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Second favorite Gold Dream captured the February Stakes title this year and demonstrated his aptitude and liking for the Tokyo dirt mile course as he marked his third victory out of four, which includes his first grade-race triumph in the G3 Unicorn Stakes last June. The Gold Allure colt was entered off a disappointing 12th in the December Champions Cup after being sent off second favorite, but displayed a sound and convincing performance this time scoring his first G1 win as if paying tribute to his sire who passed away the previous day. This is the second JRA-G1 win for trainer Osamu Hirata who claimed his first with Curren Black Hill in the 2012 NHK Mile Cup, while jockey Mirco Demuro notched his 19th JRA-G1 victory, his latest with Queens Ring in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup last season, and celebrates his second February Stakes title since his victory last year on board Moanin.

Gold Dream broke fairly from stall three and was reserved in mid-division behind Best Warrior down the backstretch as Incantation headed the full field of 16 runners. As the bunched-up field fanned out rounding the final corner to secure room for their stretch-run, the Gold Allure colt also floated out wide entering the lane in seventh to eighth but galloped confidently picking off his tiring rivals one by one, finally pinning the brief leader Nishiken Mononofu before the furlong pole, and held off a fast closing Best Warrior by a neck for the title.

“In the Champions Cup, he broke poorly and was keen—he didn’t stretch at all. But today he was relaxed even after entering the track. His start was good, he was positioned well and responded beautifully in the straight. He still had a lot left at the end,” commented Mirco Demuro.

Best Warrior, sent off fifth favorite, was also reserved in mid-pack but took an inner route making the final turns and was blocked behind horses in early stretch. However, the patient seven-year-old found a gap chasing Nishiken Mononofu who pulled away in front of him two furlongs out, and unleashed a strong late run to threaten the winner for a neck second.

Off slow as usual, race favorite Kafuji Take sat unhurried near the rear and was last to enter the stretch but had no trouble finding his stride as he blew past the field clocking the fastest last three-furlong drive to finish 3/4 length from Best Warrior for third.

FEBRUARY STAKES 2017 - Preview 15 Feb 11:15 am

Tokyo Racecourse hosts the first top-level event of the year with the 34th running of the February Stakes on Sunday, Feb. 19. Twenty-six hopefuls, 4 years old and up, have been nominated for what is the first of only two JRA Grade 1 races run over dirt. Only 16 of those nominees will get a ticket to run the Tokyo mile for a chance at the first-place booty of 97 million yen.

This year’s lineup is shaping up to make things especially difficult for bettors. Wagers are expected to be spread across the field as punters vie for a winning pick. The “foreign factor” is raised to the power of three with Ryan Moore joining the dynamic duo of Christophe Lemaire and Mirco Demuro. And, the absence of Yuichi Fukunaga, sidelined by a fall, is yet another factor to be added to the beguiling, befuddling mix.

Moanin, Nonkono Yume, and Asuka Roman, the top three finishers in last year’s February Stakes, are all back and looking to repeat or improve their performances this year. And there is still hope that Copano Rickey, winner of the 2014 and 2015 versions, could still, despite a seventh-place finish last year, become the first horse to win three February Stakes. They’ll be up against some tough competition though, some new names and new talent, including Kafuji Take, the winner of the G3 Negishi Stakes, and Sound True, who scooped the JRA’s other big dirt event, the Champions Cup in December.

The February Stakes will be the 11th race on the Sunday card of 12 at Tokyo Racecourse. Post time is 15:40 local time. Here’s a look at what are likely to be race’s top picks.

