August 11, 2022

Songline prevails in Breeders’ Cup WAYI Yasuda Kinen

Songline (no. 13) collars Salios as Schnell Meister (no. 9) surges in the Yasuda Kinen (Photo by Tomoya Moriuchi/Horsephotos.com)

Songline could have the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on her itinerary after prevailing in a thrilling finish in Sunday’s “Win and You’re In” Yasuda Kinen (G1) at Tokyo. The daughter of Kizuna was scoring her first Grade 1 title, but third notable victory over males, having captured last fall’s Fuji (G2) and the 1351 Turf Sprint (G3) on Saudi Cup Day.

Moreover, Songline had just missed in the 2021 NHK Mile Cup (G1) at this track and trip, where Schnell Meister denied her in a photo. On Sunday, she had the pleasure of returning the favor, edging Schnell Meister to top the Sunday Racing Co. exacta.

Most recently a belated fifth to Sodashi in the Victoria Mile (G1), a Filly & Mare Turf (G1) “Win and You’re In” on May 15, Songline launched a better-timed move here. The 7-1 fourth choice broke from post 13, compared to her inside draw last time, and jockey Kenichi Ikezoe had clear sailing on the outside. The same couldn’t be said for Schnell Meister, the 3.90-1 second choice, who lost position early when tapping on the brakes in tight quarters.

Meanwhile, Ho O Amazon won the battle for the early lead, and Danon the Kid advanced into a stalking second. Cafe Pharoah (G1), two-time winner of the February (G1) on dirt, raced in a handy spot on the inside, but couldn’t keep pace down the stretch. By that point, Danon the Kid took charge, with Fine Rouge a stubborn presence on his inner flank. Neither could hold off the array of closers descending wider out.

Salios was motoring into contention, only to have Songline range up to collar him. Then Schnell Meister, who had been drafting behind Salios, saw daylight. Surging through the gap that opened to the inside of Salios, Schneill Meister joined the fray in the final yards.

But Songline was finishing too strongly herself. A neck up on the wire, the Toru Hayashi trainee negotiated the metric mile on firm turf in 1:32.3.

“I’m just relieved and happy that I was able to live up to the team’s expectations,” Ikezoe said. “It was a tight schedule for the filly (after the Victoria Mile) but the staff at the stables prepared her remarkably.

“She broke well and I decided to settle her behind Salios who rushed up in front of us. Trying not to make the same mistake as last time, we made an early bid before the last corner and she responded well and stretched all the way for a strong finish.”

Schnell Meister, rebounding from a flop in the Dubai Turf (G1) on World Cup night, headed Salios for runner-up honors. Serifos, the lone sophomore in the field, was also part of the blanket finish another half-length back in fourth.

Fifth-placer Fine Rouge nipped Danon the Kid, who was swamped late and relegated to fifth. Next came Air Lolonois, 7-2 favorite Elusive Panther, Naran Huleg, Lotus Land, Resistencia, Ho O Amazon, Soul Rush, Diatonic, Dubai Turf near-misser Vin de Garde, Karate, Cafe Pharoah, and Catedral.

Songline’s resume now reads 11-5-2-1. In addition to her high-profile results mentioned above, she earned her initial stakes win in the 2021 Kobai S. at Chukyo and placed third in last summer’s Sekiya Kinen (G3) at Niigata.

Bred by Northern Farm in Japan, Songline is out of the Symboli Kris S mare Luminous Parade. Her pedigree sports 3×4 inbreeding to Sunday Silence, via two of his champion sons: sire Kizuna is a son of the great Deep Impact, and Songline’s second dam is by unbeaten Agnes Tachyon.

This is the further family of globetrotter Deirdre, a Japanese fillies’ classic winner who landed the Nassau (G1) at Glorious Goodwood; champion Logi Universe, hero of the 2009 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby); European classic-placed Kingfisher and Furner’s Green; and Group 2 star High Definition, runner-up in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1) and Coronation Cup (G1) in his last pair.

Songline’s fourth dam is the classic-winning champion Sonic Lady, who was out of luck in her two Breeders’ Cup Mile attempts as the favorite. Seventh in 1986 at Santa Anita, she was third to the dazzling Miesque in the 1987 edition at old Hollywood Park.