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After a thrilling wrap to 2017, the first of the top-level races are already upon us. On Sunday, Feb. 18, Tokyo Racecourse hosts the first of the two biggest dirt events in the Japan Racing Association calendar – the February Stakes. This year marks the 35th running of the 1,600-meter competition and 24 horses age 4 and up have been nominated. Sixteen of them will vie for a first-place prize of 100 million yen.

In addition to last year’s winner Gold Dream and runnerup Best Warrior, this year’s gate will see a number of new faces with a lot of talent. The mood is mixed and chances are good the return on the year’s first big race will be an attractive one.

The Tokyo 1,600 meter course itself is a bit of an oddity, with the first 150 meters of the race actually over the turf. And, depending on the gate position, the difference between the inside gate and the outside gate can mean a difference in turf length of about 30 meters. Some believe this difference gives the outside horses an advantage as they are running over the faster turf, but it’s more likely simply that the 1,600-meter Tokyo dirt course has the longest run from the gate of any JRA dirt race. It’s a full 640 meters to the first turn and outside runners have ample time to get a reading on the competition before maneuvering for position.

Despite the distance to the first turn, the pace of the February Stakes is rarely slow. It is a highly competitive race after all, and the first 400 meters are also over a slight downgrade. After that, the track rises briefly about a meter, dips around the third turn and, from 500 meters out, rises nearly 3 meters in the stretch until leveling out from 200 meters before the finish line. The rise in the stretch is steeper than that of the turf track at Tokyo and makes for a grueling test of strength. Lightweights don’t ace the February Stakes and this is clearly reflected in the last seven winners of the race, all who weighed in at over 500kg.

As for jockeys, no one shines of recent like Mirco Demuro. Demuro, who also won best winning average in 2017, has ridden two February Stakes winners (Gold Dream in 2017, Moanin in 2016) and is the only foreign jockey to have won the race other than Olivier Peslier (2000 and 2001). Yutaka Take holds the record for most wins of the February Stakes. He rode four winners – Gold Allure in 2003 (at Nakayama over 1,800 meters), Kane Hekili in 2006, Vermilion in 2008 and Copano Rickey in 2015. Moanin holds the race record of 1 minute, 34 seconds flat.

The February Stakes will be the 11th race on the Sunday card of 12 at Tokyo Racecourse and post time is 15:40 local time. Here’s a look at the horses likely to be gaining the most attention in the wagering.

Gold Dream: Winner of both last year’s February Stakes and the 2017 Champions Cup, Gold Dream was duly recognized with the JRA award for Best Dirt Horse of 2017. After last year’s February Stakes, he traveled to Meydan Racecourse, where he took on the Dubai World Cup and failed to deliver with a last-place finish. Two starts at NAR tracks saw him finish out of the money but he was back on track in the Champion’s Cup where he bagged his second Grade 1 victory. He’s been given the same rotation as he had last year, but was coming off a 12th place finish in the Champions Cup then as opposed to returning from a win this year. Gold Dream is by Gold Allure, whose progeny have now won four February Stakes, and three other Gold Allure progeny (Sunrise Nova, Lalabel, and Meisho Sumitomo), are expected to be in the final lineup. Gold Dream, now 5 years old, has failed to show the consistency he had as a 3-year-old, but obviously still has what it takes to pocket the big money. Only one other horse (Copano Rickey) has won back-to-back editions of this race since it became a Grade 1 event in 2007, but when it comes to the Tokyo 1,600 over dirt, Gold Dream is on the money, with three firsts and one second from four starts.