Kafuji Take - The Precise End-sired Kafuji Take grabbed the spotlight when he virtually flew down the homestretch to win the G3 Negishi Stakes on Jan. 29 at Tokyo. Unable to pick up speed out of the gate, Kafuji Take lagged a length or two behind, raced from the rear and was still there, more than 10 lengths off the front, with only 400 meters to go. But that’s where he switched into top gear to cover the final 3 furlongs in a blistering turf-like 34.5 seconds and notch his first graded stakes race. Firmly established as a bright new star, Kafuji Take adds a generous dash of spice to the February Stakes lineup, which had been expected to feature mostly the old familiar faces. Fielded by trainer Sachio Yukubo, the 5-year-old Kafuji Take, the latter portion of whose name is pronounced like the English word, looks to be playing to win after finally moving to graded stakes company on his 18th start last summer. In November, Kafuji Take finished third in the G3, 1,600-meter Musashino Stakes at Tokyo, a race that was won in record time. The following month he took on his first Grade 1 race with the 1,800-meter Champions Cup and surprised when he ran fourth only 0.2 seconds off winner Sound True. Kafuji Take looks like he has come into his own, and although he will not have Fukunaga in the saddle this time, it would be no surprise if he took home the top prize.

Sound True - Sound True, a 7-year-old gelding by French Deputy, claimed first place in the Champions Stakes last year and took top honors as JRA Best Dirt Horse for 2016. This will be his first February Stakes, the first 150 meters of which are actually run over turf, but Sound True is a highly consistent seasoned runner and can handle the unusual combination. He has notched 9 wins, including three over the Tokyo dirt mile, 9 seconds and 13 thirds from 40 starts. Sound True has made the top three spots in all but one of his last 13 starts, eight of which were top-level NAR races, in addition to his win of the G1 Champions Cup at Chukyo in December and a third in the same race the year before. It will be his first time at Tokyo since the summer of 2015 and he will surely find the long Fuchu stretch a welcome change.

Moanin - This 5-year-old by Henny Hughes out of the stable of Sei ishizaka, rewrote the Tokyo course record in last year’s February Stakes with his winning time of 1 minute, 34.0 seconds and improved his own record at the time to 6 wins in 7 starts. Moanin has, however, failed to make the winner’s circle in his four starts since. He was runnerup by a head and 5 lengths ahead of third-place Sound True in the Nihon TV Hai at Funabashi in September, and his seventh-place in the Musashino Stakes at Tokyo could be forgiven due to the fact that he was carrying the top weight of 59kg, 3 kg more than the six horses who beat him over the line. Though the weights carried were the same for the top eight horses next out in the Champions Cup, Moanin again finished seventh, 0.5 seconds behind winner Sound True. Keita Tosaki has been in the irons for his last three starts, but this time Moore is pegged for the ride.

Nonkono Yume - A dark chestnut gelding by Twining, Nonkono Yume won big on the NAR circuit in the summer of 2015, when he was victorious in the Japan Dirt Derby. He almost realized his first JRA dream win when he ran second in the G1 Champions Cup two starts later. Some two and a half months later, he again ran second, this time in the 2016 February Stakes. He failed to win his next five starts as well, four outings at NAR tracks and his second bid in the 2016 Champions Cup, in which he finished sixth, 0.4 seconds off winner Sound True. Nonkono Yume does have consistency on his side, however, having never finished further back than sixth place. He will be returning to Tokyo, where he has, from six starts, tallied four wins, a second and a third and the change of venue will likely be welcome. Nonkono Yume’s Tokyo wins include the 2015 Unicorn Stakes and Musashino Stakes, both run over a mile on dirt. This will be his first time back at Tokyo since last year’s February Stakes. Christophe Lemaire has the ride.

Copano Rickey - The Gold Allure-sired Copano Rickey finished seventh in this race last year, but followed that performance up with a three-way winning streak as he pocketed the Kashiwa Kinen, the Teio Sho and the Nanbu Hai, all at NAR venues. He made the board in two of his last three starts, but his Champion Cup finish was a double-digit one. Tosaki rode Copano Rickey to a fifth last out in the Tokyo Daishoten at Ohi Racecourse on Dec. 29, but Yutaka Take is expected to take the reins this time out.

