06/02/2013 1:23PM

Tokyo Racecourse: Lord Kanaloa takes Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen

Courtesy of Hong Kong Jockey Club
Lord Kanaloa, ridden by Yasunari Iwata, scores in the Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday.

Lord Kanaloa, who has dominated sprints in Japan and Hong Kong since last fall, stretched his speed to a mile with a win in Sunday’s $2.06 million Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo Racecourse.

Sent off as the 3-1 favorite in the field of 18, Lord Kanaloa rallied wide under jockey Yasunari Iwata to take the lead in the final furlong. Lord Kanaloa held off a late threat from Shonan Mighty to win the Grade 1 race by a neck in 1:31.50. Danon Shark, a 36-1 outsider, was third.

Lord Kanaloa ran erratically late, but Iwata said that was not a major concern.

“My horse drifted out at one point, and I would have liked to have given him a clean ride, but I couldn’t risk [him] losing momentum, as he tends to get a little lost when he leads on his own,” Iwata said. “He had plenty in the tank and stretched even more in the last strides.”

A 5-year-old horse by King Kamehameha, Lord Kanaloa has won five consecutive races, all graded or group stakes. He won the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin last December and could be bound for that track again this fall for the Hong Kong Mile, according to trainer Yasuda Takayuki.

In his career, Lord Kanaloa has won 11 of 16 starts for Lord Horse Club. Takayuki said Lord Kanaloa will be rested until the fall, when Grade 1 Japanese races such as the Sprinters’ Stakes on Sept. 29 or the Mile Championship on Nov. 17 will be considered in advance of a possible trip to Hong Kong.