Kitasan Black Repeats As Japan’s Horse Of The Year

Kitasan Black drew 287 out of 290 votes to win The Japan Racing Association’s (JRA) Horse of the Year award again with another outstanding season that included victories in the Osaka Hai, the Tenno Sho (Spring), the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Arima Kinen. He becomes the ninth horse in JRA history, the first since Gentildonna (2012, 2014) to win two Horse of the Year titles and the seventh to win consecutively—the last being Vodka in 2008 and 2009. The annual JRA Awards, which will be handed out in a ceremony at Prince Park Tower Tokyo on Monday, January 29, recognize horses, trainers, jockeys, and other individuals and organizations for outstanding performances or achievements in the thoroughbred racing season.

Kitasan Black was also named Best Older Colt or Horse for the consecutive year with full votes. Best Two-Year-Old Filly Lucky Lilac was the only other unanimous choice while Best Three-Year-Old Colt Rey de Oro and Best Steeplechase Horse Oju Chosan were each just one vote short. Best Two-Year-Old Colt Danon Premium, Best Sprinter or Miler Red Falx and Best Dirt Horse Gold Dream also collected more than 90% of 290 maximum votes. Vivlos won the Best Older Filly or Mare title with 194 votes while Soul Stirring won the Best Three-Year-Old Filly with 162, 42 votes over the runner-up.

2017 JRA Awards – Full Bios

JRA Best Trainer Awards are presented for Races Won, Winning Average, Money Earned and Training Technique based on JRA races and designated NAR and overseas races. Yasutoshi Ikee won his second Best Trainer title for Races Won and fourth for Money Earned. Mitsumasa Nakauchida won his first JRA Award title for Winning Average since opening his yard in 2014. Noriyuki Hori won his second and consecutive title for Training Technique.

Best Jockey Awards are presented for Races Won, Money Earned, Winning Average, Steeplechase and Newcomer based on accomplishments in JRA races alone. Christophe Lemaire claimed his first titles for Races Won and Most Valuable Jockey, the latter determined by points earned for wins, earnings, winning average and rides in JRA, designated-NAR and overseas races combined. The French native also won his second consecutive title for Money Earned.Mirco Demuro won the title for Winning Average while Shinichi Ishigami turned in another stellar season to stamp his claim as the Best Steeplechase Jockey for the second consecutive year. No one was eligible for the Best Jockey (Newcomer) title because no jockey who debuted in 2017 was able to score the required minimum 30 wins.

The Equine Culture Award was presented to Tamsin Pickeral (author), Astrid Harrisson (photographer), Fumi Kawagishi (translator) and X-Knowledge Co., Ltd. (publisher) for their pictorial book “Sekai de Ichiban Utsukushii Uma no Zukan” (The Majesty of the Horse: An Illustrated History).

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