American Pharoah conformation

New Japanese Stakes-Winner for American Pharoah

A colt by Triple Crown hero American Pharoah was expected to win the Japan Dirt Derby (2000m) at Ohi Racecourse on Wednesday, but the one that saluted was not the favourite Café Pharoah.

Victory went to the Yoshito Yahagi trained Danon Pharaoh (3c American Pharoah x Crisp, by El Corredor), who strode clear to win by a length and three-quarters while Café Pharoah suffered his first defeat finishing seventh.

Café Pharaoh secured the right of first refusal of Japan's bid to the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby, earning 70 points with wins in the Feb. 23 Hyacinth Stakes and June 21 Unicorn Stakes (G3). Both races were at Tokyo Racecourse at one mile.

Danon Pharaoh scored 40 points with the Japan Dirt Derby victory and is next in line for the bid to Louisville if Café Pharoah's connections should decline the honour.

Danon Pharaoh has won three of eight starts with this victory his first Black Type success.

Foaled in Japan, he is the first winner for US bred Group I Santa Anita Oaks winner Crisp, a daughter of the Mr Greeley stallion El Corredor. He was purchased as a yearling during the Japan Racing Horse Association Sale of Yearlings and Weanlings for the U.S. equivalent of $1,629,000.

Danon Pharaoh is the eighth stakes-winner worldwide for American Pharoah, who returns to Coolmore Australia this spring at a fee of $55,000 and has his first Australian bred runners next season.