09/30/2016 1:04PM

Japan: Big Arthur tries to earn berth in Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint


Big Arthur, the winner of consecutive graded stakes for sprinters in Japan earlier this year, tries to win for the ninth time in his 13-race career in Sunday’s $1,890,292 Sprinters’ Stakes at Nakayama Racecourse in Japan.

The Grade 1 Sprinters’ Stakes is part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, offering a fees-paid berth to the winner to the BC Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

Big Arthur won the Grade 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen at six furlongs on turf at Chuyko Racecourse on March 27. Rested in the late spring and early summer, Big Arthur won his comeback in the Grade 2 Centaur Stakes at six furlongs on turf at Hanshin Racecourse on Sept. 11.

Trained by Kenichi Fujioka, the 5-year-old Big Arthur is part of a field of 16 in the Sprinters’ Stakes.

Mikki Isle, fourth in the 2015 Sprinters’ Stakes, was second in the Grade 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen in his most recent start. Nero was second in the Centaur Stakes at Hanshin.

A 3-year-old to watch is the filly Blanc Bonheur, who won the Grade 3 Keeneland Cup at six furlongs at Sapporo Racecourse on Aug. 28.