T M Jinsoku: Missing out on the Champions Cup by a neck was T M Jinsoku, a 6-year-old son of Kurofune, winner of the 2001 Japan Cup Dirt. It was T M Jinsoku’s first Grade 1 bid and he ran a strong race in what was a big leap up in class. Skipping the Grade 2 level, T M Jinsoku had gone directly to the top after a second in the Grade 3 Elm Stakes at Sapporo and a win of the Grade 3 Miyako Stakes at Kyoto. Last out, on Jan. 21, he aced the Grade 2 Tokai Stakes (over 1,800 meters at Chukyo). Raced predominately over 1,800 meters, this will be T M Jinsoku’s first time over 1,600 meters and his first time at Tokyo. The gray horse bred at Hidaka T M Bokujo, weighs in just under 500kg and tends to take the lead or race from a forward position. He has been highly consistent in his career and equally swift, which is what “jinsoku” means in Japanese. Of his 25 career starts, T M Jinsoku has finished in the money 19 times, with nine firsts, six seconds and four thirds. His last seven races have brought five wins and two seconds and all were ridden by Yoshihiro Furukawa. Furukawa, who is set for the ride, has not won a Grade 1 race since 2007 and has not won any of his 21 bids over the Tokyo 1,600-meter dirt course. Perhaps, however, this combination can come through a winning one once again.

Nonkono Yume: Nonkono Yume was in great form from his debut at the end of 2014, with results that included a second in the Champions Cup in 2015 and a second in the February Stakes in 2016. In June of 2016 he ran second in the top-level Teio Sho at Ohi Racecourse. He was then gelded and the now 6-year-old son of Twining slumped through his next six races. He finished seventh in the February Stakes last year and ninth in the Champions Cup, but returned this year on Jan. 28 for a win of the 1,400-meter Grade 3 Negishi Stakes at Tokyo. Partnered with Hiroyuki Uchida, he narrowly beat Sunrise Nova to the line, but he covered the final 3 furlongs in only 34.2 seconds, moving up the ranks from just two off the rear to a good 2 1/2 lengths ahead of third place Kafuji Take. It was a promising start to the year and may augur well for 2018.

Sunrise Nova: The only 4-year-old nominated for the February Stakes is the Gold Allure colt Sunrise Nova. He aced his debut in November 2016 over the Tokyo 1,600 over dirt and moved smartly up in the class to a win of the Grade 3 Unicorn Stakes at the same conditions in June of last year. Despite a total flub of the Musashino Stakes last November, Sunrise Nova returned to form next out for a second in the open class and, last out, second in the Grade 3 Negishi Stakes over a heavy track. Trainer Hidetaka Otonashi said, “He had a perfect ride. If the ground had been dry, I don’t think the winner could have caught him. I think he could have made it. There hasn’t been much time between races but he came out of the last race well even though it was won in record time and the extra distance shouldn’t pose a problem at all.”

K T Brave: After running fourth in the Champions Cup, the 5-year-old K T Brave took third in top-level racing at Ohi Racecourse, followed by a wire-to-wire win of the Kawasaki Kinen at Kawasaki. Sixth in last year’s February Stakes, K T Brave has made the board in all of his last eight starts since being partnered with Yuichi Fukunaga and missed the money only twice. The combination may fill out a wager nicely on Sunday as well.
Those looking for some dark horses may want to look to Best Warrior, who has finished third, fourth and second in his last three February Stakes and is expected to be partnered with Christophe Lemaire. Sound True, Incantation, and Awardee are all solid runners not to be ignored. Coming back to the dirt after a poor try on the turf is Nishiken Mononofu and sharpened up for his third start since winning the 1,800-meter Grade 1 Korea Cup in Seoul last September is London Town.

Minarik, Moore, Vargiu receive short-term JRA Jock08 Feb 6:56 pm

The Japan Racing Association (JRA) announced that short-term riding jockey's licenses have been issued to the following jockeys:

Filip MINARIK
License term: Feb. 7 thru April 2, 2018
Past Licenses (since 2016):
- Nil
Overall record (JRA races): 0 wins/6 rides
Sponsor trainer: Yukihiro Kato (JRA Miho Training Center)
Contract owner: Katsumi Yoshizawa

Ryan MOORE
License term: Feb. 10 thru Feb. 27, 2018
Past Licenses (since 2016):
- Oct. 29 thru Dec. 5, 2016
- Feb. 11 thru Feb. 28, 2017
- Nov. 11 thru Dec. 24, 2017
Overall record (JRA races): 112 wins/558 rides (14 graded race wins)
Sponsor trainer: Noriyuki Hori (JRA Miho Training Center)
Contract owner: Kazuko Yoshida

