April 23, 2024

Chrono Genesis earns BC Turf spot in Takarazuka Kinen romp

Chrono Genesis
Chrono Genesis with Yuichi Kitamura won Takarazuka Kinen (Copyright Japan Racing Association)

A rain-affected Hanshin played right into the hands of Chrono Genesis as the 3-1 second choice spread-eagled the field in Sunday’s Takarazuka Kinen (G1). Romping by a stakes-record six lengths, the Sunday Racing Co. colorbearer earned herself a spot in two major international events – Australia’s Cox Plate (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Keeneland.

Connections will have to choose between those options, as the Cox Plate (with its A$1 million bonus) is Oct. 24 and the Breeders’ Cup Turf is Nov. 7, not to mention the alternative of staying home. Last year’s Takarazuka Kinen heroine, Lys Gracieux, opted for the Cox Plate and scored a terrific victory at Moonee Valley.

The second straight distaff star to defeat males here, Chrono Genesis had scored her two biggest wins on courses with give in the ground at Kyoto. The daughter of Bago captured the third jewel of Japan’s Fillies’ Triple Crown, the Oct. 13 Shuka Sho (G1), on good going, and added the Feb. 16 Kyoto Kinen (G2) on yielding. She’s capable in quicker conditions too, with placings in the 2018 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1), last year’s Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1) and Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1), as well as the April 5 Osaka Hai (G1) in her latest.

But the rain likely undercut her main rivals on Sunday. Saturnalia, the 7-5 favorite who had yet to race on anything other than firm, lacked his usual kick in fourth. Lucky Lilac, who’d just edged Chrono Genesis in the Osaka Hai, was one-paced in sixth, while Blast Onepiece and Glory Vase were never involved in 16th and 17th of 18.

Breaking from post 16 with Yuichi Kitamura, Chrono Genesis covered more ground throughout the about 1 3/8-mile test. The gray was settled just about halfway down the field early before smoothly circling forward on the final turn. In comparison, most of the others were being asked to pick up.

Lucky Lilac picked up the baton from pacesetter Tosen Surya and Wagnerian entering the stretch, but Chrono Genesis was already lapped alongside. While Lucky Lilac could lift no more, Chrono Genesis had barely begun her move, and the outcome was clear.

Pulling away in a few strides, Chrono Genesis turned an otherwise competitive Grand Prix into a lopsided affair. The Takashi Saito trainee recorded a field-best final 3 furlongs in :36.3 en route to clocking 2:13.5.

Kiseki, who got off a beat slow, stayed on to take runner-up honors for the second year in a row. There was a five-length gap back to longshot Mozu Bello in an improbable third.

“The filly broke smoothly,” Kitamura recapped, “and we were able to travel in good rhythm in good striking position. I didn’t really have to urge her to go but she just went spontaneously. She was responding really well so I knew that she will stretch well in the lane. She has become a powerful filly and was in very good condition. She was really strong.”

Chrono Genesis has compiled a mark of 11-6-2-2. The Northern Farm-bred filly won her first two starts, a Kokura newcomers’ race and the Ivy S. at Tokyo, and just missed in the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies. She opened her sophomore campaign with a victory in the Daily Hai Queen Cup (G3) back at Tokyo, and competed well in the first two fillies’ classics before breaking through in the Shuka Sho. Her only unplaced effort was a fifth behind Lucky Lilac in the Nov. 10 Queen Elizabeth Cup (G1) at Kyoto. She’s a neck away from being unbeaten this term, but for the length of Lucky Lilac’s neck in the Osaka Hai.

Out of the Kurofune mare Chronologist, Chrono Genesis is a half-sister to last year’s Victoria Mile (G1) queen Normcore, who was third to Almond Eye in her May 17 title defense and most recently fourth in the Yasuda Kinen (G1). Their second dam, the Sunday Silence mare In This Unison, is a full sister to multiple stakes scorer and classic-placed Fusaichi Airedale, herself the dam of champion Fusaichi Richard. Since Fusaichi Richard is also by Kurofune, he is a close relative of Chronologist.