Equinox Wins Takarazuka Kinen – Equinox once again proved to be the top-ranked thoroughbred in the world by winning the Grade 1, Takarazuka Kinen in Hanshin, Japan, on Sunday. The four-year-old horse came from behind to win by a neck in the USD3.3-million, 1 3/8-mile race. It was the fourth-consecutive Grade 1 race win for Equinox following the 1 1/4-mile Tenno Sho in autumn, Arima Kinen (1 5/16 miles) in winter and the Dubai Sheema Classic (1 1/2 miles) in March. The Kitasan Black colt, who emerged as the champion horse in Japan last year, became the 16th horse to complete the grand-prix double of the Arima Kinen and Tarazuka Kinen. Equinox, a 1-5 favorite by Japanese sports oddsmakers, began the race at 16th place and jockey Christophe Lemaitre let the horse get into the flow and save his strength for an exciting finish.
Equinox surged forward at the far turn and displayed his power run in the homestretch. He was able to sustain his speed and passed his rivals until he took the upperhand with a furlong left in the race. The four-year-old thoroughbred had enough strength to hold off Through Seven Seas at the tape. He finished the race with a time of two minutes and 11.2 seconds. Amazingly, Equinox topped the race without a run-up to the turf. The thoroughbred clocked 22.9, 46.6, 1:11.3, 1:35.7 and 1:59.4 in the early parts of the race before making an attack to the finish.
Five-year-old mare Through Seven Seas, a 55-1 longshot, made her surge round the final turn and closed in on Equinox. Her efforts, however, fell short as she came in second despite coming onto the finish line with the fastest closing speed among the 17 horses. Second favorite Justin Palace (8-1) came in third and 13-1 bet Geraldina ended in fourth. Equinox’s win handed trainer Tetsuya Kimura his fifth Japan Grade 1 win and this was Lemaire’s 45th Grade 1 victory in Japan. It was the jockey’s second Takarazuka Kinen title as he rode Chrono Genesis to victory in 2021 edition of the race.
Equinox Wins Takarazuka Kinen: Two Phil’s edges Bishops Bay to Win Ohio Derby
Kentucky Derby runner-up Two Phil’s lived up to the hype as he won the Grade 3 Ohio Derby on Saturday at the Thistledown. The three-year-old colt of Hard Spun and Mia Torri bested Bishops Bay to pick up his third graded-stakes win. The 8-5 favorite won by 5 3/4 lengths at a time of one minute and 49.60 seconds in the 1 1/8 mile race. Two Phil’s pulled off an impressive finishing kick that helped the horse distance himself from other entries to the finish. It was a far cry from his previous performances where he slowed down in the final parts of the race, costing him a chance to win. Two Phil’s had enough strength to demolish Bishops Bay down the stretch and take home the win. Hayes Strike came from 12 3/4 lengths down at the start of the race to came in third place. He passed Lord Miles and Henry Q, which checked in fourth and fifth, respectively. Timestappin, Agnello’s Dream and Last Cookie completed the race on sixth, seventh and eighth places, respectively.
Experts who concentrate with betting on horseracing expect Two Phil’s to contend in future races, especially in Grade 1 events that will have top horses entered in those races. Two Phil’s, who exudes great tactical speed and ability, is expected to give favored entries a tough time as it has the capacity to win the race. The three-year-old thoroughbred will bring headaches to prominent horses like Kentucky Derby winner Mage and multi-stakes winner Forte in the future events. Picking Two Phil’s and other top horses is a common trend in most horseracing betting sites as they are tried and tested and have high percentage of winning the race. Although this notion is not fool-proof, as some longshots stepped up to the plate and pulled off upsets here and there, picking on the favorites in major stakes races will help online betting aficionados earn more money while enjoying the race live on television or livestream.