06/25/2017 2:40PM

Japan's Satono Crown captures free spot in Breeders' Cup Turf


ARCADIA, Calif. - Satono Crown earned a fees-paid berth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar on Nov. 4 with an upset win in Sunday’s Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen at 1 3-8 miles on turf at Hanshin Racecourse in Japan.

Satono Crown (8-1) won the $2.6 million race by three-quarters of a length over 11-1 Gold Actor, who finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Mikki Queen, the only mare in the field of 11. Kitasan Black, the 2016 Japanese Horse of the Year, raced wide for much of the race and finished ninth at 2-5.

Gold Actor offered the most significant threat in the stretch, but could not catch Satono Crown, who was ridden by Mirco Demuro and rallied wide in the stretch.

The 5-year-old Satono Crown races for Hajime Satomi and trainer Noriyuki Hori. By Marju, Satono Crown won the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong, beating a field that included Highland Reel, the winner of the 2016 BC Turf at Santa Anita last November.

Satono Crown has won 6 of 13 starts. Earlier this year, he won the Grade 2 Kyoto Kinen in February and was sixth in the Osaka Hai at Hanshin in early April. Satono Crown was third in the 2015 Japanese Derby.