Dario VARGIU
License term: Feb. 10 thru March 25, 2018
Past Licenses (since 2016):
- Jan. 30 thru March 27, 2016
- July 30 thru Aug. 28, 2016
Overall record (JRA races): 111 wins/1,425 rides (4 graded race wins)
Sponsor trainer: Katsuhiko Sumii (JRA Ritto Training Center)
Contract owner: Ryosuke Fujii

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Kitasan Black Repeats as Horse of the Year18 Jan 12:14 pm

Kitasan Black drew 287 out of 290 votes to win The Japan Racing Association’s (JRA) Horse of the Year award again with another outstanding season that included victories in the Osaka Hai, the Tenno Sho (Spring), the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Arima Kinen. He becomes the ninth horse in JRA history, the first since Gentildonna (2012, 2014) to win two Horse of the Year titles and the seventh to win consecutively—the last being Vodka in 2008 and 2009. The annual JRA Awards, which will be handed out in a ceremony at Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Monday, January 29, recognize horses, trainers, jockeys, and other individuals and organizations for outstanding performances or achievements in the thoroughbred racing season.

Kitasan Black was also named Best Older Colt or Horse for the consecutive year with full votes. Best Two-Year-Old Filly Lucky Lilac was the only other unanimous choice while Best Three-Year-Old Colt Rey de Oro and Best Steeplechase Horse Oju Chosan were each just one vote short. Best Two-Year-Old Colt Danon Premium, Best Sprinter or Miler Red Falx and Best Dirt Horse Gold Dream also collected more than 90% of 290 maximum votes. Vivlos won the Best Older Filly or Mare title with 194 votes while Soul Stirring won the Best Three-Year-Old Filly with 162, 42 votes over the runner-up.

JRA Best Trainer Awards are presented for Races Won, Winning Average, Money Earned and Training Technique based on JRA races and designated NAR and overseas races. Yasutoshi Ikee won his second Best Trainer title for Races Won and fourth for Money Earned. Mitsumasa Nakauchida won his first JRA Award title for Winning Average since opening his yard in 2014. Noriyuki Hori won his second and consecutive title for Training Technique.

Best Jockey Awards are presented for Races Won, Money Earned, Winning Average, Steeplechase and Newcomer based on accomplishments in JRA races alone. Christophe Lemaire claimed his first titles for Races Won and Most Valuable Jockey, the latter determined by points earned for wins, earnings, winning average and rides in JRA, designated-NAR and overseas races combined. The French native also won his second consecutive title for Money Earned. Mirco Demuro won the title for Winning Average while Shinichi Ishigami turned in another stellar season to stamp his claim as the Best Steeplechase Jockey for the second consecutive year. No one was eligible for the Best Jockey (Newcomer) title because no jockey who debuted in 2017 was able to score the required minimum 30 wins.

The Equine Culture Award was presented to Tamsin Pickeral (author), Astrid Harrisson (photographer), Fumi Kawagishi (translator) and X-Knowledge Co., Ltd. (publisher) for their pictorial book “Sekai de Ichiban Utsukushii Uma no Zukan” (The Majesty of the Horse: An Illustrated History).

Notes: All information, including ages and race performances, are as of December 31, 2017, unless otherwise indicated. Wins and earnings include JRA-designated local public races under the National Association of Racing (NAR; local public racing) and overseas starts, except for jockeys. The Season Performances chart shows the horse’s positions in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and final corners, from left to right. “L3F” and “[Horse]” indicate time over the last 3 furlongs (600m) and the horse’s weight, respectively.

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Winners of the 2017 JRA Awards announced10 Jan 4:32 pm

On Jan. 9, Kitasan Black was announced as the Japan Racing Association’s Horse of the Year for the second consecutive year. Kitasan Black was also awarded the Best Older Colt or Horse award. In the voting for the Horse of the Year award, Kitasan Black received 287 votes out of 290.

The Horse of the Year title is the highest honor given to JRA-registered race horses and is selected by the Horse of the Year Selection Committee represented by journalists of various dailies and magazines.

