FUNABASHI, Chiba Pref. (Kyodo) Second pick Seiun Wonder held off a hard-charging Fifth Petal by a head to win the Asahi Cup Futurity Stakes on Sunday.
Seiun Wonder pulled out of the pack heading down the stretch and went on to give both jockey Yasunari Iwata and trainer Masazo Ryoke their first victories in the Grade One race for 2-year-olds.
Seiun Wonder covered the mile in 1 minute, 35.1 seconds and earned ¥63 million in prize money in his third win in four career starts. He won the Grade-Three Niigata 2-year-old Stakes in his last start on Sept. 7, his only previous victory in graded races.
“Seiun Wonder was too eager because he hadn’t had a race for a while, but he was calm once the race began,” Iwata said. “In the final straight, I took him inside as planned. I believe this horse will get even better.”
Top favorite and U.S.-bread Break Run Out settled for third, ridden by Yutaka Take, who returned from a broken arm suffered on a spill in a race on Nov. 23. Seiun Wonder paid out ¥540 on a ¥100 wager.
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