02/19/2012 11:18AM

Japan: American-bred Testa Matta takes February Stakes at 18-1


Testa Matta, the only American-bred in a field of 18, scored an upset win in Sunday’s $2.45 million February Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse, the first Grade 1 race of the year on the Japanese calendar.

A 23-1 shot, Testa Matta rallied from off the pace to win the February Stakes by two lengths, leading through the final furlong. Silk Fortune finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of Wonder Acute. Transcend, the defending champion and race favorite, finished seventh.

Testa Matta finished about one mile in 1:35.40.

Testa Matta was 12th in the Japan Cup Dirt in December and was third in two subsequent stakes, including the Grade Negishi Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse on Jan. 29.

Owned by Kazumi Yoshida and trained by Akira Murayama, Testa Matta, 6, has won 6 of 24 starts. The February Stakes was his first Grade 1 win since the Japan Dirt Derby in 2009. By Tapit, Testa Matta was bred by Waterford Farm in Kentucky.