The JRA Awards ceremony will be held on January 29.

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Copano Rickey ends career on high note with Tokyo 09 Jan 12:21 pm

Third pick Copano Rickey went wire to wire and finished his career by winning the Grade 1 Tokyo Daishoten on Dec. 29 at Oi Racecourse. The Gold Allure-sired Copano Rickey won the race in 2:04.2, three lengths ahead of the late-charging Sound True, the 2015 champion of the year-ending 2,000 meter dirt race.

The fan’s top pick K T Brave kept pace with Copano Rickey throughout the trip, but lost momentum in the final stretch to finish 2 1/2 lengths behind Sound True for third. Apollo Kentucky, last year's winner, made a late charge to finish fourth, with London Town, winner of the Korea Cup, rounding out the first five. The top five finishers were all JRA-trained horses.

Since a shocking win of the 2014 February Stakes as the least favorite horse in a field of 16, Copano Rickey went on to win 10 more races before the Tokyo Daishoten, mainly in the mile to 2,000 meter range, at the top level – both in JRA and NAR racing. However, the connections aimed him for the JBC Sprint (1,200 meters) in November, in which he missed the start to finish second, leaving some doubts that he may be past his peak.

In the following Grade 1 Champions Cup, Copano Rickey hit the front in his usual style, hung on to finish third, and was one of the favorites heading into the Daishoten but was not the overwhelming pick. JRA jockey Hironobu Tanabe, who rode the horse in the 2014 February Stakes victory for his first Grade 1 title, knew which horse would be his rival and made sure Copano Rickey would end his brilliant career on a high note.

“I’m just relieved,” Tanabe said after the race. “K T Brave made an early charge for the lead and that was a bit unexpected, but my horse settled nicely and adjusted to the pace of the race. The latter half of the race unfolded just as I had imagined. This horse gave me my first Grade 1, as the least-favorite in the field, and left an impact on many fans’ hearts with his all-or-nothing style. I'm already looking forward to riding winners with his crops.”
Copany Rickey ended his career with 16 wins – 3 seconds and 3 thirds – from 33 starts, collecting about 990 million yen in prize money.

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Pro Tipster MAX - provides racing tips in the competitive horseracing world, with completely transparent wins/losses -

Pro Tipster MAX is a service that allows you to buy the racing tips of elite Umanity professional tipsters--starting at just 100 yen/race. The racing tips of Umanity-approved professional tipsters aren't just symbols that indicate the outcome, but a proper racing tip that indicates the betting combination and how to allocate funds--racing tips whose wins/losses are completely transparent in this head-to-head world. That's a clear distinction from the racing tips of other sites, which do not publish their wins/losses.

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Last week Results

  • Highest Payout
  • Return Rate
  •  
Rank Tipster Race Payoff
(JPY)
Payout
(JPY)
Tip
1 e28b4fcb2c e28b4fcb2c
17 Feb Tokyo10R
HAKUREI STAKES
15,040 752,000
2 South South
18 Feb Kyoto8R
4yo&UpAllowance
230,800 692,400
3 South South
18 Feb Tokyo1R
3yoMaiden
64,840 453,880
4 e28b4fcb2c e28b4fcb2c
17 Feb Kokura9R
4yo&UpAllowance
6,140 447,800
16,250
5 South South
18 Feb Tokyo12R
OSHIMA TOKUBETSU
660 410,670
136,670

>>See more

Rank Tipster No.of
Races
Return
Rate
Hit
Rate
Winnings
(JPY)
Payoff
Ave.
1 South South
72R 290% 19% 1,334,630 145,245
2 Saramappo Saramappo
12R 215% 33% 111,040 51,760
3 dream1002 dream1002
8R 187% 37% 69,760 49,920
4 Joie Joie
49R 142% 40% 117,470 19,643
5 KOM KOM
41R 131% 26% 110,250 42,204
6 Okabe Okabe
20R 121% 35% 23,700 19,100
7 Prince Trifecta Prince Trifecta
68R 121% 30% 85,360 23,150
8 ibukimasaya ibukimasaya
8R 120% 25% 16,480 48,240
9 Sugadai Sugadai
65R 120% 46% 51,150 10,055
10 PrincessTrio PrincessTrio
68R 116% 44% 22,180 5,172
11 Ikkun Ikkun
72R 105% 8% 40,100 123,016
12 manken manken
11R 105% 27% 3,600 22,633
13 N.Okamura N.Okamura
72R 105% 66% 24,630 10,440
14 K.Souma K.Souma
68R 101% 41% 4,620 12,311
15 Master Exacta Master Exacta
68R 100% 26% 550 3,775

