KYOTO — The 64th running of the Kikkasho turned out to be a major fun spoiler Sunday.
It ended in a rumble of disappointment from the stands as Neo Universe, failing in his bid for the Triple Crown, finished in third place nearly a length off the winner, That’s the Plenty.
Lincoln swept past Neo Universe in the final strides to cross the line in second, another slap in the face to a crowd of highly expectant racing fans, looking for the country’s sixth Triple Crown champion, the first in nine years.
Not only did the race fail to produce a series champion, it failed to showcase any of the highly touted “super trio,” Zenno Rob Roy, Sakura President or Neo Universe.
Nonetheless, though not a crowd pleaser, this year’s “Chrysanthemum Prize” was a race well run and the victor a deserving one.
Katsumi Ando gave That’s the Plenty a silken ride from start to finish allowing.
“Until now I’d focused too much on securing my position,” Ando said after the race.
“But today I let him run as he wanted, and he was relaxed and rhythmical. I see now the error of my ways. To be relaxed is what this horse needs above all else.”
The Shadai-owned That’s the Plenty (Dance in the Dark-Bubble Prospector) was bred by Shadai Farm in Chitose, Hokkaido.
The win of the Kikkasho, with a winner’s purse of 112 million yen, brought his earnings to over 248 million yen, his record to 3 for 8.
The classic win was the first group I win for a grandson of the late Sunday Silence. The winning time over the 3,000 meters of turf was 3 minutes, 4.8 seconds.
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