Isla Bonita captures first jewel of Triple Crown

Kyodo

Second favorite Isla Bonita won the 74th running of the Satsuki-sho on Sunday at Nakayama Racecourse.

Isla Bonita, with Masayoshi Ebina holding the reins, covered the 2,000 meters over turf in 1 minute, 59.6 seconds to capture its first GI race and beat favorite To the World by 1¼ lengths. Win Full Bloom was third.

The Satsuki-sho, also known as the Japanese 2,000 Guineas, is the first race of Japan’s Triple Crown. The next jewel in the Triple Crown is the June 1 Japanese Derby with the finale being the Kikka-sho, which will be run on Oct. 26.

“I think he will be able to really show his stuff in the next race (the Derby),” Ebina said.