Cafe Pharoah tries the weed at BC Japan Qualifiers


For the third time in just eight days, a “Win and You’re In” spot for the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile presented by PDJF (G1T) is up for grabs on June 5, this time in Japan with a schemer American Pharaoh colt in the mix for honours.

The Yasuda Kinen (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse has a diverse field, including the 1-2 finishers of the 2021 NHK Mile Cup (G1), Schnell Meister and Song.

Two-year-old stars of 2020 and 2021, Danon the small and Serifosseek to resume a path to glory. Soul Rush is riding a four-fight winning streak but taking a big leap forward in the class. And End Red finished second in each of the previous two starts this season.

So there is Pharoah Cafe a 5 year old son of American Pharoah of the more than ready Mare The Follies of Mary . Cafe Pharoah has twice won the February Stakes (G1) at one mile on the Tokyo dirt course, but moving to the encircling green is an adventure into the virtual unknown.

The Yasuda Kinen will only be in his second tenure on grass. The first was an uninspiring ninth in a 2,000 meter event, the Hakodate Kinen (G3) in July 2021. In addition, Cafe Pharoah drew the No. 1 gate in a field of 18. But with Yuichi Fukunaga taking the mount for coach Noriyuki Hori, there is no doubt that the experiment is well intentioned.

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“From the looks of his run in the Hakodate Kinen, I’d say he can handle the turf,” Hori said despite the result. “And it’s suitable for Tokyo.”

Hori said Cafe Pharoah has stayed in training since winning the February Stakes in his last start and has been performing well.

“His coat and muscle tone are good. Physically and mentally he has it all figured out,” the coach said.

Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club

Resistencia trained last December at Sha Tin Racecourse

Fine Rouge is one of four women in the race, along with Songline, Resistanceand lotus land. Assistant coach Yu Ota noted that Fine Rouge didn’t have a clean stretch in her recent second-place finishes at Tokyo Shimbun Hai (G3) and Victoria Mile (G1). In the latter, a “Win and You’re In” event for the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T), she stumbled badly early in the stretch race, but still finished a strong second. sodashi.

“The Victoria Mile winner did a good job, but this filly had a tough time in the stretch,” Ota said. “Even so, I was very happy to see her rally and come back strong. She came out of the race pretty well and I was relieved there was no apparent damage.”

Resistencia finished third in the Victoria Mile, just stifled at the finish for second place. She won the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1) in 2019 for her only high-level score, but finished second six times in peak events, including the 2021 Longines Hong Kong Sprint (G1). Coach Takeshi Matsushita said a change in tactics might be in order, depending on how Yasuda Kinen unfolds.

“In the Victoria Mile, we let the favorite take the lead and that horse ran second,” Matsushita said. “It was her first mile for a long time but she traveled well and in the midst of a close battle she was patient to the end. If no one else wants to go ahead then we will. But she can also run from further away.”

The extensive Breeders’ Cup Challenge series awarded two places to the November turf mile event at Keeneland just a weekend earlier. Viejos Tiempos earned its place with a victory in the Club Hipico De Santiago Falabella Breeders’ Cup (G1) in Santiago on May 29 and Re-count did the same in the Shoemaker Mile (G1T) a day later at Saint Anita.

Dark Jet also qualified for the Mile with a victory on January 8 in the Queen’s Plate of L’Ormarins (G1) in South Africa.

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