Breeders’ Cup 2022 Watch: The White Wonder Filly

A Rare Kind of Filly Dazzles at the RacetrackSodashi won the Victoria Mile [last] Sunday with a closing rally and received an especially loud roar from the fans at Tokyo Racecourse. The cheers did not come exclusively from those who had bet her to win at 5-1. The filly has become a sensation in Japanese horse racing circles because of her color: pure white.

White thoroughbred horses are exceedingly rare: As few as one in 100,000 are considered pure white. To qualify, the horse’s entire coat must be white and cannot have any other colors. Sodashi meets that definition.

Other light-colored horses that you might see at the track are registered as gray (a mixture of black and white hairs) or roan (red or brown and white). Some of these may become whiter as they grow older but still don’t qualify as the rare white horse.

Plenty of gray and roan horses have fared well over the years, including Kentucky Derby winners like Spectacular Bid in 1979, Winning Colors in 1988 and Silver Charm in 1997. But the handful of white horses hadn’t really distinguished themselves until Sodashi came along.

Sodashi is the first white horse in Japan to win a Group One race and, with white horses in other nations just as rare, would have to be considered the best ever of her color.

Recent research has shown that white horses are the product of spontaneous gene mutations. Some of those mutations are dominant, so horses can potentially pass on the white color no matter whom they are mated with…

Watch Sodashi overcome a little bit of traffic issues to finish powerfully and win going away.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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