Race favorite King Kamehameha ruled supreme in the NHK Mile Cup (Jpn., I) Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse powering to a 5-length win that made the rest of the 18-strong field of 3-year-old colts look like foot soldiers.
The son of Kingmambo out of the Last Tycoon mare Manfath went quickly to the fore from the No. 13 slot before being eased to midfield under the guidance of local hero Katsumi Ando.
Going wide on the turn home, Ando waited until just past the 300-meter mark before giving the go sign, whereupon King Kamehameha responded with tremendous acceleration, took the top almost immediately and ran home unchallenged. His time was a race record 1:32.5, just 0.5 seconds shy of the course record.
Fourth-choice Cosmo Beam finished in second place, with third-pick Meisho Bowler crossing the line in third place 1-3/4 lengths later.
“He gets better every time he races,” a beaming Ando said of King Kamehameha after the race.
“He’s almost too fast and he has fantastic kick. He went to the front almost too soon and I had to bring him back.”
King Kamehameha was bred at Northern Farm in Hayakita, Hokkaido. He is owned by Masato Kaneko.