NAGOYA – Hong Kong Sprint and Sprinters Stakes champion Lord Kanaloa won the Takamatsunomiya Kinen in dominant fashion Sunday, becoming the first Japanese horse to capture three Grade 1 sprint titles.
The 5-year-old Lord Kanaloa went off as the overwhelming favorite in a field of 17 at Chukyo Racecourse, where he shattered the course record to win in 1 minute, 8.1 seconds over the 1,200 meters on firm going.
Second choice favorite Dream Valentino came in second a length and a quarter behind. Pacesetter and long-shot Hakusan Moon was third.
The Takayuki Yasuda-trained Lord Kanaloa now has an impressive 10 wins in 15 starts, never having finished under third in his career.
“I’m convinced he’s No. 1 in the world, not just in Japan,” jockey Yasunari Iwata said of his mount, who also became the first Japanese horse to win the Hong Kong Sprint in December.
“We’re in a position where we’re not allowed to lose anymore. I’m just trying to savor each and every race I have with him,” he said.