Hyacinth Stakes

Road to the Kentucky Derby > Hyacinth Stakes

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Hyacinth Stakes Race Facts

  • Location: Toyko Racecourse, Tokyo, Japan
  • Inaugural Race: 2003
  • Distance: 1,600 meters (about one mile)
  • Track Type: Left-handed, Dirt
  • Age Qualifications: Three-year-olds
  • 2023 Purse: $300,000
  • 2023 Race Date: Sunday, February 19th

The Hyacinth Stakes is the third race in the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby Prep Races, offering the first five finishers 30-12-9-6-3 points respectively.

2023 Hyacinth Stakes Race Results

3PerriereYuichi Fukunaga / Yoichi Kuroiwa¥210 / ¥120
11Z LienTheo Bachelot / Naohiro Yoshida¥930
12EclogiteRyusei Sakai / Takayuki Yasuda¥760
6Great Sand SeaJoao Moreira / Mitsumasa Nakauchida
8GoraikoYuga Kawada / Koichi Shintani
13DondengaeshiTakuya Ono / Tomohito Ozeki
5Monde PlumeKosei Miura / Takahiro Mizuno
1Tsukai RealMirco Demuro / Yasushi Shono
14Omega TuxedoKeita Tosaki / Mikio Matsunaga
2CrockfordChristophe Lemaire / Noboru Takagi
4Fuji RapunzelYutaka Yoshida / Fumimasa Takahashi
10Sunday FundaySuguru Hamanaka / Hidetaka Otonashi
7Omatsuri OtokoTakeshi Yokoyama / Keizo Ito
9Meta MaxYutaka Take / Hideyuki Mori

Exotic Payoffs:

  • Exacta (3-11) Paid: 5,280 JPY
  • Trifecta (3-11-12) Paid: 111,400 JPY

Watch the 2023 Hyacinth Stakes

History of the Hyacinth Stakes

First run in 2003, the Hyacinth Stakes is the most important of Japan’s early dirt features for 3-year-olds. It carries Listed status, and its winners include the subsequent Japanese grade one dirt winners Success Brocken and Gold Dream.

Tokyo Racecourse is the crown jewel of racing in Japan. Located in Tokyo, the original track was built in 1933. It has been renovated and updated to offer an upscale horse racing experience to its 223,000 guests with luxury suites, premier restaurants and a grandstand that seats 13,750. Two legs of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby are hosted by this illustrious and prestigious track. The first leg of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby is the Cattleya Sho, which runs in November and offered a bounty of 10-4-3-2-1 points to the top-five finishers.

In 2017 the Hyacinth Stakes was made one of the two races in the inaugural Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby, and points were split on a 50-20-10-5, making it more important than the Cattleya Stakes (40-16-8-4) at the time.

For the three-race 2018 series, however, it became all-important. While the Cattleya Stakes and the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun were both 10-4-2-1 races, the Hyacinth was adjusted to a 30-12-6-3 race. This meant the only way the Hyacinth Stakes winner would not automatically earn the Japanese berth in the Derby is if that horse gained no other points and another horse won both the other series races and finished second in the Hyacinth Stakes.

Beginning in 2019, the race became the penultimate race in the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, followed by the Fukuryu Stakes in Late March at Nakayama Racecourse. With the Fukuryu now set as a 40-16-12-8-4 race from a points perspective, the race still has a large impact on determining the now 4-race series winner, but is not the primary determining factor any longer.

The winner of the race has actually never taken part in the Kentucky Derby, despite the system that was put in place in 2017 to encourage entrants from abroad to participate in the Triple Crown. The 2017 winner, Epicharis, was meant to participate in the 2017 Belmont Stakes but was eventually scratched. Epicharis also came second in the UAE Derby, which was another prep race for the Kentucky Derby.

The highest point getter in the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby is offered a spot in the Kentucky Derby. If the connections for that horse decline the offer, it is then offered to the second place finisher in the standings and then the third. Should the top-three point winners from the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby refuse to compete in the Kentucky Derby, then the invitation is withdrawn.

The race was introduced in 2003 with Big Wolf winning the first running. The next winners were Café Olympus (2004), Don Cool (2005), Flamme de Passion (2006), Ferrari Pisa (2007), Success Broken (2008), Kanetoshi Kosho (2009), Birdie Birdie (2010), La Vie en Claire (2011), Fleet Street (2012), Charlie Brave (2013), Ekimae (2014), Golden Barows (2015), Gold Dream (2016) and Epicharis (2017).

The purse of the Hyacinth Stakes is approximately $300,000 USD.

All Time Results for the Hyacinth Stakes Since 2017

YearWinnerJockey / TrainerDistance / Time
2023PerriereYuichi Fukunaga / Yoichi Kuroiwa1600 m / 1.37.2
2022CombustionYuga Kawada / Keizo Ito1600 m / 1:35.3
2021La PerouseChristophe Lemaire / Kazuo Fujisawa1600 m / 1:36.8
2020Cafe PharoahMirco Demuro / Noriyuki Hori1600 m / 1.37.7
2019Oval AceMasayoshi Ebina / Noboru Takagi1600 m / 1:38.6
2018SumahamaYusuki Fujioka / Ryo Takahashi1600 m / 1:38.5
2017EpicharisChristophe Lemaire / Kiyoshi Hagiwara1600 m / 1:37.8