New 3-year-old stakes winner for Empire Maker in Japan

Namura Arashi captures Ako Tokubetsu at Hanshin

Christmas Day racing in Japan presented Gainesway’s repatriated stallion Empire Maker with a new stakes winner as Nobushige Namura’s homebred 3-year-old colt Namura Arashi took the Ako Tokubetsu for 3-year-olds and older over 10 furlongs of Hanshin’s dirt course.

Trained by Tetsuya Meno and ridden by Hideaki Miyuki, Namura Arashi, after fighting Miyuki’s early restraint, settled along the rail and raced ninth behind a moderate pace set by Western Parade and Shiny Beam.

As the 15 runners in the field positioned themselves for the stretch drive, Namura Arashi launched his final challenge with a quick turn of foot. He chiseled away at the re-shuffled leaders, passing Shiny Beam to land the victory by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 2:04.10.

Namura bred Namura Arashi out of Namura Shigeko, a winning homebred daughter of the speedy Mr. Prospector-line representative End Sweep who had stood in Florida before being purchased by the Yoshida family’s Shadai Farm. The mare’s prior produce includes multiple stakes winner Namura Victor (by Zenno Rob Roy), winner of the Grade 3 Antares Stakes.

Namura Arashi is inbred 4×4 to Mr. Prospector through the classic branch of Fappiano, Empire Maker’s grandsire, and through classic-placed Forty Niner, 1987’s U.S. champion juvenile male.