12/13/2012 5:38PM

Japan: A Shin Top tries a mile in Asahi Hai Futurity

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A Shin Top, an undefeated Kentucky-bred colt by Tale of the Cat, tries to win for the fourth time in Sunday’s $1.832 million Asahi Hai Futurity at Nakayama Racecourse. The Grade 1 Asahi Hai Futurity is Japan’s top race for 2-year-old males.

Owned by Eishindo Co. Ltd and trained by Masato Nishizono, A Shin Top has won three times over about seven furlongs and tries a new distance in the Asahi Hai Futurity, run over about a mile on a right-handed course.

Purchased for $400,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale, A Shin Top has won races at three tracks in Japan – Chukyo, Hanshin, and Tokyo. His only graded stakes win came in the Grade 2 Keio Hai Nisai Stakes at Tokyo on Nov. 10.

In the Asahi Hai Futurity, A Shin Top’s major rival is expected favorite Codino, who is unbeaten in three starts and won the Nisai Stakes at Sapporo on Sept. 1 and the Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes at Tokyo on Nov. 17.

Other top contenders are Sarastro and TM Inazuma, who won Group 3 stakes earlier in the year but finished well behind A Shin Top and Codino in their last start, and A Lovely Day, second to A Shin Top in the Keio Hai Nisai Stakes.