JAPANESE DERBY (Grade 1)
Tokyo, Turf, 2400m
26 May 2013
Kizuna emulated the feat of his Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby)-winning sire Deep Impact and gave the stallion his second straight winner of the Classic after Deep Brillante (Jpn) a year ago, while earning his first Grade 1 victory and third consecutive Group win.
After taking the Grade 3 Mainichi Hai in March, Kizuna skipped the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Grade 1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas), and instead stretched out to 2200 meters to win the Grade 2 Kyoto Shimbun Hai last time out.
Kizuna settled near the back of the field as Apollo Sonic (USA) (Big Brown) rushed out to set the early fractions. Meikei Pega Star (Jpn) (Fuji Kiseki) pulled his way to the lead down the backstretch before Apollo Sonic re-engaged that foe turning for home and briefly opened a clear lead in upper stretch. Epiphaneia (Jpn) (Symboli Kris S) was first to overtake the leader, taking over with 100 meters to run, but Kizuna, who had angled to the outside for racing room, unleashed a powerful late rally to surge to the lead late.
Kizuna’s win gave jockey Yutaka Take a record fifth Japanese Derby victory and was the first for trainer Shozo Sasaki.
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News