12/13/2017 4:38PM

Le Vent Se Leve takes second leg of Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby


Le Vent Se Leve was a sharp winner Wednesday night in Japan of the Zen-Nippon Masai Yushun, the second leg of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Le Vent Se Leve got 10 points for winning the 1600-meter (about one mile) dirt race at Kawasaki Racecourse. Don Fortis finished second, earning four points, while Haseno Pyro got two qualifying points for finishing third.

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This is the second year for the Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby, a three-race series in Japan meant to qualify a horse there for one of the 20 starting slots in the Kentucky Derby, although in 2017, no such horse stepped forward.

Ruggero won the Nov. 25 Cattelya Sho, the series’ first race, also earning 10 points, but the Hyacinth Stakes on Feb. 18 at Tokyo is the major race in the series offering qualifying points down to fourth and giving the winner 30 points.

Le Vent Se Leve, a son of Symboli Kris trained by Kyoshi Hagiwara, now has won all three of his starts and was favored. He won Wednesday night by one length and was timed in 1:41.60, but blew this race open with a wide sustained move around the turn and was under wraps at the wire.