07/24/2007 11:00PM

Take sets Japanese victory record


Yutaka Take became the all-time winningest jockey in Japan Racing Association history on Saturday when he rode Hishi Once More to victory in a six-furlong turf maiden raceat Kokura Racecourse in Kyushu. The win was the 38-year-old Take's 2,944th and surpassed the mark of Yukio Okabe, who retired in 2005 at the age of 56 with 2,943 wins.

Take's achievement is all the more remarkable considering the Japan Racing Association conducts racing on just two days a week, on weekends. His record-setting victory was one of four winners he rode on Saturday. On Sunday, he rode three more winners at Kokura to give him 2,946 victories. Included among those are 245 graded stakes wins.

Take, who rode his rode his first winner in 1987 at the age of 17, has also won 129 races on the local National Association of Racing circuit that runs during the week in Japan, as well as 104 overseas victories, among them seven Group or Grade 1 triumphs. He has been the Japan Racing Association's leading rider in 17 of the last 18 years, but is in a battle for the riding title this year, as he is just third in the standings behind Yasunari Iwata and Katsumi Ando.

The all-time record for victories in Japan is held by Takemi Saseki, who rode 7,151 winners on the National Association of Racing circuit.