Animals, Horse, True story

Tomei the Cinderella horse

She was small, unappealing filly who had trainers and prospective buyers dubbing her ’rat horse’. No trainers were willing to take her in, and when she managed to get in, she was tied in small yard outside of the stables. Yet she became one of few mares to win Tenno sho(fall) and Arima Kinen. Her name was, Tomei.

Tomei was born in Hokkaido out of Meiji Hikari mare Toshi Manna by Italian sire Cipriani in May 17, 1966. She was out on market young, yet no one bought her, even with two other horses in the same package. The Breeder finally managed to sell her in a auction. the trainer who was supposed to take Tomei in died, and the other trainers refused to take her in. The owner scurried around, and managed to get her into the training stables. Because of her bad temper, she didn’t have a groom, and was tied in a front yard outside of the stables. No one was expecting anything out of this small ’rat horse’

Tomei was second in her maidan race in August of her second year, and knocked up sixteen wins between the thirty one races she ran until her retirement as a five year old in 1971. The wins included Tenno sho (fall) and Arima Kinen, a notable G1 race. The Tenno sho(fall) was raced at distance of 3200 at the time, and Tomei had mainly raced in a mile race. The betters were doubtful that she could complete at distance on 3200 meters, but Tomei’s jockey said ” well, it’s just that we’ll have to run a mile twice”

Tomei raced to win in Tenno sho, then raced to Arima kinen win at end of the year. She was named a horse of the year in 1971, and was retired. She foaled one graded stakes winner Tenmei, who also won Tenno sho (fall)

Animals, Horse, True story

Mejiro Palmar, the beloved idiot.

He was fourth horse to win spring and fall Grand Prix, yet he was almost never a favorite. Also, he is the only G1 winner in japan who had ran in a steeplechase. He ran away at the pace only idiots would do and sometimes won. his name was, Mejiro palmar.

Mejiro palmar was born in 1987 in Mejiro farm, a distinguished throughbred farm. His sire was Mejiro Eagle and his dam was Gay mercene mare Mejiro fantasy. Mejiro palmar went unnoticed as a foal, as born on the same year was Mejiro McQueen and Mejiro Ryan, who would become the legends of the track.

Mejiro Palmar debuted as a two year old, and until his retirement at age seven, he ran 38 times and won 9 times including a steeplechase race and two G1s. He ran in a steeplechase at age five two times after becoming winless. He was first And second in his two runs in steeplechase, but put back on flats because he was so bad at jumping over the fence.

Then, at age six, Mejiro Palmar was entered in Takarazuka Kinen, the spring Grand Prix. He was ninth favorite, and his owner wasn’t there because no one had expected him to win.

Mejiro palmar ran off and held closers off with bottomless stamina and won by a length. The Hanshin track’s crowd who had been laughing watching Mejiro palmar’s run in the backstretch now had there jaws dropping. His owner watching the event on tv at home was taken by a surprise. Everyone, was surprised about him managing to run off after running in improbable pace.

then Mejiro palmar became winless, nocking up ninth and seventeenth place. The seventeenth place finish, was in Tenno sho(fall), where he ran a idiotic first mile of the race along with Daitaku Helios in 2200meter race. He also had dragged along the favorite Tokai Teio, the Iron Lady Ikuno Dictus, and handsome blond Tosho falco to a pace faster the mile G1 race Yasuda Kinen for the first mile of the race. They all faltered in the stretch, and Mejiro palmar had finished last. But the surprise of this ran was faded by eleventh favorite finishing first

That is why, Mejiro palmar was second to last favorite in Arima kinen, the fall Grand Prix. Tokai teio was the odds on favorite. But, the race turned out to be a race for idiotic duo, Mejiro Palmar and Daitaku Helios. Mejiro McQueen ran off first, with Daitaku Helios on his heels. The crowds laughed as the idiot’s duo blew through the backstretch at improbable pace, more then ten length in front of a horse running in third. Everyone thought that runners in back would catch up, but they were still ten length behind in the final corner. Somehow, Mejiro palmar, who had shrugged off Daitaku Helios held on to the lead, and won the event by a neck.

The track was put in a chaos. Who is he? What happened to Tokai Teio, Rice shower and others? What was that pace? Mejiro Palmar’s jockey patted his neck, and praised his mount as the crowds tried to make sense of everything.

Mejiro palmar didn’t win another race, but finished second in his last race. He was retired to stud, but was not successful, and his only successful foal was a steeplechaser Mejiro Ryden. Mejiro Palmar was loved by fans who had liked his style of running off with a improbable pace and winning. He was, a beloved idiot, a horse fans couldn’t help to love.

Animals, Horse, True story

Meisei Opera, the chestnut arrival.

The chestnut colt passed the finish pole first in 1999 February stakes. His achievements still remains only one to this day. He, Meisei Opera a horse who came from local track in Iwate won a G1 race on a JRA track. He is the only horse who won JRA Race while being registered as NAR horse.

now, let me explain. There is two form of flat racing in japan.

