Gainesway’s repatriated stallion Empire Maker continues to leave his mark on his former home of Japan, where the sire picked up a trio of 3-year-old maiden winners March 4 in consecutive races at Hanshin Racecourse.
The Hanshin opener, a nine-furlong dirt affair for maiden 3-year-old fillies, resulted in an Empire Maker exacta. Yuichi Odagiri’s homebred Iikoto Bakari, who is trained by Hidetaka Otonashi and was ridden by Fuma Masuwaka, posted a two-length victory over Rosenhain. The winner is out of the stakes-placed Fuji Kiseki (Sunday Silence) mare Wana. Runner-up Rosenhain, out of the Marvelous Sunday (Sunday Silence) mare Marutoku, is half-sister to Japanese One Thousand Guineas (G1) winner Let’s Go Donki.
Smart Dandy gave Empire Maker the daily double, breaking his maiden by a half-length over seven dirt furlongs. Owned by Toru Okawa, trained by Mamoru Ishibashi, and ridden by Hideaki Miyuki, the colt was making his second start. Project Inc. bred Smart Dandy from the winning Mr. Greeley mare Smart Ocean.
Empire Maker’s third consecutive winner came when filly Empire Girl took a nine-furlong dirt test for newcomers by 1½ lengths for owner Suzuko Ota, trainer Yoshito Yahagi, and jockey Futoshi Komaki. Amaba Bokujo bred Empire Girl from the winning Spinning World mare Rose Bow.