Potager, Son Of U.S. Champion Mare, Wins At Top Level In Japan - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Potager, Son Of U.S. Champion Mare, Wins At Top Level In Japan

Potager (8), a Japan-bred son of U.S. champion Ginger Punch, wins Osaka Hai (G1) in Japan

Potager, a son of 2007 U.S. champion older mare Ginger Punch, upstaged Japan's reigning Horse of the Year Efforia and defending winner Lei Papale while notching his first win at the highest level Sunday in the $3.7 million Osaka Hai (G1) at Hanshin Racecourse.

A 5-year-old Japan-bred by Japanese sire Deep Impact, Potager was positioned near the front-runners in fifth behind Lei Papale, who came with good speed race in fourth position from gate 14 in the 16-horse field while highly regarded Jack d'Or set the pace for most of the about 1 ¼-mile trip.

As the field began to close in on the leader approaching the final turn, Potager continued to chase Lei Papale, then shifted to her outside for his bid and was soon joined by Arrivo. He showed considerable guts to outfoot both to win by a neck.

“We had a good draw (post 8), so I was hoping to secure a good position today,” said winning jockey Hayato Yoshida. “Potager adapts well to various race developments and he was terrific in that he was able to keep up with the pace of the other really strong horses in front.

“He really gave his all in the end and all I could do was keep urging him on, so I'm happy that we were able to win.”

Lei Papale, overtaking early leaders at the furlong pole, was overhauled just before the wire, finishing second.

Potager, a 58-1 longshot trained by Yasuo Tomomichi for owner Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co., finished the trip from older runners in 1:58.40 on turf rated as good to firm.

Arrivo, who had traveled in midfield just behind race favorite Efforia, chose not to follow that foe to the outside for the stretch run but instead found a clear path in the center lane as the top two finishers broke away from the rest of the crowd and made his bid outside of the eventual winner, finishing a close third.

Heavy favorite Efforia was unable to show much in his first start of this season, finishing ninth. Breaking smoothly and rated outside a rival in mid-division, he made his move three furlongs out, angled to the outside for a clear run turning for home but failed to find another gear and was well beaten for the first time of his career.

“Efforia was not himself. We made an early move but he just didn't have anything to give at the straight. He was a bit heavy and wasn't as sharp in his movement during training last week which may have affected his performance today,” said jockey Takeshi Yokoyama.

Potager, who was bred by Northern Farm, has six wins from 15 career starts. Katsumi Yoshida of Northern Farm paid $1.6 million to purchase his dam, multiple grade 1 winner Ginger Punch, a daughter of Awesome Again who won the 2007 Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1), at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Mixed Sale, where she was offered in foal to Bernardini.

Kaneko Makoto Holdings bought Potager for $1.7 million from Northern Farm at the 2018 JRHA Select Yearling Sale.

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