02/21/2011 1:58PM

Transcend eyes World Cup after February Stakes win at Tokyo


Connections of Transcend are angling for an invitation to the Dubai World Cup after the 5-year-old son of Wild Rush led throughout to win the Grade 1, $2.2 million February Stakes at Tokyo on Sunday.

Already invited to the Godolphin Mile on World Cup Night, Transcend prevailed in the one-mile February by 1 1/2 lengths over Furioso as the 5-2 favorite. The winning time for the dirt mile was 1:36.40.

Trained by Takayuki Yasuda and ridden by Shinji Fujita for owner Koji Maeda, Transcend was running for the first time since having won the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 1 Japan Cup Dirt at Hanshin on Dec. 5. Yasuda believes he is better at 1 1/4 miles than a mile and hopes that his impressive victory on Sunday will convince the Emirates Racing Authority that he deserves a spot in the World Cup lineup. In two starts last year going 1 3/16 miles on dirt, Transcend had finished a neck second in the Grade 2 Tokai Stakes in Kyoto, and won the listed Aldebaran Stakes at the same track.

International relations expand

The 1 3/8-mile Takarazuka Kinen has been added to the list of races whose winner will automatically receive a spot in the Breeders’ Cup lineup. The winner of the 1 3/8-mile, Grade 1 turf contest, scheduled this year for June 26 at Hanshin Racecourse near Osaka, will receive an automatic bid to the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5. As part of the new scheme to encourage foreign horses in the Cup, Breeders’ Cup Ltd. will provide the winner of the Takarazuka Kinen entry fees up to $90,000 and provide a travel allowance of $20,000. Recent winners of the Takarazuka Kinen include Deep Impact, Admire Moon, T.M. Opera O and Nakayama Festa, who then finished second in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.


The joint announcement made on Monday by the Japan Racing Association and Breeders’ Cup Ltd. includes a reciprocal arrangement. The Breeders’ Cup Turf winner will receive an automatic invitation to the 1 1/2-mile Japan Cup at Tokyo on Nov. 28. Should that horse finish in the first three in the $5.7 million Japan Cup, it would receive a bonus of up to $1 million. Winners of the Arlington Million, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the Grosser Preis von Baden and the Irish Champion Stakes also receive an automatic invitation to the Japan Cup.