Danon Platina beats top field in Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes

Race favorite Danon Platina responded well to expectations in capturing this year’s Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes to top his generation. His three career-starts are consisted of a runner-up finish in his debut start, followed by a convincing four-length win in a maiden race in October, and another strong three-length victory in the Begonia Sho, an allowance race seven weeks later. Since the Victoria Mile triumph with Apapane in 2011, this win marks trainer

Sakae Kunieda’s 11th JRA-G1 victory, while jockey Masayoshi Ebina celebrates his 23rd JRA-G1 title after claiming the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies partnered with Shonan Adela, also sired by Deep Impact, just a week ago. Deep Impact offspring has now dominated ten out of 23 JRA-G1 races this year.

After breaking sharply from an inner stall, Masayoshi Ebina kept Danon Platina reserved third from the rear and three wide while the colt briefly fought the bit in the backstretch. However well in hand by the last turn and angling out wide entering the straight, Ebina allowed the gray to hit his best stride, and the colt willingly demonstrated a resounding finishing kick passing rivals and eventually the front runner Active Minoru at the furlong pole, holding off fast closing Arma Waioli.

“The going wasn’t very good and since we broke from an inner stall, I tried hard to position him away from the rails which went well as planned. He was relaxed and had enough left in him by the last corner for a strong final run. He definitely takes after his sire Deep Impact—his finishing speed speaks for itself,” commented Masayoshi Ebina.

Sent to post 14th favorite, Arma Waioli was reserved in the latter half of mid-pack saving ground and edged up between horses from the inside while the winner took an outer route for the last run. Still struggling in seventh to eighth from the front at the furlong pole, the Matsurida Gogh colt stunningly found an explosive kick in the last 100 meters to pick off the tiring frontrunners and close well for a 3/4-length second.

Icho Stakes winner Clarity Sky cruised down the backstretch from mid-division smoothly inching up from the outside, and as he found himself in good striking position at the final corner, the colt galloped on strongly in the stretch but was overtaken by Danon Platina at the furlong pole. Although picking off Active Minoru immediately after that, he was once again pinned by the fast closing Arma Waioli in the final strides for third.

Other Horses:
4th: (1) Neo Lumiere—traveled inside winner, quickened between horses and finished strongly
5th: (12) Active Minoru—set pace, held well until last 100m then weakened
6th: (15) Tagano Espresso—raced in front of winner, improved position at stretch
7th: (16) Bright Emblem—traveled 4-wide toward rear, made headway passing 3rd corner, lacked needed kick 8th: (9) Ash Gold—trailed in rear, circled wide, showed belated charge
9th: (3) Cosmo Nine Ball—hugged rail in mid-division, switched to left at upper stretch, failed to respond 10th: (5) Tagano Azaghal—positioned around 4th, ran gamely until last 100m, outrun thereafter
11th: (8) Navion—settled in mid-group, found little room turning final corner, met traffic 300m out
12th: (11) Wakino Hibiki—raced in rear pack, angled out, even paced
13th: (10) Just Doing—ran in 4-5th, showed little at stretch
14th: (7) Second Table—pressed pace in 2nd, unable to sustain bid in last 200m
15th: (4) Quetzaltenango—traveled in mid-pack, boxed in at top of stretch and failed to find clear path
16th: (17) Peisha of Law—sat 3-wide near pace, nothing left after turning for straight
17th: (18) Meisho Masakaze—surged to 3rd from widest stall, ran out of steam before final corner
18th: (13) Peptide Warhead—raced 3-wide in mid-pack, fell back after 3rd corner, faded

Fractional Time (sec./furlong): 11.9 - 11.0 - 12.0 - 12.4 - 12.5 - 12.2 - 11.3 - 12.6 Last 4 furlongs: 48.6 Last 3 furlongs: 36.1