Fukushima Stakes, Milers Cup & Flora Stakes Recap

The past weekend offered three Graded races at the Japanese tracks. On Saturday, fillies and mares clashed in the G3 Fukushima Stakes, where Another Lyric took the spoils. On Sunday, three-year-old fillies competed in the G2 Flora Stakes, which saw the triumph of Erika Vita in Tokyo Racecourse, upon which Soul Rush confirmed his progress when scoring the G2 Milers Cup in Hanshin

Fukushima Stakes

The G3 turf race for four-year-old fillies and older mares was held at the distance of a mile and a furlong. The field of sixteen participants vied for the purse of 76,800,000 Yen, while it was Another Lyric (59-10) who showed an absolutely superb finish from the rear to score the race in 1m 47.00s.

Under Akihide Tsumura, the four-year-old filly swept all of her rivals and bettered second Kurino Premium by a neck, with Satono Damsel (36-5) coming home in third.

Another Lyric, trained by Toru Hayashi, hasn’t even placed at the Graded scene, still, her performance was quite good on Saturday as she commenced the race at the last but one position, improved it throughout the race to turn for home wide but with lots of space for her finish.

Subsequently, the daughter of Leontes charged for the lead, and even though Kurino Premium showed her most recent Graded victory wasn’t a fluke, Another Lyric held her off. Satono Damsel displayed a fine turn-of-foot to take third place, unlike Ablaze (9-2), whose effort was strongly disappointing when running in ninth. 

Milers Cup

Four-year-old and older horses clashed in this G2 turf race, offering the purse of 114,300,000 Yen. At the distance of a mile, four-year-old Soul Rush (68-10) achieved the fourth win in a row and first at the Graded scene, suggesting to be quite a promising colt for trainer Yasutoshi Ikee as his finish from the rear of the field was breath-taking.

While Ho O Amazon (4-1) and Falconia (63-10) were fighting for the win in the closing stages, Soul Rush just flew by them and scored the race in 1m 33.30s. He bettered second Ho O Amazon by ½ of a length, Falconia finished third.

With a Class 1 win and two Stakes triumphs, Soul Rush looked ready to take on stronger rivals, but under Suguru Hamanaka, he had lots to do when turning for home as the front was far away. However, the son of Rulership dug deep and diligently kept closing on Ho O Amazon and Falconia until he was just ahead of them.

He didn’t succeed by a big margin; still, the jockey put the hands down in the last strides, utterly sure his mount delivered and left both mentioned rivals behind.

Flora Stakes

This G2 turf race welcomed a field of fifteen three-year-old fillies who competed for the purse of 100,500,000 Yen at the distance of a mile and a quarter. The event saw a bit surprising result as Personal High (6-1) made all and looked like a winner in the final stretch; however, Hironobu Tanabe managed to encourage Erika Vita (126-10) to close on her in time to bag the victory by ¾ of a length.

Crossing the wire in 2m 0.40s, she achieved her first Graded win in her third career outing. Personal High had to settle for third place just before outsider Sincere Wish (32-1), also finishing strongly.

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