This year's three-year-old classics will commence with the filly's Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, G1, 1,600m) on April 12 and t hen the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas, G1, 2,000m), the first contest for males, a week later.
The top three finishers of the 2019 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1, 1,600m) maintained form by securing the top three positions in their season kick-off on March 7, the Tulip Sho (G2, 1,600m), the main trial race towards the Oka Sho. Maltese Diosa (JPN, F3, by Kizuna) nosed out Cravache d'Or (JPN, F3, by Heart's Cry) for the win, followed by Resistencia (JPN, F3, by Daiwa Major), Best Two-Year-Old Filly of 2019, in third. In sixth was Woman's Heart (JPN, F3, by Heart's Cry), who was also fourth in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies last December 8, while seventh was taken by Smile Kana (JPN, F3, by Deep Impact), winner of the Fairy Stakes (G3, 1,600m) on January 13 .
The first leg of the fillies' Triple Crown will also feature runners who performed well in either of two additional trials on March 15: Intermission (JPN, F3, by Deep Impact) and Fiori Chiari (JPN, F3, by Kizuna), the top two finishers in the Anemone Stakes (L, 1,600m), and Epos (JPN, F3, by Just a Way), Yamakatsu Mermaid (JPN, F3, by Lord Kanaloa) and Nine to Five (JPN, F3, by Screen Hero), who were the top three in the Fillies' Revue (G2, 1,400m).
Other notable runners likely to appear in the Oka Sho are Ria Amelia (JPN, F3, by Deep Impact), who was sixth in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies; Sanctuaire (JPN, F3, by Deep Impact), who claimed the Shinzan Kinen (G3, 1,600m) against male opponents in January; Daring Tact (JPN, F3, by Epiphaneia), winner of the Elfin Stakes (L, 1,600m) in February; Miyamazakura (JPN, F3, by Deep Impact), the Queen Cup (G3, 1,600m) victor also in February; and Ablaze (JPN, F3, by Kizuna), who won the Flower Cup (G3, 1,800m) on March 20.
Heading directly for the Satsuki Sho after claiming the Hopeful Stakes (G1, 2,000m) at the end of the previous season is Contrail (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact), the 2019 Best Two-Year-Old Colt, and Salios (JPN, C3, by Heart's Cry), winner of the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (1,600m), a major G1 event for two-year-olds. My Rhapsody (C3, by Heart's Cry), who was just as prominent as Contrail and Salios in capping off his two-year-old campaign with three wins out of as many starts, including the Kyoto Nisai Stakes (G3, 2,000m), was beaten to fourth in the Kyodo News Hai (G3, 1,800m) on February 16.
The Hopeful Stakes third-place finisher Wakea (JPN, C3, by Heart's Cry) kicked off this season in the Yayoi Sho (G2, 2,000m) on March 8, finishing second to Satono Flag (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact) to earn a ticket to the Satsuki Sho, as did third-place finisher Authority (JPN, C3, by Orfevre). However, it was announced that Wakea and Authority will sit out the Satsuki Sho to aim for the Derby instead.
The Spring Stakes (G2, 1,800m) on March 22 was won by Galore Creek (JPN, C3, by Kinshasa no Kiseki), ahead of the Hopeful Stakes runner-up Weltreisende (JPN, C3, by Dream Journey) in second and Succession (JPN, C3, by King Kamehameha ) in third.
Along with the top three finishers in both the Yayoi Sho and the Spring Stakes, the first leg of the Triple Crown has also invited Admire Virgo (JPN, C3, by Deep Impact) and Chimera Verite (JPN, C3, by Kizuna) for finishing first and second, respectively, in another Satsuki Sho trial—the Wakaba Stakes (L, 2,000m) on March 21. This year's field will also include Crystal Black (JPN, C3, by Kizuna), Cortesia (JPN, C3, by Symboli Kris S) and Darlington Hall (GB, C3, by New Approach), respective winners of the Keisei Hai (G3, 2,000m) in January, the Kisaragi Sho (G3, 1,800m) in February and the Kyodo News Hai also in February.