A. Racing at track owned by JRA, usually called centual racing.

B. Race at tracks owned by local areas and prefectures, registered under name of NAR, and usually called local racing.

Racehorses can move from JRA to NAR and visa versa. Super star in Japanese racing, Haiseiko and Oguri Cap came from local tracks, and have won G1s. Difference between Oguri Cap, Haiseiko and Meisei opera is that Oguri Cap and Haiseiko had moved completely from the local tracks to the centual tracks. But Meisei opera was NAR horse, but came to The centual track to race.

usually, horses in local tracks are considered weaker then the horses in centual tracks, and it’s generally true, although it’s not always true for everyone. And one of the exception was Meisei Opera

Meisei opera was born in 1994, and was sired by Grand opera by Ishikari mare Tiramisu. He was small as a foal, but grew big that some said that he should become a JRA horse. His owner decided otherwise, and Meisei Opera debuted as a local horse.

Meisei opera became the best horse in his home track Mizusawa, and second best local horse in the country. In 1999, Meisei Opera was entered in JRA G1, February stakes, a prestigious G1 race for dirt horses in central tracks.

the fans from Iwate cheered with banners and posters for there local star as he, Meisei Opera crossed the line first, beating the central elites. That year, Meisei opera was named the best horse on NAR track.

year later, Meisei opera finished fourth in Feburay stakes, and was retired year after that after continues injuries that have began to plauge the horse. He was later sold to korea to stand as a stallion, and have been successful.

the legend of Mesei Opera still remains. He isn’t the only NAR horse to try for JRA G1 crown, but Meisei Opera is the only horse who have succeeded before or since his victory in Feburary stakes.

Animals, True story

Rice shower – the dark hitman.

He is a antagonist. He was also a protagonist. He is a great side character. He is also the main character. He played heel role. He also played hero’s role. He played all at same time. His name was Rice Shower. He was called the dark Hitman.

Rice shower was born in 1989 in Hokkaido. His sire was Real Shadai, and out of Malzensky mare lilac point. He was a dark bay colt, calm, smart easy to handle horse who gave his hadlers no trouble. Rice shower enterd the gates for the first time as a two year old, and raced up till six, racking up three G1 wins on the way.

When Rice shower was three, on the triple crown trail was ‘cyborg’ Mihono Burbon. The big muscle monster who had been trained up the uphill track in the west had won the first two legs of the triple crown, but  the ‘side character’ Rice shower had lost them to ‘main character’ Mihono Burbon. The last leg of triple crown, the Kikka sho, completed over 3000 meters in Kyoto turned up with Mihono Burbon as the favorite.

Rice shower had stormed pass Mihono Burbon in the strech, and stopped Mihono Burbon’s triple crown bid. The crowd that had turned up to watch Mihono Burbon’s triple crown jeered. Rice shower became the antagonist on his favorite track, Kyoto.

Mejiro McQueen was big gray stallion who had won back to back Tenno sho(spring) completed over 3200 meters in tokyo. He was coming back for another score in the Tenno sho(spring), and the protagonist had the ‘genius’ Yutaka take in the saddle. Meanwhile, the antagonist rice shower was prepped to beat Mejiro McQueen.

the race day came around, and Rice shower was a different horse. He had endured the tough abusive training, and lost 12 kilograms, and didn’t have a milligram of extra meat on him. The goblin that lured underneath rice shower’s skin had awakened, and the horse had the air of the fury of a beast, a air that a predator would have. He was ready to beat up anything in his path, anything including the main character. Someone said, he’s gonna win.

Rice shower stopped Mejiro McQueen’s bid for the three time Tenno Sho(spring) win. But he was unable to become the main character. After his win, Rice shower fell into two year long slump. He was called as a horse that has already ended, a horse that has burned out. Also, rice shower fractured a leg, and was almost retired. He came back anyway, but public’s interest had shifted to younger star Narita Brian.

The race day of Tenno sho(spring) came around, and Rice shower was entered in it for first time since his Tenno sho(spring) win two years ago. Rice shower, recovering from his slump, won the event, in a time two seconds shorter then when he had won in record time two years ago. He might have been slow, but it was a win. The public view of Rice shower shifted. He was becoming a protagonist.

Rice shower came out of the race badly, and it was thought that he would pass his next race, the Takarazuka kinen. But, the fans had voted him as a favorite, and because the Tarakazuka kinen would be completed in Kyoto, Rice shower was entered. It was his first race to start as a main character and a protagonist.

Rice shower tripped and fell down in the final turn splintering his left foreleg. The injury was so bad that he couldn’t be moved, and was euthanized on the spot. His jockey saluted as the horse trailer carried Rice shower’s body away.

Rice shower was a stayer who wins over 3000 meters. As a proof, his G1 wins all comes in over 3000 meter long race. He was a last of the true stayers in Japan. He was a ‘hero’ that beat the superstar Mihono Burbon and Mejiro McQueen from some people’s perspective, or a heel that beat a superstar from someone else’s perspective. He was a side character, a side dish that adds flavor to the main dish. Also, he was the main dish, a Hitman who had fought against his superior enemies. His victory against Mejiro McQueen is a miracle and a nightmare at the same time.

