Roger Barows claimed his first Group One with a bang taking his total career earnings to US$2.4m
The Deep Impact colt, was first to cross the wire in the Gr.1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) last weekend.
The three favorites Danon Kingly, Velox, and Gr.1 Satsuki Sho 2019 (Japanese Two Thousand Guineas) winning Saturnalia finished in that order behind the winner.
Lion Lion seized the lead right out of the gate and opened a huge advantage down the backstretch, clipping off quick early fractions. Roger Barows, with Suguru Hamanaka in the irons, raced second, well clear of the others, after starting smoothly from gate 1.
The effects of the early sprint and the uphill stretch climb quickly caught up with Lion Lion, who faded to finish 15th in the field of 18 sophomores, and Roger Barows inherited the lead 400 meters out. Satsuki Sho third Danon Kingly, another by Deep Impact, closed quickly, but Roger Barows held on gamely to win by a neck.
While Roger Barows is a newcomer to the top ranks, his connections are not. Trainer Katsuhiko Sumii won the Tokyo Yushun in 2007 with the champion filly Vodka and also trains Saturnalia. It was the first Derby win for Hamanaka but his ninth at the grade 1 level.
Before the race, assistant trainer Yasuyuki Tsujino chalked up the seventh-place finish in the Spring Stakes to the effects of travel to Nakayama and basically laid out the scenario that would see Roger Barows to victory at Tokyo.