Japanese Invader a Major Threat in 2019 Pegasus World Cup Turf

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL.–The new $7 million GI Pegasus World Cup Turf S. has attracted a diverse international array of runners and Japanese invader Aerolithe (Jpn) (Kurofune) may be one of the most intriguing of the group as a relatively unknown commodity on these shores.

A three-time group stakes winner in Japan, including the 2017 G1 NHK Mile, the 5-year-old mare has never raced outside her native land. Aerolithe’s journey took a total of 21 hours and 25 minutes, traveling from Tokyo to South Korea to Anchorage to Miami.
When asked how the mare handled the long ship and her new surroundings at Gulfstream, Kate Hunter, Pegasus World Cup field representative and translator for the Japan Racing Association, said. “Absolutely fabulous! She has never traveled this far. She has never traveled internationally, so we weren’t sure how she was going to handle it, but she was a natural.”
Owner Sunday Racing Co. and trainer Takanori Kikuzawa had originally intended to run Aerolithe in the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile Nov. 3, but travel issues derailed those plans.

“The connections had been targeting the Breeder’s Cup Mile and once [The Stronach Group] announced the fact they were going to have this [Pegasus Turf race], they were actually thinking about racing her in both,” Hunter said. “Then airplane trouble happened and they weren’t able to get her to the Breeders’ Cup, but they kept this in mind. We were able to get the airplane sorted this time.”
In her previous races in Japan, Aerolithe has run both clockwise and counter-clockwise, but her team feels counter-clockwise is her preferred direction, making her well-suited for American racing.

Yoshida to Return for 2019 Pegasus Turf

WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, SF Racing and Head of Plains Partners’ Yoshida (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Ire}), a Grade I winner on turf and dirt last year, will return to the grass for his 2019 debut in the Jan. 26 $7-million GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park.

“We debated about whether to run him on the dirt or the turf,” WinStar president and CEO Elliott Walden said Friday. “The nice thing about Yoshida is he’s a Grade I winner on both surfaces. We felt like with Audible (Into Mischief) [also co-owned by WinStar and expected to start over the main track in the GI Pegasus World Cup] being in the other race, this was a good place to start.”

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