06/29/2014 11:47AM

Gold Ship repeats in Takarazuka Kinen


Gold Ship became the first horse to win two runnings of the $2.7 million Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin Racecourse in Japan on Sunday, a victory that could lead to a start in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris in October.

This was the second consecutive year that Gold Ship won the Takarazuka Kinen, a race whose field partially is determined by a fan’s vote, similar to an all-star game.

Gold Ship, the 8-5 favorite, won the Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen over 1 3/8 miles by three lengths over the 54-1 outsider Curren Mirotic. Verxina, the 5-year-old mare who won the Grade 1 Victoria Mile at Tokyo Racecourse in May, finished third in the field of 12. Gentildonna, the winner of the last two runnings of the Japan Cup and the $5 million Sheema Classic in Dubai in March, finished ninth.

Gold Ship, a 5-year-old horse by Stay Gold, was ridden by Norihiro Yokoyama for trainer Naosuke Sugai. Gold Ship earned a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf with his win in the Takarazuka Kinen, a race that is part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program.

Yokoyama had Gold Ship off the pace after a slow start. Gold Ship moved closer to the leaders with a wide run and took the lead in the final furlong.
Gold Ship, owned by Eiichi Kobayashi, has won 12 of 20 starts and five Grade 1 races in Japan, including the Japanese 2000 Guineas and Japanese St. Leger in 2012.