Featured News

Keeneland Korea Cup and Sprint

September 8, 2017

Orginal story from: Sky Racing World

On Saturday night 9 September, the United States will make its Korean debut in the sophomore edition of the Korea Autumn Racing Carnival. Bragging rights will be at stake with five US-bred horses, including US-trained Papa Shot, looking to prevail over defending champion Chrysolite (Japan) in the G1 Keeneland Korea Cup at Seoul Racecourse.

Of the five Korea-trained horses participating the Korea Cup, three are US exports, including Shamrocker (Dublin), Dynamic Jilju (Forestry) and Bold Kings (Afleet Express). Hong Kong will also be represented by US-bred Circuit Land (Mizzen Mast) who will be ridden by champion Australian jockey Nash Rawiller.

Meanwhile, the US-bred and trained The Truth or Else will head into the Keeneland Korea Sprint. He will square off against a field of international horses, which include Japan's Graceful Leap and Singapore's Wimbledon. Korea will have 11 runners go to post, six of which are US exports. 2016 Korean Triple Crown winner Power Blade (Menifee), who might have been expected to line up in the Cup rather than the Sprint, is the foremost Korean runner.

The Korean Cup and Sprint are the most prestigious international horse racing events in Korea, not only in terms of the quality of the fields but also the prize money at stake. The Cup is contested over 1m 1/8 on sand and is worth US$885,000. The Sprint challenges horses over 6 furlongs on sand with a purse of US$620,000 waiting at the finish line.

This Saturday night, for the first time, TVG will provide live coverage of the Korea Cup and Sprint in the Americas. Fans can tune into TVG1 at 11:30 pm PT for the Korea Sprint (Seoul race 7) and 12:35 PT for the Korea Cup (Seoul race 8) and watch the US kick off their rivalry with international counterparts Japan, France and Hong Kong.

By sponsoring the Korea Cup and Sprint, the Keeneland Association is deepening a long tradition of friendly ties with the Korean horse racing industry. Many Korean horsemen have, in the past, set their sights on Keeneland for breeding and racing opportunities, with sales made at Keeneland’s premier September Yearling, November Breeding Stock and January Horses of All Ages.

US-bred horses sold to Korea or sent there to compete, raise the standard of racing in the industry. Indeed, the three top ranked horses at Seoul and Busan Racecourses in 2016 hailed from the USA.  But, non-US horses are in no way short of talent to sweep Saturday's showdown. Chrysolite, who led Japan to a 1-2 in the inaugural Korea Cup, will look to once again dominate the race. Japan-bred London Town also made a strong case for himself when he won the G3 Elm Stakes and Saga Kinen earlier this year.

Given that no US trained horses competed in 2016, there will be some pressure on Papa Shot to make his Korean Racing Carnival debut a memorable one. Having already proved his worth on home soil, Papa Shot has won Allowance races and has placed in stakes multiple times. Additionally, US-bred Circuit Land, who will also represent Hong Kong's first appearance in the Cup, has placed in multiple Graded Stakes at Sha Tin and Happy Valley.

As the only US-trained horse in the Keeneland Korea Sprint, The Truth or Else, a 5-year-old Sir Shackleton Stakes winner, will be up against entrants from Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore, most of whom have had a good form this season.

US handicappers can get past performances and race info for the 10-race card from Seoul, featuring the Korea Cup and Sprint, and the 6-race card from Busan, from Sky Racing World.  Wagering and live-streaming are also available via TVG, TwinSpires, Xpressbet, BetAmericaWatchandWagerNYRA Bets, AmWager, and HPIBet.