11/25/2006 1:00AM

Alondite upsets Japan Cup Dirt


Alondite proved the ideal overlay at Tokyo on Saturday when he landed the $2.18 million Japan Cup Dirt, relegating the favored Seeking the Dia to his second consecutive runner-up finish in the 1 5/16-mile Grade 1 contest.

Alondite, a fast improving 3-year-old son of 1999 Arc runner-up El Condor Pasa out of the Riverman mare Catherine Parr, has now won his last five starts. Allowed to go off a tasty 14-1 in the 15-runner field, he came with a late rail charge under Hiroki Goto to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths from the 6-5 Seeking the Dia, who lost last year's Japan Cup Dirt by a nose to Kane Hekili. Listed race winner Field Rouge was third, another 1 1/4 lengths back. The winning time of 2:08.50 was well off Kurofune's 2001 stakes mark of 2:05.90 set on the old Tokyo Racecourse configuration, but not far behind Kane Hekili's time of 2:08 last year.

Alondite's four previous wins, all on dirt, had come in maiden and allowance company at 1 1/8 miles and 1 5/16 miles. He is now 5-for-5 with Goto on board, 5-for-6 on dirt, and 5-for-8 lifetime.

"Alondite is generally a very kind and gentle horse, he can even be timid, but his race today was very bold," said trainer Sei Ishizaka. "With a set of legs whose conformation is not exactly ideal, he can be prone to injuries and my hope for the future is to be able to maintain his health. Of course, having won this race, international challenges such as the Dubai World Cup come to mind. However, he is still a young horse and I think this plan will only be realistic after I've given him the opportunity to prove himself again in Japan."