Roger Barows scores upset victory in 86th Tokyo Yushun

Twelfth favorite Roger Barows captured his first grade-race victory in this year’s Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), renewing the race record set by Duramente in 2015 by 0.6 seconds to 2:22.6. 

The Deep Impact colt won his debut start (2,000m) in August last year and was runner-up in his second start two months later. The bay marked his second win in his kick-off start this year, the Fukujuso Tokubetsu (2,000m), but finished seventh in the Spring Stakes (G2, 1,800m) in March and was second in the Kyoto Shimbun Hai (G2, 2,200m), three weeks prior to this race. 

He is the 20th colt since Fusaichi Concorde in 1996 to win the Derby without prior graded win. This win gave trainer Katsuhiko Sumii his 26th JRA-G1 victory following his Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) title  with Saturnalia and his second Derby win following Vodka in 2007. Jockey Suguru Hamanaka marked his 9th JRA-G1 win following his Mile Championship victory with Mikki Isle in 2016 and his first Derby title in his 13 years of career.

Breaking smoothly from the innermost stall, Roger Barows settled in second behind Lion Lion who dashed out from the outer stall to set an extremely fast pace. Traveling 5-6 lengths behind the frontrunner along the backstretch, the Deep Impact colt gradually closed the gap turning the last two corners and immediately made bid entering the lane to assume command at the 400-meter pole. The Katsuhiko Sumii-trained bay continued to run strongly, fending off the repeated efforts of Danon Kingly in the last 300 meters, for his first G1 win.

“I was hoping for a fast pace, so settling in second behind an early pace was an ideal race for us. The colt is a stayer with much stamina so he held on strongly even after the uphill climb and ran persistently all the way to the end. He’s now a Derby horse, so we can count on his future performance,” commented Suguru Hamanaka.

Third pick Danon Kingly made a good break and hugged the rails in fifth. The son of Deep Impact kicked into gear rounding the last turn, entered the lane in third and threatened Roger Barows from the outside with an impressive burst of speed but was a neck short at the wire in second.

Second pick Velox traveled two wide, around 7-8th from the front, turned the last corner wide and stretched strongly behind Saturnalia in the homestretch. The son of Just a Way ran persistently and overtook the odds-on-favorite in the last 100 meters to finish 1/2 a length in front for third place.

Odds-on-favorite Saturnalia who seemed nervous from before the race, missed his break and was forced to settle eleventh from the front. The Katsuhiko Sumii-trained dark bay steered to the outside turning the last corner, unleashed a powerful late charge that timed the fastest over the last three furlongs and advanced to third at the 200-meter marker but weakened in the last 100 meters to finish fourth.

3-year-old Colts & Fillies, 2,400 meters (about 12 furlongs), turf, left-handed
Sunday, May 26, 2019 Tokyo Racecourse 11th Race Post Time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 432,000,000 (about US$ 3,757,000 <US$1=¥115>) 

1. Roger Barows (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
Deep Impact / Little Book (Librettist)
Owner: Hirotsugu Inokuma Breeder: Tobino Bokujo
Trainer: Katsuhiko Sumii Jockey: Suguru Hamanaka
6 Starts, 3 Wins
Added money: ¥ 225,277,000 Career earnings: ¥ 268,756,000

2. Danon Kingly (JPN), dark bay or brown, colt, 3-year-old
Deep Impact / My Goodness (Storm Cat)
Owner: Danox Co., Ltd. Breeder: Mishima Bokujo
Trainer: Kiyoshi Hagiwara Jockey: Keita Tosaki

3. Velox (JPN), bay, colt, 3-year-old
Just a Way / Selkis (Monsun)
Owner: Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., Ltd. Breeder: Northern Farm
Trainer: Mitsumasa Nakauchida Jockey: Yuga Kawada 

Other Horses:
5th: (9) Nishino Daisy—ran inside favorite, showed effort and quickened in final strides, head short for
6th: (10) Courageux Guerrier—sat in 5-6th, rallied with Velox and Saturnalia, weakened in last 100m
7th: (14) Run for the Roses—traveled in mid-group along rails, showed brief response, even paced in last 200m
8th: (11) Red Genial—hugged rails towards rear, showed belated charge, timed 2nd fastest over last 3 furlongs
9th: (16) Tagano Diamante—settled near rear, accelerated on inner stretch, met traffic 200m out
10th: (8) Meisho Tengen—positioned near rear, quickened and passed tired rivals in last 200m
11th: (5) Meiner Surpass—took economic route in mid-pack, outrun in last 300m
12th: (3) Emeral Fight—saved ground in 4th, turned wide for clear path, ran gamely until 250m out
13th: (17) Naimama—raced in mid-division, angled out, failed to respond
14th: (2) Wind—sat near rear along rails, never fired at stretch
15th: (15) Lion Lion—set fast pace, ran out of steam 300m out
16th: (18) Schwarz Riese—traveled in front of favorite, unable to reach contention
17th: (4) Satono Lux—ran 5 lengths behind eventual winner in 3rd, faded after final corner
18th: (12) Admire Justa—was off slow, trailed in rear, no factor
Fractional time (sec./furlong): 12.7 - 10.7 - 11.4 - 11.4 - 11.6 - 12.0 - 12.3 - 12.4 - 12.2 - 12.0 - 11.9 - 12.0
 Last 4 furlongs: 48.1 Last 3 furlongs: 35.9