Triple Crown-winning trainer Yasutoshi Ikee continued to rewrite the Japan Racing Association’s record books, winning the 144th Tenno-sho with Tosen Jordan in a national record on Sunday.
The Ikee-trained Tosen Jordan shaved more than a full second off the autumn Emperor’s Cup record held by Vodka, crossing the line in 1 minute, 56.1 seconds on firm going at the cavernous Tokyo Racecourse.
Tosen Jordan’s winning time also broke the 2,000-meter Japan record of 1:56.4, set by the anonymous Tsujino Wonder in 2001 at Niigata. The top seven finishers all ran under Vodka’s old Tenno-sho record of 1:57.2.
In front of the JRA’s largest crowd this year of 95,497, seventh choice Tosen Jordan held off second pick Dark Shadow by half a length for the ¥132 million victory. Taking third was sixth favorite Pelusa, the runnerup in last year’s race.
Defending champion Buena Vista, the No. 1 pick in the field of 18, including seven Grade 1 winners, came in fourth.
“I had a lot less pressure this time compared to last week,” said Ikee, who made Orfevre the seventh Triple Crown winner with victory in last week’s Kikka-sho. “Jordan was moving really well in training and judging by his last race, I thought his style would suit us well here.”
Ikee, who won his first Tenno-sho, became only the fourth trainer to win back-to-back Grade 1 races.
The 5-year-old Tosen Jordan, long touted for his potential in an injury-marred career, won his first Grade 1 title. He will next run in the Nov. 27 Japan Cup, which Ikee believes will be an easier race for his horse.