Yasuda Kinen

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The Yasuda Kinen (English: Yasuda Memorial, Japanese and Chinese language: 安田記念) is a Japanese International Grade I Thoroughbred horse race held at the Tokyo Racecourse in Tokyo. Raced annually each June, the Yasuda Kinen is run at a distance of eight furlongs (one mile) on turf and is open to horses three years of age and up. The event was first run in 1951 as the Yasuda Sho in honor of Izaemon Yasuda, the founding chairman of the Japan Racing Association. Following the death of Mr. Yasuda, in 1958 the race name was changed to the Yasuda Kinen.

In 1984 the race was promoted to Grade 1 status and in 1993 it was granted International Grade 1 status. In 2005, the race became the final leg of the Asian Mile Challenge. In addition to the US$1 million first place purse, another US$1 million bonus is given to any horse who wins two legs of the four-race Asian Mile Challenge.

Past winners of the Yasuda Kinen include Oguri Cap and Taiki Shuttle, both Horse of the Year honorees in Japan in 1990 and 1998 respectively. As well, the race has been won by international horses such as the Godolphin 1995 winner Heart Lake, and Fairy King Prawn who in 2000 became the first Hong Kong-trained horse to ever win a Grade I race outside of Hong Kong. In 2006 another Hong Kong-owned champion, Bullish Luck, won the race and earned the Asian Mile Challenge bonus money for winning both the Yasuda Kinen and the Champions Mile in Hong Kong.

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