06/26/2012 5:30PM

Hollywood Park: Top Japanese rider coming


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Japanese jockey Yuichi Fukunaga will ride at Churchill Downs this weekend before launching a summertime campaign in Southern California, his agent, Brian Beach, said on Tuesday.

Fukunaga, the leading rider at Japan Racing Association tracks in 2011 and this year, is expected to begin riding at Hollywood Park on the week of July 4.

Beach said that the 35-year-old Fukunaga completed visa documents earlier this week. He is scheduled to ride in Southern California through the end of the Del Mar meeting on Sept. 5, a time when the Japanese racing season does not have any Grade 1 races.

Fukunaga is familiar with Hollywood Park. In 2005, he won the Grade 1 American Oaks aboard Cesario. A winner of more than 1,400 races, Fukunaga has ridden since 1996.

Patricia Doyle More than 1 year ago
If he was a rock star I am sure no one would think twice of him coming from Japan or some other nation. If he makes money for me, I don't care if he came from the moon or mars.
David Mckenna More than 1 year ago
hope he can do better than yutake takeout.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
top japanese jock comming here,i wonder why?cant be the money the purses there are bigger.maybe he got caught cheating or with a battery or is serving a suspension over there,isnt that how we end up with all the rejects from peru,panama,venezuela etc,ho yes and the snake venom guys from france.
MGropenSDREADER More than 1 year ago
Re Fukunaga: No problem with that, but re IHA--would rather keep that bloodstock in America.
t More than 1 year ago
Anyone else realized the beauty of horses or any animal is that they do not know borders. Borders are a human creation
t More than 1 year ago
So its ok if we get riders from Japan but not ok if your top horses go to stud in Japan? I sense a bit of a loss of logic here, The last story about Japan horse racing and IHA was full of racist comments and now those fans are nowhere to heard from? It is good however, I sense of alot people posting on IHA-Japan story weren't real horse fans. Globalization of this sport is a good thing especially with the step backwards in this country ithis sport seems to be taking because everyone is afraid to purge the bad horseman from horse racing. Not mention all the drug use and frog licking This story and IHA story proves its a two way street. Globally things can be arranged to be successful Lets enjoy horse racing for whatever it is,,,Japan Racing, European Racing, Dubai Racing, American Racing or whereever it may be,,, Good Luck to Mr Fukunaga in Cali
Daniel Garcia More than 1 year ago
So we should send Fukunaga to a slaughter house to be turned into dog food if he doesn't do good? Real fans care about the horses. We want what is best for IHA. And Japan has proven in the past that it's not a good home for our horses.
t More than 1 year ago
We could blame all pet owners for Ferdinand.... Anyone who owns a pet is supporting horse slaughter The French think horsemeat tastes great,, India hates that we eat cows It must be nice to live in your idealistic bubble. A, quarterhorse tracks in New Mexico, and other tracks across america just let horses rot dead behind a dumpster. At Least horses that go to slaughter don't rot with buzzards pecking on them. They go onto people's dinner plates and create jobs globally. I support Global Jobs over buzzards eating some dead horse.. Its called the food chain
Frank More than 1 year ago
Get off this board you idiot -- Food chain? WTF -- so your saying thoroughbreds are bred for food. What are you smokin? Bred less, have less race tracks and races and take care of our thoroughbreds -- Thats the simple answer.
t More than 1 year ago
Hope you like your veggies Frank or a hypocrite,,, Since the dawn of time, the food chain has exisited
t More than 1 year ago
* or your a *
Mark Garcia More than 1 year ago
This guy is a good jockey. I've watch some of the Japan racing on TVG. And yes, I too was at the track (American Oaks) the day Cesario demolished the field...check it out on YouTube. Awesome!!!
Jordan More than 1 year ago
What a beast that Cesario was. I was at Hollywood Park that day, a day that in addition to the American Oaks featured the Royal Heroine Mile. The champion female turf horse in North America, Intercontinental, won the Royal Heroine, but she was completely eclipsed by Cesario's performance in the Oaks. Intercontinental was a very nice horse, a champion, but Cesario was a true superstar, a superhero from another planet.
Zakk W. More than 1 year ago
Soon there will be more jockeys than horses in So. California, wait a minute I think it's already happened, we don't need more jockeys, we need more horses!
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
should have no problem adjusting to the 5 and 6 horse fields they have in So Cal
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Cool. Yuichi should shake things up for the remainder of the meet at Hollywood and at Del Mar. He's talented, I look forward to seeing him ride. The Del Mar meet so far looks like it's going to be a very interesting meet.