Race favorite Danon Fantasy measured up to the expectations of her fans by showing a powerful late charge from toward the rear to claim this year’s Hanshin Juvenile Fillies and extended her winning streak to three.
While succumbing to second in her debut start to Gran Alegria who subsequently claimed a graded victory against male contenders, the daughter of Deep Impact broke her maiden in her second start in September and came off her first graded win in the Fantasy Stakes (G3, 1,400m) in November.
She is the second filly to claim both the Fantasy Stakes and the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies following Peace of World in 2002. This win marks trainer Mitsumasa Nakauchida’s second JRA-G1 win following last year’s Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes title with Danon Premium. He has scored seven wins out of 12 graded races for two-year-olds. For jockey Cristian Demuro, this is his third JRA-G1 title following his win in last year’s Hopeful Stakes with Time Flyer.
Making a clean break from stall 13, Danon Fantasy was eased back and settled comfortably toward the rear, third from last.
The Deep Impact filly took a wide route turning the last corner and, though briefly caught between horses entering the lane, produced an impressive burst of speed in the stretch to take command 100 meters out. With Chrono Genesis challenging strongly on the outside, Danon Fantasy found another gear in her last strides to cross the wire in front.
“The filly was relaxed and when I saw the second favorite come outside us after the fourth corner, I told her it’s time to go, we have to fight, and she responded really well. She responds very quickly and has a very good turn of foot. She’s a good horse and I think she will have a very good chance in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) next year,” commented Cristian Demuro.
Second pick Chrono Genesis, who was forced to race second from last after a poor break, tagged behind Danon Fantasy throughout the race. The daughter of Bago dueled strongly with the eventual winner in the homestretch, traveling the fastest in the last three furlongs, but finished 1/2 a length short in second.
Fourth choice Beach Samba sat in mid-division, around 11th from the front, and surged out behind Danon Fantasy and Chrono Genesis as they broke loose from the pack. Though unable to reach the top two, Kurofune’s filly stayed on strongly to finish third.
4th: (4) Schon Glanz—ran inside winner in 15th, switched to outside, accelerated in last 100m
5th: (3) Pourville—saved ground in 5th, met traffic 250m out, switched to outside, showed effort
6th: (5) Meisho Shobu—chased leader in 2nd, took lead at early stretch, weakened in last 100m
7th: (10) Tanino Mission—traveled in 12th, showed brief effort inside, never threaten
8th: (14) Savoir Aimer—ran in 14th, lacked needed kick at straight, never a threat
9th: (12) Red Anemos—raced in 8th, passed tired rivals, unable to reach contention
10th: (17) Tolochenaz—settled 2nd from rear, passed tired rivals along rails
11th: (18) Meisho Keimei—traveled 4-wide in 10th, quickened briefly, outrun in last 200m
12th: (15) Rosen Krieger—sat 4-wide in 6th, faded after 200m marker
13th: (7) Win Zenobia—raced 3-wide in 7th, never fired and dropped back at stretch
14th: (8) Love Me Fine—advanced to 3rd, raced 3-wide, ran gamely until furlong pole
15th: (16) Glacier—traveled 3-wide in 13th, lacked needed kick at straight
16th: (2) Jodie—hugged rails around 9th, failed to find clear path at stretch
17th: (1) Belles Soeurs—set pace, faded after top of stretch
18th: (6) Star Quartz—positioned in 4th, met traffic 300m out, lost momentum