Not to be forgotten are Gold Dream, who beat Kafuji Take to the line in finishing second in the Musashino Stakes, but was late out of the gate next out in the Champion Stakes. Gold Dream has won both an open-class race and the G3 Unicorn Stakes at Tokyo, both over the mile on dirt. Mirco Demuro has the ride. Also, Asukano Roman, a 6-year-old son of Agnes Digital, ran third in this race last year, 0.2 seconds off the winner. He is coming off an eighth-place finish in the G2 Tokai Stakes at Chukyo on Jan. 22. That was preceded by a third in the Champions Cup. Best Warrior, paired with the 2016 JRA leading jockey Keita Tosaki, surely should be included among the top picks. This will be his fourth straight bid in the February Stakes and other than on his first try, when he faced older horses in a G1 for the first time, Best Warrior has done well, finishing a respectable third in 2015 and fourth last year. He is coming off a second in the Negishi Stakes.

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Ryan Moore receives short-term JRA Jockey's Licens 09 Feb 3:01 pm

The Japan Racing Association (JRA) announced that a short-term riding jockey's license has been issued to British jockey Ryan Moore.

Moore will receive his riding license, effective from February 11 to 28, 2017. He will be primarily riding for owner, Kazuko Yoshida and host trainer, Noriyuki Hori from JRA Miho Training Center.

Moore has an overall record of 94 wins (including 11 graded races) from 482 rides in JRA races. During his latest short-term riding license last fall, Moore guided Maurice to victory in the Tenno Sho (Autumn). In the Grade 1 February Stakes on Feb. 19 at Tokyo Racecourse, he is scheduled to ride on Moanin, last year’s winner of the race.

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Kitasan Black Outduels Maurice for 2016 Horse of t 25 Jan 11:10 am

Kitasan Black drew 134 out of 291 votes to win The Japan Racing Association’s 2016 Horse of the Year based on an outstanding season that included victories in the Tenno Sho (Spring) and the Japan Cup. Maurice, who won three G1 titles, including two in Hong Kong, earned 90 votes to deny him a second consecutive Horse of the Year title, but he still earned a Special Award for continuing to excel in the final season of his illustrious career. The annual JRA Awards, which will be handed out in a ceremony at Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Monday, January 30, recognize horses, trainers, jockeys, other individuals and organizations for outstanding performances or achievements in the thoroughbred racing season.

Kitasan Black also was selected Best Older Colt or Horse with 201 votes. Oju Chosan was named Best Steeplechase Horse as the year’s only unanimous choice in any category, while Best Two-Year-Old Filly Soul Stirring and Best Three-Year-Old Colt Satono Diamond came up just one vote and five votes short, respectively, of 291. Best Two-Year-Old Colt Satono Ares and Best Three-Year-Old Filly Sinhalite both collected over 90% of the votes.

Yoshito Yahagi
JRA Best Trainer Awards are presented for Wins, Money Earned and Winning Average based on JRA races and designated NAR and overseas races. Yoshito Yahagi became Best Trainer (Races Won) for a second time following 2014, while Noriyuki Hori won his second consecutive title for Winning Average, his third overall and first in Money Earned and Training Technique.

Keita Tosaki
Best Jockey Awards are presented for Races Won, Money Earned, Winning Average, Steeplechase and Newcomer based on accomplishments in JRA races alone. Keita Tosaki won his third consecutive titles for Races Won with 187 and Most Valuable Jockey for overall accomplishments, including designated NAR and overseas races. Christophe Lemaire missed sharing the Races Won title by just one victory but claimed his second successive title for Winning Average and his first title for Money Earned. Shinichi Ishigami won his first title for Best Steeplechase Jockey and Takuya Kowata was named Best Jockey (Newcomer). Shigefumi Kumazawa was given a Special Award for noteworthy career achievements both in flat and steeplechase racing.

The Equine Culture Award was presented to Mugiho Omata (author) and Yuki Sasameya (illustrator) for their work in children’s literature, “Satta no Kuroi Kouma” (Satta’s black foal).

*All information, including ages and race performances, are as of December 31, 2016, unless otherwise indicated. Wins and earnings include JRA-designated local public races under the National Association of Racing (NAR) 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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Sorte completes "Triple" with HOY award; Mori wins 23 Jan 11:23 am

The National Association of Racing (NAR), the national level regulatory body for the Racing by Local Governments in Japan, has announced the 2016 NAR Grand Prix Awards for the year’s outstanding horses, trainers, jockeys, and others within the industry.

