Bobby Zen

Sugar Kun (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn})–a half-brother to Kitasan Black (Jpn) (Black Tide {Jpn}), Japan’s Horse of the Year in both 2016 and 2017–put himself in contention for top honours with a narrow victory in Saturday’s G2 TV Tokyo Hai Aoba Sho at Tokyo Racecourse, cementing his place in next month’s G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) over the same course and distance.

Trained by Hisashi Shimizu, Sugar Kun was partnered by legendary jockey Yutaka Take, the regular rider of Kitasan Black and a six-time winner of the Tokyo Yushun. Take had his mount in a handy position, with four in front of him hard against the rail, as Power Hall (Jpn) (Suave Richard {Jpn}) took the field along in the early stages, initially racing a couple of lengths clear of his closest pursuer.

By the home turn Power Hall had built up a healthy advantage over the chasing pack, but his early exertions soon took their toll and he was a spent force entering the final two furlongs as the cavalry closed in. Gradually Sugar Run made his way to the front, taking over from the tiring Win Maximum (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) inside the final furlong, and he just did enough from there to hold off the fast-finishing Shonan la Punta (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) by a head, with Dual Wielder (Jpn) (Yoshida {Jpn)} also running on well from rear to take third.

Sugar Kun was gaining his third win from four starts and Take was impressed by the progress the three-year-old has made in such a short space of time as he told, “While Kitasan Black is an irreplaceable champion, this horse has only debuted in February and has shown such remarkable performances in just a few months. I sense growth with each race. Today, he settled well and showed a good response when asked to accelerate. Winning and securing the right to run in the Derby is exciting.”

The Tokyo Yushun, the second leg of the Japanese Triple Crown, will be run at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday, May 26.


G2 2400m 3yo Aoba Sho (Japan Derby Trial) Tokyo:

Won by 3c 7. SUGAR KUN (Duramente x Sugar Heart) x legend Yutaka Take

2.24.2 for the 12F

Won 3 from 4, past 3 in a row

Just held 3c 15. SHONAN LA PUNTA (Kizuna)

1-2 get Gates in the Derby!#JRA

— Graham Pavey (@LongBallToNoOne) April 27, 2024


Pedigree Notes

Sugar Kun looks potentially another Classic contender for his sire Duramente, who was responsible for last year’s Triple Tiara heroine Liberty Island (Jpn). He has also produced Stars On Earth (Jpn), who won the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1,000 Guineas) and G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) in 2022, plus a pair of G1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) winners in Titleholder (Jpn) and Durezza (Jpn).

Kitasan Black, a half-brother to Sugar Kun, also won the Kikuka Sho in 2015 before proving himself the outstanding older horse in Japan at four and five. He won a total of seven Group 1 races in his career, including the Japan Cup as a four-year-old and the Arima Kinen on his swansong at five. He was retired to Shadai Stallion Station and has quickly made a huge success of his second career at stud, most notably as the sire of Equinox (Jpn), Japan’s Horse of the Year in 2022 and 2023.

Sugar Kun’s unraced dam, Suger Heart (Jpn) (Sakura Bakushin O {Jpn}), has produced seven winners and four black-type performers in Japan. As well as Sugar Kun and Kitasan Black, she is responsible for the Group 2-placed Shonan Bach (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}) and the Listed-placed Everyone Black (Jpn) (Black Tide {Jpn}).

Her latest produce are colts by Rey De Oro (Jpn) and Contrail (Jpn) in 2022 and 2023. This is the extended family of noted sire Cee’s Tizzy, responsible for dual GI Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Grade I sire Tiznow.

Saturday, Tokyo, Japan
TV TOKYO HAI AOBA SHO-G2, ¥105,240,000, Tokyo, 4-27, 3yo, 2400mT, 2:24.20, fm.
1–SUGAR KUN (JPN), 126, c, 3, Duramente (Jpn)
           1st Dam: Sugar Heart (Jpn), by Sakura Bakushin O (Jpn)
           2nd Dam: Otome Gokoro (Jpn), by Judge Angelucci
           3rd Dam: Tizly, by Lyphard
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. 1ST GROUP WIN. O-Yorikatsu Tsujiko;
B-Yanagawa Farm (Jpn); T-Hisashi Shimizu; J-Yutaka Take;
¥55,218,000. Lifetime Record: 4-3-1-0, ¥74,142,000. *Half to
Shonan Bach (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}), MGSP-Jpn, $1,292,648;
Kitasan Black (Jpn) (Black Tide {Jpn}), 2x Horse of the Year-Jpn,
2x Ch. Older Horse-Jpn, MG1SW-Jpn, $16,575,955; Everyone
Black (Jpn) (Black Tide {Jpn}), SP-Jpn, $745,999. Click for the
free catalogue-style pedigree. Werk Nick
Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Shonan la Punta (Jpn), 126, c, 3, Kizuna (Jpn)–Furia Azteca
(Arz), by Zensational. 1ST BLACK TYPE. 1ST GROUP BLACK
TYPE. (¥94,000,000 Ylg ’22 JRHAJUL). O-Tetsuhide Kunimoto;
B-Shadai Farm (Jpn); ¥22,348,000.
3–Dual Wielder (Jpn), 123, c, 3, Yoshida (Jpn)–Dance With
Kitten, by Kitten’s Joy. 1ST BLACK TYPE. 1ST GROUP BLACK
TYPE. O-Shadai Race Horse; B-Shiraoi Farm (Jpn); ¥14,156,000.
Margins: HD, 3/4, NK. Odds: 3.50, 11.70, 6.70.
Also Ran: Satono Strasse (Jpn), Win Maximum (Jpn), Foster Bond (Jpn), Cosmo Buddleja (Jpn), Redentor (Jpn), Avandel (Jpn), Schwarze Kugel (Jpn), Trovatore (Jpn), Gran Artista (Jpn), Marshall Point (Jpn), Power Hall (Jpn), Jinsei (Jpn), Nishino Fiance (Jpn), Logi Ruler (Jpn). Click for the JRA chart & video.

The post Kitasan Black Sibling Enhances Classic Claims With Aoba Sho Victory appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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