12/05/2010 3:31PM

Transcend captures Japan Cup Dirt

Email

Transcend, capitalizing on the absence of several of Japan’s leading dirt horses, held off Glorious Noah by a neck to win Sunday’s $3 million, Grade 1 Japan Cup Dirt at Hanshin Racecourse.

A 4-year-old son of Wild Rush, the winner of the 1998 Metropolitan Handicap and Carter Handicap, Transcend covered about 1 1/8 miles over a track rated good in 1:48.90 as the favorite in a field of 16 runners. He prepped for the race by winning the Grade 3 Miyako Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.

Shinji Fujita rode the winner for trainer Takayuki Yasuda, 57, who earned his first Grade 1 triumph.

The runner-up, Glorious Noah, finished 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Admire Subaru.

La Verita, the only American-bred horse in a field composed of all Japanese-based horses, finished seventh. The 8-year-old Vermillion, who won this race in 2007, wound up 14th.

Transcend’s task was made easier by the absence of several major Japanese stars, including last year’s Japan Cup Dirt winner Epsoir City, who most recently finished 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.