite,T.M. Opera O clinched the international race at the Tokyo Race Course on Nov. 26. In the race were 8 Japanese and 7 foreign race horses. Following Opera O were Msisho Doto, and then Fantastic Light from UAE. Ryuji Wada was the winning jockey.
Take wins with Agnes World in UK's G-1
It was just by the nose that 6 year-old Agnes World came in 1st in a G-1 race in England on July 13. Yutaka Take was on him, making it the very first victory for a Japanese race horse and Japanese jockey. Take's brother Koshiro finished 7th in the same race.
Star racehorse dies
Japan's most beloved horse, Haiseiko died from heart failure May 4 in Hokkaido. He was a ripe old age of 31. Haiseiko clinched 6 local races in a row since his debut. The in the G-1 races in 1974, he clinched the Yayoi, Sprink Stakes, Satsuki and NHK Cup races. He became Japan's first 200 million yen race horse, and the popularity of the gambling sport is accredited to him. He retired after finishing 2nd in the 1974 Arima Memorial Race.
Largest bid winner in Nagoya
In a local race in Nagoya on Feb.17 the record was broken. A 67 year-old who paid 100 yen for th 5th most popular horse in the end turned out to earn 1.29 million yen. He was the only bidder. The man has been into horse race bidding for 40 years and has won 100,000 yen at most.
Take's first Japan Cup victory
Star jockey Yutaka Take rode Special Week on Nov. 28 in Japan's international race. It kept its position midway in the pack until the final stretch. Special Week came forth and finished first. Arc de Triomphe champ Montjeu was a disappointing 4th.
El Condor Pasa comes in 2nd in world's top race
El Condor Pasa took part in the France's prestigious Arc de Triomphe race on Oct. 3. Ebina Masayoshi raced the 5 year-old in the top of the herd as soon as the race took off. It was in the lead until the final 150 meters when Montjeu closed in and clinched the race. Around 1000 Japanese attended the race.
18th Japan Cup
4 year old stud, El Condor Pasa captured the Japan Cup on Nov. 29. Coming in 2nd was Air Groove and 3rd was Special Week--all raised in Japan. It's the first time ever that Japanese horses dominated all top 3 spot in the international grade 1 race. El Condor Pasa was jockeyed by 29 year-old Masayoshi Ebina .
Silence Suzuka put down
The top favorite Silence Suzuka trotted happily around the track before the start of the Emperor's Cup race on Nov. 1. The race took off, and as expected, Suzuka was far ahead of the pack until the 3rd corner. He has won 6 major races in a row before this one. Suddenly, Suzuka couldn't run anymore. Jockey Yutaka Take rode the stud to the side of the track and got off. Take appeared very sad. The ambulance came and took Suzuka away. It was learned that Suzuka had sustained a complicated fracture of the left leg. and was put down 30 minutes later. This outcome became a controversial issue thereafter, questioning the necessity of having to put to death this horse just for the reason of fracturing the leg. A convincing explanation was given to fans later about how Suzuka would not have recuperated anyway, but would have suffered even more under useless treatment.
Funeral for Japan's celebrated stud
Triple crown winner of the domestic big races, Narita Brian was put to sleep on Sept. 27. It was only 8 years old. The decision was made, because the horse had an incurable stomach problem. On Oct. 2 its funeral was held in Hokkaido. Around 600 fans came to pay tribute to Narita Brian.
OKABE too conquers G-1 in France
Veteran jockey Yukio Okabe crossed the finish line first with Taiki Shuttle in Jacques du Marois in Deauville, France on Aug. 16. Okabe was awarded 1 million fran. Besides, JRA is preparing a bonus 7 times that amount. Just the week before, Yutaka Take rode to victory to become the first Japanese ever in an overseas G-1 race.
TAKE victorious in European G-1 race
For the first time ever, a Japanese jockey and a filly trained in Japan clinched a G-1 race outside of Japan. Star jockey Yutaka Take achieved the feat with 5-year old Seeking The Pearl on Aug. 9 in Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest in France. It was a 1300 race. Seeking The Pearl took off to a great start. She clocked 2 minute 14.7 seconds. The stud clinched the NHK Mile Cup in Japan last year, and has won a total of 7 out of 12 races.
Japanese jockey marks 7000th win
He's not the most well known jockey in Japan, but Takemi Sasaki marked a record, no other Japanese has ever achieved. On July 1, 56-year old Sasaki won his 7000th race. This was in his hometown Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture in a local race. Sasaki started racing in 1957. He won the most number of domestic races 15 years in a row from 1964. His 505 wins in 1966 was a world record until 1973. Sasaki is 6th in the world with a career total of 7000 wins.
Popular jockey clinches remaining G-1 title
One of Japan's most prestigious races, the 65th Japan Derby was held June 7 at the Tokyo Race Course. Some of the best 4 year old thoroughbreds took to the 2400 meter long race. The top favorite was Special Week on which popular jockey Yutaka Take rode. The duo responded to the fans high expectation and won. For 29 year-old Take, it's his first victory in the derby in his 10th attempt. Winning the race not only has given him one of the most prestigious titles in horseracing. He has swept the crown in all G-1 races in Japan. He is only the 2nd Japanese jockey to succeed in doing so.
