Yutaka Take-steered Do Deuce wins Japanese Derby

Third-favorite Do Deuce won his second Grade 1 race at the 89th running of the Japanese Derby Sunday, with jockey Yutaka Take extending his record for career derby wins to six.

The 3-year-old colt finished the 2,400-meter turf race at Tokyo Racecourse in a record two minutes and 21.9 seconds, with the 53-year-old Take becoming the oldest winning jockey in the race, which is also known as the Tokyo Yushun.

“It felt electrifying coming around the final corner. I’m over the moon and really happy,” said Take, who last won aboard Kizuna in 2013.

Take held Do Deuce in the middle of the pack until catapulting forward in the final stretch to see off second-favorite Equinox, who also made a late foray, by a neck.

“There’s no better feeling than this. I hope to keep giving my best with Do Deuce, including on the international stage,” Take said.

Seventh-pick Ask Victor More, who led until the last 150 meters, was third, two lengths further back.

The win was trainer Yasuo Tomomichi’s third in the derby and his first in four years.

First prize earned Do Deuce a total of nearly ¥227 million ($1.8 million).

Equinox pushed Do Deuce hard but settled for a second straight runner-up finish after April’s Satsuki-sho, one of Japan’s three triple crown races for 3-year-old colts.

“I had a good response on the straight and thought we had won as we moved outside, but Do Deuce found another gear from there,” jockey Christophe Lemaire said.

“The pace of the race was fast. We had to stay behind more than we were hoping for, and we also started from an outer stall. It couldn’t be helped.”

“He was second but did a good job.”

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