Horse racing: Fan favorite Efforia wins Arima Kinen
FUNABASHI, Chiba (Kyodo) – Takeshi Yokoyama led Fan Choice No.1 Efforia to victory in the 66th Arima Kinen on Sunday, winning the penultimate Category 1 race on the 2021 Japanese racing calendar with a winning prize of 300 million yen ($ 2.6 million).
The three-year-old colt, winner of this year’s Satsuki-sho and Tenno-sho, completed the 2,500-meter turf race at Nakayama Racecourse in 2 minutes and 32 seconds, crossing line 3 / 4 a step ahead of Deep Bond. Chrono Genesis finished third, 1/2 length ahead.
The defending champion and second-seeded Chrono Genesis, who was due to be retired and bred in 2022, was unable to win the last race of her career. The five-year-old mare is a four-time G1 winner on the JRA circuit.
“(Efforia) did a 120% job when he won the Fall Tenno-sho (October 31), and I couldn’t expect it, but I thought 80-90% would be enough.” , Yokoyama said.
“It was the longest distance we have done together, but he was relaxed when he needed it. We kept a good pace until we got into the home stretch and closed well.”
The Arima Kinen is made up of a peloton which is partially determined by a fan vote and is made up of many of Japan’s leading horses. Tuesday’s Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds on the same track is the last race on the calendar.