Historical upset by a 9 year-old
In the Nikkei-sho GII race on Mar. 29, the least popular Tenjinshogun won the race. Those who bought a continuous bet of 1-8 pocketed 213,370 yen a unit. It is the 4th highest winning bet in the history of the Japan Racing Association.
Bubble Gum retires
Japan's star race horse will not compete anymore and become a studhorse, it was learned Jan. 14. Bubble Gum Fellow pulled out from Dec.'s Arima Memorial, because of accummulated fatigue. He has not been recovering well, and since prospect to race at top level again had become slim, it's trainer decided that it was time for Bubble Gum to retire. It was selected the best 3 year-old thoroughbred in 1995. It captured the Emperor's Cup in Oct. 1996. His career record is 7 wins in 13 races.
Silk Justice captures all star race
Top favorites, Air Groove and Marvelous Sunday were surpassed in the final stretch by Silk Justice in the Arima Memorial Grand Prix in Dec.. Silk Justice had not won any classics this year. The trainer, Masaaki Ohkubo had clinched the race for the 3rd time. He did so with Mejiro Palmer and Narita Brian in the past. Despite the excitement, the income of the event dropped by almost 9.4 billion yen, or to 78.76 billion yen. Attendance was down too. There were 167 thousand spectators.
17th Japan Cup
Japan's international Grade 1 race, the Japan Cup was held at the Tokyo Racecourse on Nov. 23. This offers one of the world's biggest purses. That's 1.5 million dollars to the winner. English bred Pilsudski, jockeyed by Michael Kinane won the 2400 meter race by a neck. Runner up was Japanese filly, Air Groove. Pilsudski had won the Breeders' Cup and came in second twice in the Arc de Triumphe. It ran its final race, and will become a stud horse in Hokkaido, northern Japan. The most popular pick, Bubble Gum Fellow finished 3rd.
First filly to win Emperor's race
Since 1984, the Emperor's Cup had been raced under the distance of 2000 meters. Never had a filly won the race until Oct.26, 1997. Air Groove clinched the fall classic Grade 1 race controlled by jockey Yutaka Take. Last year's winner Bubble Gum Fellow came in second.
TAKE marks 100th victory
Japan's star jockey Yutaka Take clinched his 100th top grade race win on July 20. He came in first on Dandy Commando at the G-III Kita-Kyushu Memorial Race. Now, Take is only the 4th Japanese to achieve 100 wins in the grade races, and is the youngest ever to reach that mark at 28 years of age.
Large profit goes down the drain
The Japan Derby on June 1 was about to become Japan's 2nd largest profitable horse race ever. Then, when all 18 race horses were about ready to be taken to the gates, Silk Lightning pulled out. It's shoe became loose and apparently stepped on a nail. The jockey, Tomio Yasuda sensed the pain from the 4th favorite of the race and decided to withdraw. Now, Silk Lightning accounted for 17.6 percent of sells or 9.83 billion yen. So the largest ever sum had to be paid back. As for the result, Sunny Brian, this year's Satsuki-sho champion, captured the most prestigious race in Japan.
Michiyo's Note: It was discovered on June 3 that Sunny Brian had fractured his left leg. It is reported that he will need at least 3 months to recover. That means, his chance to try out for the triple crown by racing the Kikka-sho (Chrysanthemum) Race on Nov.2 is very slim. What a pity!
Record profit at Satsuki Race
G1 race, the 57th Satsuki Race was held at the Nakayama Race Course in Chiba Prefecture on Apr. 13. 18, 4 year-old thoroughbreds competed in the 2000 meter grass course race. One of the most unpopular horses, Sunny Brian came in first. The winning continous bet or umaren surged to 51,790 yen per unit. It's a record in all classic races. The race itself picked up the most amount of money of all classic races too at 39,787,030,500 yen. That's 2.9 percent more than the record breaking amount reached last year for the same race. The event brightened up the mood amidst the belief that horse racing has been losing fans lately.
Largest money catering race
The year's final race, Arima Memorial, was held at the Nakayama Race Course in Chiba Prefecture on Dec. 22. Over 160,000 fans packed the stands to view the 9 most popular horses of the year. Bets amounted to 87.5 billion yen. That's the highest ever in Japan's horse racing, and an increase by 6.7 % from the all-star race held the previous year.
Number one favorite, Sakura Laurel won the race. Coming from behind was Marvelous Sunday, piloted by star jockey Yutaka Take.
Shinzan is dead
Japan's legendary race horse SHINZAN died on July 13. He was 36 years old. Shinzan became the first to win all 5 major titles in Japan, and is regarded as the best race horse of the post-war era. The throughbred colt was expanding the longevity record after breaking the previously held record in May. His official funeral was held August 5 at a small town in Hokkaido where he spent his senior years. The ceremony was no different from that of a human hero's. Shinzan's large facial photo was placed on a stage decorated with chrysanthemums. Around 500 came to pray so that he may rest in peace.
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