California-bred filly Make Happy remained perfect from two starts when bossing the boys in Saturday's Cattleya Sho at Tokyo, the first scoring race on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. Sent off as the heavy 2-5 favorite, the Kazuko Yoshida color-bearer prevailed by 2 ½ lengths from Godolphin's Kingen.
Make Happy was bred by Reddam Racing, and is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Ralis. J. Paul Reddam also owned Make Happy's sire, Square Eddie, who was on the 2009 Derby trail before injury intervened.
Sold for $650,000 as a 2-year-old in training at Fasig-Tipton's Gulfstream Sale in March, Make Happy romped by 10 lengths in her Oct. 7 debut at Tokyo. That made the Koichi Shinkai trainee the odds-on choice in the Cattleya Sho, held over the same track and metric mile trip.
Make Happy broke well from the far outside post 14, and regular rider Christophe Lemaire eased her a few lengths back as Kentucky-bred Evacuant set the pace. The stalking Johann was the first to pounce in the stretch, but Make Happy emphatically asserted her authority.
By finishing the metric mile in 1:38.3, Make Happy earned 10 points on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. Kingen rallied from farther back in the pack, taking home 4 points as the runner-up. Johann scored 2 points in third, and Romantico got on the board with 1 point for fourth.
According to Blood-Horse, Shadai Farm's Teruya Yoshida said the Kentucky Oaks could be a target in the filly's 3-year-old season.
Road to Kentucky Derby Japan Vol.1
Cattleya Sho 1600m at Tokyo
2yo filly 14. MAKE HAPPY 🇺🇸 (Square Eddie x Silar Rules) won comfortably ridden by Christophe Lemaire🇫🇷
— G (@LongBallToNoOne) November 24, 2018
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.