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Yutaka Take Ties Arima Kinen Record with Fourth Victory in the Prestigious Race

The legendary jockey rode second favorite Do Deuce to a come-from-behind Arima Kinen triumph to match the winning standard set by Kenichi Ikezoe.



Arima Kinen
Do Deuce, ridden by Yutaka Take, beats Stars on Earth and Christophe Lemaire by a half-length in the 68th running of the Arima Kinen on December 24, 2023, at Nakayama Racecourse in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture. (ⒸSANKEI)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Yutaka Take Ties Arima Kinen Record with Fourth Victory in the Prestigious Race

FUNABASHI, Chiba Prefecture ― With a masterful finish showcasing his wealth of racing experience and unshakeable poise, legendary jockey Yutaka Take guided Do Deuce to a half-length victory in the 68th Arima Kinen on Sunday, December 24.

It was the perfect early Christmas present for Take and his legions of fans. 

He earned a record-tying fourth win in the Japan Racing Association Grade 1 race also known as The Grand Prix. 

In doing so, Take matched Kenichi Ikezoe's mark. The latter claimed Arima Kinen wins in 2009, 2011, 2013 and '18 with Dream Journey, Orfevre (twice) and Blast Onepiece.

At Nakayama Racecourse, before an announced crowd of 53,454, Do Deuce and Take held off Stars on Earth, piloted by Christophe Lemaire, at the wire in an entertaining conclusion that triggered enthusiastic cheers from the crowd. Lemaire won his third Arima Kinen in December 2022 aboard Equinox to tie Take for second place on the Christmastime spectacle's all-time win list.

This time, Take and Heart's Cry-sired Do Deuce had the last word. And by the way, Lemaire's first Arima Kinen triumph was with Heart's Cry in 2005.


Take, who made his pro debut as a jockey in 1987, claimed his first win in the high-profile race in 1990 (Oguri Cap), then won it again in 2006 (Deep Impact). His third Arima Kinen victory came in 2017 with Kitasan Black.

For some context to the 54-year-old Take's longevity in his profession and remarkable success throughout his career, consider the following: Six of the 16 jockeys competing in Sunday's race were born after Take won the Arima Kinen for the first time.

Arima Kinen
Yutaka Take and Do Deuce (center) navigate a path to victory in the 68th Arima Kinen. (ⒸSANKEI)

Arima Kinen Rewind: The Final 200 Meters Determined the Outcome

As is often the case in a thoroughbred race, the closing seconds of Sunday's Arima Kinen were the most crucial time. 

The first 2-plus minutes were the preamble of the pivotal period.

Specifically, the last 200 meters. In that small chunk of space in the 2,500-meter race, Do Deuce competed against Stars on Earth for the top position as the two produced a riveting conclusion. (Watch the race on the JRA's YouTube channel.)

With about 100 meters to go, Titleholder (Kazuo Yokoyama), who had built a commanding lead, slipped behind second favorite Do Deuce and Stars on Earth. 

Titleholder, whose retirement following the race was recently announced, finished one length behind the runner-up. The 5-year-old Duramente progeny completed the final three furlongs in 36.2 seconds, well off the pace set by Do Deuce (34.3 seconds) in that stretch. A retirement ceremony was held for Titleholder later in the day at the racecourse.

Race favorite Justin Palace, a son of Deep Impact guided by Takeshi Yokoyama (Kazuo's younger brother), secured a fourth-place finish with a speedy late charge. Justin Palace finished a head's length after Titleholder.


Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven

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