By Emily Shields
17 horses will run in the US$2.1 million Victoria Mile (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday, May 17, which is late in the evening Saturday, May 16 on the West Coast of the United States.
The race features the return of superstar Almond Eye, a six-time Grade 1 winner who took last year’s Dubai Turf, and Tenno Sho, as well as the 2018 Japan Cup. She traveled all the way to Dubai for the 2020 carnival meeting, which was canceled at the last minute.
Almond Eye unexpectedly ran poorly in the Arima Kinen at the end of last year, but on her best day is one of the best horses in the world with an astounding closing kick. Sakae Kunieda trains the daughter of Lord Kanaloa, who will be ridden by Christophe Lemaire.
Loves Only You, who won the Japanese Oaks last year, will also be making her 2020 debut. She was third in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup last November, and has won four of her five starts. She is a daughter of Deep Impact who will be ridden by Micro Demuro.
Normcore is trying to become the third horse to win the race in consecutive years. She has won over this mile distance three times, including twice on the track. The gray daughter of Harbinger has won five of her 11 starts, but was off the board sprinting in her 2020 debut.
Danon Fantasy was a Grade 1 winner in 2018 and a multiple Grade 2 winner last year, including the Tulip Sho at Hanshin. The Deep Impact mare has won half her 10 starts, and will be ridden by Japan’s leading rider Yuga Kawada.
Primo Scene, Scarlet Color, and Sound Chiara make up some of the other top entrants in the race for fillies and mares, which will award just under $1 million to the winner. Watch and wager on Japanese racing with TVG.
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