10/12/2010 11:47AM

Espoir City defeated in Nambu Hai Mile


Japan’s Breeders’ Cup Classic hopeful, Espoir City, had his six-race winning streak ended on Monday when he finished second to the record-setting Oro Meister in the Nambu Hai Mile Championship at Morioka.

Normally a front-runner, Espoir City tracked the early pace of Ceres Hunt in the one-mile dirt contest worth $825,000 with Oro Meister alongside. Oro Meister took the lead three furlongs from the line and held Espoir City safe by three lengths. The winner’s time of 1:34.80 on a sloppy track was a course record. Espoir City had won last year’s renewal by four lengths over Success Brocken.

Trained by Aiko Adachi, Espoir City is now 11 for 20 lifetime, 10 for 13 on dirt, and 7 for 7 on a fast track. He may have had an excuse on Monday in that this was his first outing since May 5, when he won the one-mile, $1 million Kashiwa Kinen at Funabashi. Despite his loss, Espoir City remains on course for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and went into quarantine at the Miho Training Center on Tuesday. A 5-year-old son of the Sunday Silence stallion Gold Allure, he is scheduled to leave for Churchill Downs on Monday, Oct. 18.