Deep Impact continues to dominate the classics as his son, Kizuna, wins the 80th running of the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby). The win gave him his first grade 1 win and his jockey, Yutaka Take, his record 5th Derby win. Take won on Deep Impact in 2005. It was also the first Derby win for trainer, Shozo Sasaki, who bypassed the first leg of the Japan Triple Crown, the Satsuki Sho, and raced intstead in the Kyoto Shimbun Hai (G2, 2200m) which he won by 1 ½ lengths.
The race broke off with Apollo Sonic (Big Brown) and Samson’s Pride (Meisho Samson) rushing out to set the pace, while betting favorite, Kizuna, broke smoothly from gate one and raced towards the rear. As the field stretched out into a long line along the backstretch, Meikei Pega Star (Fuji Kiseki) moved past the frontrunners to take the lead. Second betting choice Logotype (Lohengrin), under new jockey Christian Demuro, settled around 5th from the lead. Peptide Amazon (Agnes Tachyon) and Epiphaneia (Symboli Kris S) traveled in mid-pack. As they entered the homestretch, Apollo Sonic and Meikei Pega Star dueled side by side. The field now spread out wide forcing Epiphaneia to angle wide to the outside where he accelerated strongly to draw even with the leaders. Kizuna, also angled wide, found enough space mid-track displaying an amazing turn of foot, running the last three furlongs the fastest in the field, to overtake Epiphaneia and win by ½ length. Apollo Sonic, who held on well in the homestretch, managed to hold off Peptide Amazon and Logotype for a photo-finish third. Logotype finished another nose behind in fifth.
Kizuna is poised to make an impact on the world stage as he is pointed for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Take said, "He is a wonderful horse. This is my fifth Derby win so it's particularly pleasing. I am very happy to win the Derby with Deep Impact's son. Next, I want to make him be a world champion horse." And with the type of athleticism we witnessed in the Derby, perhaps we will.