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
  • 2022 Purse: $300,000
  • 2022 Race Date: Monday, February 20th

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

2021 Hyacinth Stakes Race Results

POSTHORSEJOCKEY / TRAINERWIN / PLACE
2La PerouseChristophe Lemaire / Kazuo Fujisawa¥350 / ¥270
6ProbatioMirco Demuro / Tsuyoshi Tanaka¥2,050
11LadybugManabu Sakai / Yoshihito Kitade¥480
8Takeru PegasusYuga Kawada / Yukihiro Kato
9Gempachi ForzaYutaka Take / Masahiro Horii
1Taisei SluggerShu Ishibashi / Yutaka Takahashi
4BakushinYuichi Fukunaga / Makoto Saito
12Lord StromKohei Matsuyama / Hisashi Shimizu
3Zenno AngeKatsuma Sameshima / Hidekazu Asami
7Hokko KaryuAkihide Tsumura / Katsuichi Nishiura
10Daishin PiscesFuma Matsuwaka / Hideyuki Mori
5KojikunTakuya Kowata / Koji Maki

Exotic Payoffs:

  • Exacta (2-6) Paid: 19,590 JPY
  • Trifecta (2-6-11) Paid: 183,880 JPY

Watch the 2021 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.

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).

The winner of the Hyacinth Stakes 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.

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 is 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 Hyacinth Stakes 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 set as a 40-16-8-4 race from a points perspective, the Hyacinth Stakes still has a large impact on determining the now 4-race series winner, but is not the primary determining factor any longer.

The Hyacinth Stakes is an annual Thoroughbred race that takes place at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan. It is the final leg of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, a special off-shoot of the American prep race circuit which offers a place in the first leg of the Triple Crown to points earners.

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 40-16-8-4 points to the top-four finishers. The Hyacinth Stakes is contested in mid-February and offered 50-20-10-5 points in 2017.

For the 2018 Road to the Kentucky Derby, the Japan circuit has been expanded to include a third race known as the Zen-Nippan Nisai Yushun which will be hosted by Kawasaki Racecourse. All three lges of this prep race series are contested over one mile. The first two legs will now be worth 10-4-2-1 points with the Hyacinth being adjusted to offer 30-12-6-3 derby points.

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


All Time Results for the Hyacinth Stakes Since 2017

YearWinnerJockey / TrainerDistance / Time
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