01/08/2002 1:00AM

Jungle Pocket named Japan's best


Jungle Pocket, winner of both the Japan Cup and the Japanese Derby, has been named horse of the year by the Japan Racing Association.

A Japanese-bred son of Tony Bin out of the Nureyev mare Dance Charmer, Jungle Pocket was also proclaimed Japan's leading 3-year-old colt. T.M. Ocean, champion 2-year-old filly of 2000 and winner of the Japanese 1000 Guineas in 2001, was declared champion 3-year-old filly.

Agnes Digital, a Kentucky-bred son of Crafty Prospector who captured his third Group/Grade 1 victory of the year when he took the Hong Kong Cup, was named best older horse, while To the Victory, runner-up in the Dubai World Cup, was pronounced the best older filly or mare. Two-year-old honors went to the Timber Country colt Admire Don and the Secreto filly Tamuro Cherry.

The Kentucky-bred Kurofune, whose promising career was cut short on Dec. 27 because of a tendon injury, was declared champion dirt horse by virtue of his record-setting victories at 1 1/8 miles in the Musashino Stakes and 1 5/16 miles in the Japan Cup Dirt. Sprinters Stakes winner Trot Star is the champion Japanese sprinter, while Gokai, winner of the Nakayama Grand Jump, took honors as top jumper.