Drefong-Sired Geoglyph Captures First Leg Of Japanese Triple Crown - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Drefong-Sired Geoglyph Captures First Leg Of Japanese Triple Crown

Geoglyph (Drefong) wins the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas)

Fifth choice Geoglyph claimed this year's first leg of the Triple Crown Classics, the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas), giving his sire Drefong, who stands stud duty in Japan from 2018, his first JRA-G1 title.

After debuting in June last year, Geoglyph notched two consecutive wins including the Sapporo Nisai Stakes (G3) and capped off his 2-year-old season with a fifth in the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1) in December. The colt had commenced the current season with a second to Danon Beluga in the Kyodo News Hai (G3) on Feb. 13.

Geoglyph's trainer Tetsuya Kimura celebrates his first classic title and second JRA-G1 victory following the 2018 Mile Championship with Stelvio. Jockey Yuichi Fukunaga, who pocketed his most recent G1 title in the February Stakes this season with Cafe Pharoah, now has 34 JRA-G1 titles under his belt. This is his second Satsuki Sho title following his 2020 triumph with Triple Crown winner Contrail.

The race unfolded with Ask Victor More setting the pace and Geoglyph traveling on the heels of Equinox and in tandem with Danon Beluga in mid-pack. Switching to an outside path after the third corner to make a smooth and strong wide bid into the straight, the son of Drefong chased and fought for the lead with Equinox into the last furlong, weakened for a brief second but found another gear to dig in overtake his stablemate and gained a short lead near the finish to clear the wire by a length.

“His start was good and we were able to sit in an ideal position which was crucial in winning today,” commented Yuichi Fukunaga after the race. “I already knew that he was in good form when I rode him during workouts and had every belief that, although the colt was fifth pick, he was capable of winning today. The colt has the strength to sustain his speed so I geared him wide launching an early bid before the fourth corner. I'm just glad I was able to do my job. In the upcoming Derby, we'll have to see if he can handle the 400-meter added distance.”

Third pick and breaking from the widest stall, Equinoxturned the first corner three-wide around seventh and gradually made headway to enter to the stretch in third. The Kitasan Black colt stretched well to inherit the lead passing the 200m pole but was challenged and finally pinned by the eventual winner before the wire while holding the rest of the field by 1-1/4 lengths.

Race favorite Do Deuce broke smoothly but was reserved in second to third from the rear and made headway after the third corner to launch his bid entering the lane with the widest move still near the rear. The Heart's Cry colt under Yutaka Take unleashed a strong closing kick from there and although with too much ground to make up, pinned second favorite Danon Beluga before the wire for third.

Other Horses:
4th: (1) Danon Beluga—took economic trip inside eventual winner around 5th, rallied with top two finishers briefly, passed pacesetter while outrun by Do Deuce just before wire
5th: (2) Ask Victor More—set pace, sustained lead up to 200m pole, weakened in last 100m
6th: (11) Onyankopon—sat 3-wide around 11th, accelerated on outer stretch, was too late
7th: (6) Justin Rock—positioned along rails around 15th, responded well but never threatened
8th: (15) Lagulf—traveled 3-wide around 14th, passed tired rivals at stretch
9th: (10) Justin Palace—was off slowly, sat 2nd from rear, gradually advanced, even paced at stretch
10th: (8) Dante's View—settled in 7-8th, lacked needed kick at stretch
11th: (13) Be Astonished—sat in 4th, showed brief effort, weakened in last 100m
12th: (17) Matenro Leo—trailed in rear, circled wide, showed belated charge
13th: (4) Killer Ability—broke poorly, hugged rails in 7-8th, showed effort until 100m out
14th: (7) Born This Way—saved ground in 3rd, outrun in last 200m
15th: (5) Grand Line—raced around 13th, unable to reach contention
16th: (16) Desierto—tracked leader in 2nd from wide draw, ran out of steam at early stretch
17th: (9) Satono Helios—settled 3-wide in 7-8th, nothing left in stretch
18th: (3) Tosen Vanno—traveled around 11th, faded after 3rd corner

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