06/01/2014 12:44PM

Japanese Derby: One and Only closes for victory


One and Only, fourth in the Japanese 2000 Guineas in April, outfinished favored Isla Bonita to win Sunday’s $4,137,707 Japanese Derby at Tokyo Racecourse.

Ridden by Norihiro Yokoyama, One and Only closed from sixth in a field of 17 to reach contention early in the stretch of the Grade 1 Japanese Derby over 1 1/2 miles on turf. Isla Bonita, winner of the Japanese 2000 Guineas, took the lead with less than a quarter-mile remaining but was quickly challenged by One and Only.

One and Only, the 9-2 third choice, had the measure of Isla Bonita, the 8-5 favorite, in the final sixteenth, pulling away to win by three-quarters of a length. Meiner Frost, a 107-1 outsider, finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Isla Bonita.

The Japanese Derby was the second stakes win for One and Only, a colt by Heart’s Cry who races for Koji Maeda and trainer Kojiro Hashiguchi. One and Only has won 3 of 9 starts.

Yokoyama said the distance of the Japanese Derby helped One and Only.

“The pace was too slow and the colt was a bit too keen during the race, but he stretched well,” he said. “He was unable to make a good start in the previous race, but he broke well today and I was able to race him in striking position.”