Shahryar; came flying through the final 200 meters to win the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) which is the middle leg of the Triple Crown series and just nailed the favorite, Efforia, by a nose at the finish, ending the latter’s undefeated run and putting an end to his Triple Crown hopes.  Shahryar was up in the final yards of the 2,400-meter Tokyo Yushun under Yuichi Fukunaga to defeat 7-10 favorite Efforia by a nose.  Stella Veloce finished 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Shahryar, a colt by Deep Impact; the most successful racehorse and son of 1989 Horse of the Year Sunday Silence and foaled from the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner and female sprint champion Dubai Majesty has won Sunday’s 88th running of the Grade 1 Yokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) at Tokyo Race Course. Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm and racing for the Yoshida family’s Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.  Runner-up Efforia, a colt by Epiphaneia also bred by Northern Farm.  All 17 runners seeking the winner’s share of the US$4.1 million purse were bred in Japan.

The First Leg of the Triple Crown

Efforia, an Epiphaneia colt, was an easy winner in the first leg of the Triple Crown; the Satsuki Sho (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas, G1), April 18 at Nakayama. The victory was sufficiently impressive that he was sent off favorite to win his fifth race without a loss in the Derby. Shahryar, by contrast; entered the Derby with only three previous starts, none of them above the grade 3 level and none beyond 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles). He won at first asking in October at Kyoto, then was put away until Feb. 14, when he reported third in the Kyodo News Hai Tokinominoru Kinen (G3) over the Tokyo course.

Watch Shahryar at the Japanese Derby

This was the first G1 for Shahrayi and third win overall from four starts. He came into the Tokyo Yushun off a G3 win at Hanshin in the Mainichi Hai; having previously finished third to Efforia in a G3 at Tokyo.

Shahryar saved ground much of the way; tracking behind Efforia but then ran into traffic problems rounding the far turn and into the stretch. After altering course in midstretch to find clear sailing, Shahryar flew late to win by the narrowest of margins. It was the first defeat in five starts for Efforia, who won the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) to kick off Japan’s Triple Crown at Nakayama on April 18 in his most recent start.

Immediately after her final victory; she entered in the Fasig-Tipton November mixed sale where Katsumi Yoshida bought her for $1.1 million from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment.

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