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While the COVID-19 pandemic has halted almost all sporting events in Japan, horse racing has been the rare exception. The races, of course, have been held under very strict guidelines, but the Japan Racing Association has thus far avoided any cancellations.

The JRA has held its events behind closed doors since Feb. 29. Even Grade I races such as the Spring Tenno Sho, NHK Mile Cup, Victoria Mile and the Oaks, all of which regularly draw thousands of fans, were run on empty racecourses. The Japanese Derby, another GI race, will join that group on Sunday.

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