12/18/2011 4:19PM

Japan: Alfredo remains unbeaten by taking Asahi Hai Futurity

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Alfredo remained unbeaten in three starts and became the colt to follow for the Japanese classics of 2012 with a victory in Sunday’s Group 1 Asahi Hai Futurity at Nakayama Racecourse.

Ridden by Craig Williams for trainer Takahisa Tezuka, Alfredo won the $1.7 million Asahi Hai Futurity as the 2-1 favorite by two lengths over 8-1 Meiner Robusto. Leo Active, the winner of the Group 2 Keio Hai Nisai Stakes at Tokyo on Nov. 12, finished third in the field of 16, closing well through the final three furlongs.

Alfredo, a colt by Symboli Kris S, ran about a mile on turf in 1:33.40. Alfredo races for U. Carrot Farm. The Asahi Hai Futurity was his first start in a stakes, preceded by a wins in a race for first-time starters in September and an allowance race in October.

Expressive Halo upsets Carlos Pellegrini at 20-1

Expressive Halo, a 20-1 outsider, held off a late threat from Veraneio to win Saturday’s Group 1 Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini at San Ysidro in Argentina.

A 4-year-old Argentine-bred by Halo Sunshine, Expressive Halo won the Carlos Pellegrini over about 1 1/2 miles on turf by a short head over Veraneio. Veni Veni, an American-bred 3-year-old colt by Suave, finished third in the field of 23.

Trained by Carlos Meza Brunel, Expressive Halo was ridden by Juan Noriega. Expressive Halo was a Group 2 stakes winner in July and was second or third in three subsequent group stakes before winning the Pellegrini. Veraneio, sent off at 6-1, won the Group 1 Grande Premio Derby Paulista in Brazil in November.

The Pellegrini field annually brings together South America’s leading runners. This year, the field was supposed to include Perfect Shirl, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs in November. She was not sent to South America because of complications with flights, trainer Roger Attfield said on Thursday.

Expressive Halo is expected to stay in South America, and may start in a stakes in Argentina in March.