12/22/2013 12:57PM

Nakayama Racecourse: Orfevre wins Arima Kinen to cap career

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Orfevre, the Japanese star who was second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in each of the last two years, ended his racing career with an emphatic victory in Sunday’s $4 million Arima Kinen at Nakayama Racecourse.

Orfevre (3-5) won the Grade 1 Arima Kinen over 1 9/16 miles by eight lengths over Win Variation. Gold Ship, who won the 2012 Arima Kinen, finished third in the field of 16.

Ridden by Kenichi Ikezoe for trainer Yasutoshi Ikee, Orfevre was at the back of the field before making a wide move with three furlongs remaining. He took the lead with more than a furlong remaining.

The Arima Kinen, witnessed by an ontrack crowd of 124,000, was the first start for Orfevre since he was beaten five lengths by Treve in the Arc de Triomphe in early October. Orfevre won the Group 2 Prix Foy at Longchamp in September. A 5-year-old Japanese-bred by Stay Gold, Orfevre is owned by Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.

Orfevre was the top 3-year-old in Japan in 2011, the year he won the Japanese Triple Crown and the Arima Kinen. He ends his career with 12 wins in 21 starts and will stand at stud in Japan in 2014.

The Arima Kinen has a unique role in Japanese racing. Of the 16 runners, 10 are selected by fans through a ballot, making it sort of an all-star race for Thoroughbreds. The remaining runners are determined by earnings.

MICHAEL More than 1 year ago
We breed short career milers and sprinters, they breed great thoroughbreds. That 124,000 in attendance is no accident. The fans in Japan get behind their thoroughbreds because they send them all over the world at top prestigious races ie Dubai, Arc, Melbourne...etc etc. They are big stars over there who run past their triple crown year. These great thoroughbreds get connected to their fans young and old. They are bred for their triple crown races, we breed for the Met Mile. Our most prestigious races are now gone from the headlines, from the Big Cap to the Handicap Triple because we do not breed great classic distance routers anymore.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
10 of the runners are chosen to be invited by the fans.great concept.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Murray Johnson: "And there goes Orfevre, but did Kenichi move too soon?" Great race call, Orfevre emphatically answered the announcers race call! Blessings and Happy Holidays to One and All, each and every one of Us!
jttf More than 1 year ago
He only made over $15 million for his career. How much money has Sunday silence's kids and grand kids made so far ? Orfevre had terrific turn of foot in the late going. Fun to watch. Too bad he was a head case.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
An ontrack crowd of 124,000 and Beyer says attendance does not count... Now you figger what's wrong with the game in America.
Mr. Ed More than 1 year ago
They've had 165,000 before and I believe the record there is over 196,000. That attendance stuck out to me as well.
EdwardStanco More than 1 year ago
Imagine the NFL if everyone stayed home. We have to get people to the track.
Joey Benson More than 1 year ago
Are you gonna run your great filly next year?
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Yeah, I looked at that attendance and wondered, in comparison, what the attendance for the final day at Hollywood Park was. It's so depressing to see just a thousand or so souls wandering around a huge facility on a weekday, and not much more on the weekend.
Jeff More than 1 year ago
to be exact,124,782
russell More than 1 year ago
I thought the new NYRA bonehead said that attendance doesn't matter
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
His lip service appeared in Beyers' column on 26 Sept 13.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While Asians do like to gamble ( witness Las Vegas and any casino) they also appreciate the grace and beauty of the horse .... more than it seems Americans do... that and that racing is a special event there by limited days will bring out 100,000 true fans even in pelting rain in Japan.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
We can only aspire to see horses like this race til 5 and soundly here in the States. This guy is a true champion.
Joel More than 1 year ago
Watched it on Twinspires awesome performance.