JRA Weekend Wrap: Feb. 6-7

TOKYO (TR) – Smart Layer stunned the boys in a race described as ugly, all wrong, and masterful. The 6-year-old closer, and lone mare on the filed, changed tactics and led wire to wire to win the 1,600-meter Tokyo Shimbun Hai G3 by two lengths on Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse, earning 39.5 million yen of the 75.3-million-yen purse. (Video: Smart Layer wins the 11th race at the Tokyo Shumbun Hai on Feb. 7)

None of the favorites finished in the money. Jockey Suguru Hamanaka took an ugly spill in the stretch as he tried to squeeze favorite Dashing Blaze between the rail and Extra End with 300 meters to go. The 4-year-old by Kitten’s Joy hit the rail causing Hamanaka to lose control and bounce off and over the rail. It has been reported that Dashing Blaze is fine, and that Hamanaka, for his risky move, received four fractures to the hand and a 50,000-yen fine.

Second favorite Danon Platina got off to a slow start and jockey Masayoshi Ebina staked out a position on the outside. The 4-year-old colt by Deep Impact made a game effort in the stretch, but the momentum was all with Smart Layer, and the two-time grade race winner had to settle for fifth.

Extra End by Deep Impact, undeterred by the close call with Dashing Blaze, finished second, and outsider Meiner Auroto by Stay Gold took third.

In Kyoto a future star was on display as heavy favorite Satono Diamond blew away the field to win the 1,800-meter Kisaragi Sho by three and a half lengths in a race record 1:46.9.

This was the third race for the 241-million-yen foal out of Malpensa and the third win for the winning cocktail of Deep Impact colt, trainer Yasutoshi Ikee, and jockey Christophe Lemaire.

Satono Diamond broke from the outside gate of the relatively small field of nine and sat well off the pace while On The Rocks led the field for a fairly sedate 35.5 600 meters. Lemaire started inching forward at the beginning of the stretch and broke away at 200 meters to win handily.

It was a family affair as Deep Impact offsprings Les Planches and Leukerbad finished second and third. Satono Diamond earned owner Hajime Satomi just over half the 72.5-million-yen purse. The rest of us got 120 yen for the win.

In other news, Christophe Lemaire picked up five wins over the weekend to put him on top of the jockey leaderboard.

On Saturday Fran Berry, aboard 3-year-old Vanquish Run by Deep Impact, picked up a suspension and had to give up the win in the 7th at Tokyo for drifting into the path of half-bro Laevateinn under Mirco Demuro. However, Berry bowed out in style by winning the 12th at Tokyo on Sunday with 4-year-old colt Blason de Lis by Nobo Jack by 2 1/2 lengths.

Shane Foley picked up his third major win this year in the 9th at Tokyo in the 2,400-meter Hakone Tokubetsu aboard 4-year-old colt Jun Super Hikaru by Falbrav.

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Tokyo Style