03/27/2009 12:00AM

Sleepless Night in 2009 debut


Champion Japanese sprinter Sleepless Night returns to the races at Chukyo on Sunday as the heavy favorite in the $1.88 million Takamatsunomiya Kinen which, at six furlongs, is one of only two Grade 1 sprints in Japan.

Trained by Kojiro Hashiguchi for Sunday Racing Co. Ltd., Sleepless Night won the other Grade 1 sprint, the Sprinter Stakes, in her last start at Nakayama on Oct. 5. Her margin of victory that day, in her fifth straight win, was 1 1/4 lengths over Kinshasa no Kiseki, who tries her again on Sunday. Kinshasa no Kiseki was only two lengths from the winner when he finished 10th in his reappearance in the Grade 3 Ocean Stakes at Nakayama on March 7.

The winner of that race, Urbanity, is seeking his third straight victory this season in the Takamatsunomiya and may have a conditioning edge over Sleepless Night, who is a 5-year-old mare by Kurofune out of the Nureyev mare What Katy Did, herself a daughter of Royal Ascot's 1984 Coronation Stakes winner Katies.