News, True story

Tokai Trick, a racehorse who raced up till age 12.

He was well known. The old worrior fought 63 times through the ten years he raced. He ran through over 150kilometers during his career. He won every graded stakes completed over 3000meters except for Tenno sho(spring). His name was Tokai Trick.

Tokai trick was sired by El Condor Pasa out of Silver Hawk mare Zoonaqua. He debuted as a two year old in 2004, and nocked up nine wins during his ten years in racing, including one G3 race  Diamond stakes, and two G2 races, Hanshin Dai Shouten and Stayers stakes. His Stayers stakes victory came in at age 10, almost eleven. He never got a G1 win, but raced in Tenno sho(spring) for eight years straight, a record that surpasses every horse that ever ran in modern racing in japan. He is the only horse to have ran with two triple crown winners, Deep impact and Orfevre.

Tokai trick was retired in 2014 after getting bad case of sore muscle at age 12. He died in same year, a week before Tenno sho(spring) after breaking his leg while he was being trained to become a pony horse. The old warrior’s presence was missed at the Tenno sho(spring), completed week or so after his death.

Horse, True story

Death of the queen in Dubai, a death of a mare called «queen of the sand»

“Hokuto Vega’s speed is Mona Lisa’s smile, a eternal secret.” The trainer said after the beloved mare’s death, and the quote still represents what Hokuto Vega was.

Hokuto Vega debuted in 1993 as a three year old on dirt. She raced until she was seven. She was good on grass, and won G1 races, but she was brilliant on dirt. She ran off with best of japanese dirt runners from around japan, and old geezers sitting around the track with racing paper was dumbstruck with her speed. She was dubbed Queen of the sand by the fans.

Hokuto Vega blew around dirt tracks in japan, and when she was seven, plans came up to contest in Dubai World Cup, and retire the queen mare. But whole heck of trouble came if bringing the horse to other side of the world, into heat of the dubai. Hokuto Vega was in terrible condition, and her connections decided to scratch the horse.  On the day of the race, the sky poured, and the race was called off. Hokuto Vega managed to recover enough for the race which was delayed.

In the final turn of Dubai World Cup, Hokuto vega fell down, and broke her leg. She was euthanized immidiately, and her jockey admitted that his rough riding might have caused the accident, and his riding is still affected by Hokuto Vega’s death.

Hokuto Vega’s body never returned to japan as problem with the quarantine system, and only her mane lays under the tombstone at the farm where she was born. And after her death, her trainer left the famous quote “Hokuto Vega’s speed is Mona Lisa’s smile, a eternal secret”. In 2011, march 26, on Hokuto Vega’s birthday, Victoire Pisa gave japan it’s first victory in world’s richest race.

Animals, True story

Fuji, the first ever dolphin with a artificial tail

Story of Winter, a dolphin with an artificial tail became famous with her hit movie Dolphin tale in 2011. But winter was not the first to receive a prosthetic tail. The first ever dolphin fitted with an artificial tale lived in Okinawa, Japan. Her name was Fuji.

it was in 2002 when Fuji, a popular, but average dolphin who was a good mother was ailing with mysterius illness which had her tail rotting. To save her, the vets cut off the part where it was rotting, and Fuji lost 75% of her tail and was left unable to swim. She was getting unhealthy after a year of floating and eating and doing nothing,  and her caretakers was set to do something about it.

they first took a mold of Fuji’s tail, and made rubber tail lookalike that fitted over Fuji’s remaining tail. It turned out too big and fragile for Fuji to swim. A scripture scripted life like model of Fuji’s remaining tail, modeling Fuji’s daughter’s tail was made, and tire company Bridgestone started making Fuji’s tail.

Fuji couldn’t swim well if the tail was too soft or too hard. Carbon shafts holding up her tail fail off. The pieces of her broken tail had to be collected each time so other dolphin wouldn’t eat it. Fuji couldn’t be injured with her own artificial tail. Bridgestone and the aquarium had managed to make up the perfect tail possible, and Fuji happily swam through the waters when an accident happened.

One of the trainers was teaching his dolphin to jump at the target he held up. He signaled it, and Fuji,who was swimming in the same pool came out of nowhere, and jumped at the target, nearly touching it,  and broke her tail into bits. The tail(in bits) sent her connection reeling and Bridgestone had there pride broken like Fuji’s tail

now, Fuji’s tail had to be made so Fuji could jump. They improved the rubber. They crafted the carbon shaft with a care. They studied the normal dolphin’s tail, and crafted new tail, a jumpable one for Fuji. Fuji, a dolphin that at once couldn’t move, was able to jump, and move like she used to do.

Fuji lived on in Okinawa with her tail getting improved over time, and died with a liver disease in 2014. Her story was told in japanese move, released in 2007, and she remained a popular attraction at her aquarium until her death at age 45