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Posted 2024-05-26 10:23:19  
Danon Decile surprises in Japan Derby win

Danon Decile, a surprising ninth pick, emerged as the leading three-year-old by winning this year’s Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby). This victory was a redemption after being sidelined from the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas), the first leg of the Triple Crown, due to lameness. Debuting in October last year, the Epiphaneia colt quickly broke his maiden in his subsequent start and wrapped up his juvenile season with a fourth-place finish in the Kyoto Nisai Stakes (G3, 2000m). He began this season with a win in the Keisei Hai (G3, 2000m) in January but was pulled from the Satsuki Sho just before the race due to a right foreleg issue.

Trainer Shogo Yasuda, who started his training career in 2018, celebrated his first G1 victory in the JRA, marking his tenth graded race win. Jockey Norihiro Yokoyama, achieving his 28th JRA-G1 win, secured his third Derby title, having previously won with Logi Universe in 2009 and One and Only in 2014. At 56, Yokoyama also became the oldest jockey to win a G1 race.

Starting strongly from gate five, Danon Decile initially took the lead before settling in 3-4th position behind Ecoro Walz, who set a slow pace. Positioned strategically along the rails, Danon Decile saved ground and, in the final stretch, surged ahead through an opening on the inside to clinch a two-length victory. Yokoyama commented on the race strategy, noting the favorable slow pace and expressing satisfaction with the decision to skip the Satsuki Sho. He praised Danon Decile’s potential and resilience.

Race favorite Justin Milano recovered from a poor start to settle close to the front but struggled with traffic in the final stretch. Despite breaking free and accelerating 200 meters from the finish, he couldn’t match Danon Decile’s speed, finishing second. Seventh pick Shin Emperor also showed a strong performance, advancing from seventh position and securing third place after overcoming some interference.

This thrilling race highlighted Danon Decile's capabilities and potential for future successes. 

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