Kazushi Kimura: A Rising Star

May 31, 2024

A Rising Star chronicles remarkable journey of the star rider

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications

TORONTO, Ont. – The compelling and inspirational journey of champion jockey Kazushi Kimura is brought to life in Kazushi Kimura: A Rising Star, a mini documentary created and co-produced by Woodbine’s content team and World Horse Racing.

Kimura, who has had great success competing in Canada and the United States, recently made his second straight appearance in the Kentucky Derby. The native of Hokkaido, Japan, guided Japanese-bred longshot T O Password to an impressive fifth-place finish in this year’s “Run for the Roses.”

The rider’s path to this year’s Derby, his rapid rise to stardom in North America, his affinity for both Canada and Japan, and victories in some of the sport’s most high-profile races, are just some of the highlights from Kazushi Kimura: A Rising Star.

“Kazushi’s story is captivating on so many levels, including riding on one of the biggest stages in Thoroughbred racing, not once, but twice,” said Jonathan Rubinoff, Woodbine’s Director of Content and Social Media. “This documentary gives viewers an up-close and personal look into his life in racing and much more.”

“Kazushi Kimura is a star of Canadian horse racing, and the Japanese-born jockey is the centrepiece of this mini documentary that tells his unheralded journey from Woodbine to the 150th Kentucky Derby,” said Geoffrey Riddle, Director of World Horse Racing, the world’s most viewed, and fastest-growing horse racing channel.

“Six years ago, Kazushi Kimura left Japan, his home and his family at the age of 18 to chase his dream of becoming a superstar jockey,” continued Riddle. “This is a story about a man whose focus has almost single-handedly got him there. The film gives genuine insight into the mind of a top-class sportsman.”

Woodbine’s content team enjoyed the opportunity to work together with World Horse Racing, which is based in London, England, on the project.

“Collaborating with World Horse Racing, one of the world’s most respected media companies and horse racing content creators, was a fantastic experience and helped elevate Kazushi’s remarkable story,” said Rubinoff.

Kimura, who launched his Canadian riding career in 2018, earned Sovereign Award honours for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey that year. In 2019, he won 148 races and picked up the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey.

His career took a quantum leap in 2021 as he ran away from the pack with 139 winners and earned the Sovereign Award as outstanding jockey. Kimura repeated as the Sovereign recipient in 2022 and 2023.

The multiple graded stakes winner’s triumphs include Grade 1 winners Rougir (FR), Gretzky The Great, and Gold Phoenix. He also piloted Rougir (FR) to victory in the 2022 E.P. Taylor.

Kimura widened his horizons in the winter of 2022-23, choosing to ride at Santa Anita on the competitive Southern California circuit. Along the way, he picked up the mount on Mandarin Hero of Japan, guiding the talented colt to a runner-up finish in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on the road to the 2023 Kentucky Derby.

As of May 29th, Kimura has 855 career victories and over $34.8 million in lifetime purse earnings.

@PastTheWire take that story & others you have and write a book. I would buy it. Any good ones out there that are pure stories?

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