>>See more

Tip Coliseum --Japan's Biggest Racing Tips Arena! Are you Going to Compete? Or just Watch?

Over the course of a year, some 5 million racing tips are registered in the Tip Coliseum, Japan's largest and highest-level racing tip event. Different people use it in different ways--from participating in the tournament and competing for rankings, to watching the tips of top rankers.

Just registering as a member (free) allows you to use the functions of the Tip Coliseum for free.

 Tournament Info:Tournament 138 is currently being held!(27 Jan - 18 Feb)

Tournament 138 Latest result

Rank Tipster Level
Class
Deviation Return
Rate
Winnings
(JPY)
1
MAGUROH MAGUROH
Lv.77
83.5 1352%
5%
6,610,590
2
27335bd72e 27335bd72e
Lv.104
80.6 436%
12%
5,225,520
3
7df0b79bf2 7df0b79bf2
Lv.66
77.5 463%
30%
635,940
4
chocomona chocomona
Lv.38
77.0 188%
36%
1,633,980
5
itohblack itohblack
Lv.14
76.8 401%
29%
979,010

>>See more

To Beginners
--Smart Ways to Use Umanity--from Racing Tips to Horse Racing Romance--

Umanity offers all kinds of services to meet the different needs of racing fans, but on the other hand, some people feel "there are so many services, I don't know where to begin." For that reason, we introduce ways to use Umanity according to the type of user. We know you'll find a way that fits you perfectly♪

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U index

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FAQ

Q1:
Does it cost anything to use Umanity?
A1:

No, registering with and using Umanity is free. Once you become a member (free), you can participate in the Tip Coliseum, and use functions that are helpful in making tips, such as the U-index (Umanity's proprietary speed index) on high-stakes races, U-Favorites (tip odds ), which show what's popular among Umanity users, register horses to watch, betting ticket purchasing tools, etc.--not to mention enjoying horseracing community functions, such as diaries, messaging and circles--all the basics for free.

Q2:
What do I have to do to register as a member?
A2:

Registering is simple--all it takes is an email address.
Once you register your email address, follow the instructions and you'll be registered as a member in 1 to 2 minutes flat! You can also register as a member via an account, such as your Yahoo! JAPAN ID.

Q3:
Do I have to register to use the site?
A3:

No, some functions (such as news) can be used without registering.
However, most of the functions require becoming a member (free) and then you can use them for free, so we recommend becoming a member.
[Free Functions Available to Umanity Members]
-Participate in the Tip Coliseum (registering tips, rankings and auto tallying of results)
-U-index of high-stakes races (Umanity's proprietary racehorse performance index with some 10,000 regular users)
-U-Favorites (tip odds), which show what's popular among Umanity users
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A4:

There are both free tips and those you pay for.
You have to pay for the racing tips of professional tipsters.
Doing so requires the Umanity virtual currency, Gold (G).
Gold can be purchased with credit card.
Although you can view the racing tips of non-professional tipsters for "free," in some cases you need to use Umanity points, which you can get for free by being active on the site, such as by logging in, posting tips in the Tip Coliseum, etc.

Q5:
What is the U-index?
A5:

It is an index developed exclusively by Umanity to indicate the performance of a racehorse.
The value is based on the time over the distance of each horse to date, and estimates whether and how well they will perform in this race; as such, the higher the index, the better the race performance is expected to be.
The U-index is provided to Umanity members free for high-stakes races. To use it on all races, you have to become a member of the Umanity VIP Club, which is a paid service.

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