05/05/2011 1:14PM

NHK Mile topped by Japanese juvenile champ

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The NHK Mile, worth about $2.19 million and to be contested over about one mile at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday, has nothing like a standout – nor any of the best Japanese 3-year-olds - among the 18 horses entered.

The NHK Mile has produced past winners as prominent as Seeking the Pearl and El Condor Pasa, but this year’s edition appears to lack that sort of star power. The best overall credentials may belong to Grand Prix Boss, but this 2-year-old champion of 2010 has yet to find his best form in two starts at 3, finishing fourth and third in a pair of Group 2 races this spring.

The most recent of Grand Prix Boss’s losses, April 8 in the New Zealand Trophy, came at the hands of Eishin Osman, another NHK Mile entrant. Eishin Osman, however, was back in action April 24, finishing a well-beaten eighth in the Japanese 2000 Guineas, albeit over 1 1/4-mile distance perhaps farther than his best.

American-bred Henny Hound, by Henny Hughes, has started his career with two wins. He passed a minor class test winning a Group 3 in his most recent start, but has yet to race beyond a sprint distance.