Horse of the Year went to Sorte, a 6-year-old horse by Time Paradox and winner of the Sakitama Hai and runner-up in the Kashiwa Kinen. The Ohi-based, Shintaro Terada-trained Sorte consistently performed at a high level throughout the year and was also awarded Best Older Colt or Horse and Best Sprinter or Miler.

The Best 2-Year-Old Colt award went to Rose Julep, who won the Hyogo Junior Grand Prix and finished third – highest among the NAR horses – in the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun. Katsugeki Kitokito was tagged the Best 3-Year-Old Colt, after winning the Tokai Derby and finishing third – also the highest among NAR-registered horses – in the Nagoya Grand Prix.

JRA’s Copano Rickey was awarded the Dirt Grade (Principal Dirt) Race Special Prize after winning three top-level races – Kashiwa Kinen, Teio Sho and Mile Championship Nambu Hai.

Special awards were given to Meisei Opera and Inari One for their respective performances in JRA races during their active careers. Meisei Opera won the February Stakes and contributed to the increased popularity of local racing, while Inari One captured the 1989 Tenno Sho (Spring), Takarazuka Kinen and Arima Kinen titles.

In the trainers categories, Kochi-based Masamitsu Sasika was awarded Best Trainer (Races Won) after notching 231 wins and took the award for the fifth time – first in two years – in his career. Urawa’s Satoshi Kokubo won over 500 million yen in prize money for the year, capturing the Best Trainer (Money Earned) award for the third consecutive year.

In the jockeys category, Funabashi’s Taito Mori completed the “double (Races Won and Money Earned)” for the second consecutive year, marking 309 wins for over 1.01 billion yen in prize money. Veteran rider Isao Yamaguchi, based in Saga, was awarded the Best Jockey (Winning Average) after marking a 31.7% strike rate, winning the award for the fourth straight year. Aichi rookie Soichi Kato took the Best Apprentice Jockey, winning 56 races and finishing in 11th in the overall jockey rankings in Nagoya.

Special Awards for jockeys were given to Shuji Akaoka (Kochi), who reached his 3,000-win mark; Hitomi Miyashita (Aichi), who returned to racing after a five-year absence due to labor; and Yutaka Take (JRA), who marked his 100th top-level principal race victory in the NAR circuit.

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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
1 Ikkun Ikkun
19 Feb Tokyo4R
47,930 479,300
2 Sugouma Katsuko Sugouma Katsuko
19 Feb Kyoto12R
69,160 414,960
3 Seiryu No.1 Seiryu No.1
19 Feb Kyoto12R
12,330 246,600
4 kiri kiri
19 Feb Kyoto12R
69,160 233,390
5 Masked Doctor Ei Masked Doctor Ei
19 Feb Kyoto6R
200 208,580

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Rank Tipster No.of
1 Creek Creek
17R 192% 47% 64,860 16,832
2 Saramappo Saramappo
12R 148% 16% 40,970 63,085
3 kiri kiri
72R 145% 22% 147,460 29,528
4 Ikkun Ikkun
72R 138% 6% 273,440 198,288
5 K.Nishino K.Nishino
36R 130% 30% 66,890 26,308
6 Okabe Okabe
32R 129% 18% 64,580 47,746
7 Sugouma Katsuko Sugouma Katsuko
68R 122% 36% 150,400 33,216
8 Masked Doctor Ei Masked Doctor Ei
72R 113% 26% 93,710 42,826
9 Umashigura Umashigura
7R 105% 57% 1,770 7,917
10 Joie Joie
63R 102% 34% 15,580 29,012

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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.

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 Tournament Info:Tournament 125 finished! The high achievers are recognized! Next tournament will be held from 25 Feb!

Tournament 125 Award

Rank Tipster Level
Deviation Return
3868d47bc2 3868d47bc2
81.8 317%
3e9f54b3f9 3e9f54b3f9
79.4 587%
murakichi murakichi
78.3 166%
old pampas grass old pampas grass
78.1 161%
a45547291b a45547291b
77.6 164%

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