TAKARAZUKA, HYOGO, JAPAN (June 25, 2021) — Top female stars Chrono Genesis (JPN), the defending champion, and undefeated Lei Papale (JPN) lead 13 runners for Sunday’s US$3 million, 1 3/8-mile Takarazuka Kinen (G1) at Hanshin Racecourse. The winner of Sunday’s race will receive an automatic berth and fees paid into the US$4million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 84 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 5-6.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the Takarazuka Kinen winner to start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, which will be run at 1 ½ miles on the Del Mar turf course. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated by the pre-entry deadline of Oct. 25 in order to receive the rewards.
The Takarazuka Kinen, the fourth Breeders’ Cup Challenge race to be held in Japan this year, will be run in a clockwise direction. The race will be televised live on TVG.
Sunday Racing’s 5-year-old Chrono Genesis, trained by Takashi Saito, won last year’s race by 6 lengths as the 4-1 second choice. A gray daughter of Bago (FR) out of the Kurofune mare Chronologist (JPN), Chrono Genesis has seven wins and has finished out of the money just once in 14 starts. Last year’s Takarazuka Kinen triumph was her second Group 1 win, following her October 2019 victory in the Shuka Sho at Kyoto against 3-year-old fillies. Her third Group 1 came last December at Nakayama where she captured the 1 ½-mile Arima Kinen by a neck. In her lone start this year, Chrono Genesis had a rough trip in the closing stages of the 1 ½-mile Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) at Meydan battling in between Loves Only You (JPN) and Mishriff (IRE) to the wire, and finishing second to Mishriff by a neck.
“She got bumped quite badly last time in the Dubai Sheema Classic and it was an unlucky race for her, but she still ran well,” said Saito to JRA.com. “Having returned and completed quarantine at Miki Horseland Park, she then went to Northern Farm Shigaraki to settle back in on her return. She came back to the stable on June 2, and in her first piece of work after that, she seemed a little heavy, but soon got switched on in her usual way of doing things.”
Christophe Lemaire has the mount aboard Chrono Genesis from post seven.
Lei Papale, owned by U Carrot Farm and trained by Tomokazu Takano, has won all six of her races, three of them over the Hanshin course. A 4-year-old bay daughter of Deep Impact (JPN), Lei Papale is coming off a spectacular wire-to-wire win by 4 lengths in the 1 ¼-mile Osaka Hai (G1) at Hanshin on April 4 at 12-1. That victory was her second triumph of the year against males. She closed out 2021 by taking the 1 ¼-mile Challenge Cup (G3) at Hanshin on Dec. 5. “She would certainly be one of the main threats to Chrono Genesis,” said Takano. “There was some concern with the ground last time, but she went straight to the front and ran very cleverly to go on and win well. I put a lot of that down to the jockey’s efforts. After that, the horse had a break at Northern Farm Shigaraki, and she has recovered from her last race quite quickly and looks to be in good condition.” Her regular jockey Yuga Kawada will once again be in the saddle breaking from post two.
Takashi Suzuki’s 5-year-old mare Curren Bouquetd’or (JPN), finished third in the demanding 2-mile Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1) over the Hanshin course, beaten 2 ¾ lengths. Trained by Sakae Kunieda, Curren Bouquetd’or, a bay daughter of Deep Impact (JPN) has just two wins in 15 starts, but has seven second-place finishes, including the 2019 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1) and 2019 Japan Cup (G1). “Last time she pressed on at the end to try and win the race, but just got caught and had to settle for third,” said Kunieda. “It was her first time over 3,200 meters, and she did pull a bit. The shorter distance will suit, and she showed she can handle the Hanshin track in that last run.” Curren Bouquetd’or will be ridden by Keita Tosaki from post 10.
Another runner coming out of the Tenno Sho is Hideko Kondo’s 4-year-old homebred Aristoteles (JPN). Trained by Hidetaka Otonashi, Aristoteles, a son of Epiphaneia, finished fourth in the Tenno Sho as the 7-2 second choice. Last October, he finished second by a neck to Contrail (JPN) in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1). He opened 2021 with a victory in the 1 3/8-mile American Jockey Club Cup (G2) at Nakayama on Jan. 21. Yutaka Take, a four-time winner of the Takarazuka Kinen, has the mount from post nine.
Tatsue Ishikawa’s Kiseki (JPN) and Capital System Co.’s Mozu Bello (JPN), finished second and third, respectively, behind Chrono Genesis in last year’s race. Trained by Yasuyuki Tsujino, the 7-year-old Kiseki, by Rulership (JPN), a four-time winner, returns from Hong Kong, where he finished a solid fourth, beaten 2 ¾ lengths, in the 1 ¼-mile FWD Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) at Sha Tin on April 25. Kiseki, who also finished second in the 2019 Takarazuka Kinen, won the 2017 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) (G1). Kiseki will be ridden by Yuichi Fukunaga from post 13.
At odds of 68-1, the 5-year-old Mozu Bello closed from 10th to second place behind Lei Papale in the Osaka Hai. Trained by Naoyuki Morita and ridden by Kenichi Ikezoe from post 11, Mozu Bello is a bay son of Deep Brillante (JPN) out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Harlan’s Rudy. Mozu Bello has also won four races, but his last triumph came in January 2019 when he won the Nikkei Shinshun Hai (G2) at Kyoto.
Breeders Cup Press Release
Photo: Chrono Genesis ( JRA Photo)