04/15/2016 3:45PM

Makahiki, Leontes meet again in Japanese 2000 Guineas


Makahiki and Leontes, the first two finishers of a Grade 2 race last month, are among 18 colts in Sunday’s $1,986,389 Japanese 2000 Guineas at Nakayama Racecourse.

Makahiki is unbeaten in three starts and won his graded stakes debut in the Grade 2 Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho against Leontes at 1 1/4 miles on turf March 6. Makahiki is by Deep Impact. The colt is owned by Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. and trained by Yasuo Tomomichi.

Leontes, the champion 2-year-old male of 2015 in Japan, was beaten for the first time in his third start in the Yayoi Sho. By King Kamehameha, Leontes won the Grade 1 Asahi Hai Futurity last December to clinch the juvenile championship. The colt is out of Cesario, who won the American Oaks at Hollywood Park in 2005.

The Grade 1 Japanese 2000 Guineas, known as the Satsuki Sho, is run on a right-handed course at 1 1/4 miles on turf. The race is restricted to colts and fillies, but there are no fillies in the field.

Another contender is the undefeated Satono Diamond, a Deep Impact colt who won the Grade 3 NHK Sho at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Kyoto on Feb. 6.