Clear Skies for Deep Sky
On Sunday, 1 June 2008, a jockey by the name of Hirofumi Shii enjoyed a historical victory at the Japan Derby in front of more than a hundred thousand spectators. The Japan Derby is the second leg of the Japanese equivalent of the Triple Crown, and last year Shii guided the first filly (Vodka) in sixty-four years to the winning position. Aboard Deep Sky on Sunday, Shii became the second jockey in the Japanese Racing Association to win a racing event two years in a row.
Deep Sky also secured his position in Japanese horse racing history by being the second horse, after King Kamehameha, to win the first two legs of the Japanese Triple Crown – the NHK Mile Cup and the Japan Derby. Trainer, Mitsugu Kon, could almost not find the words to express his joy over the victory, commenting that he was still getting over the elation and excitement of winning the Mile Cup, and now Deep Sky has chosen to bowl the trainer over for a second time.
Shii told reporters after the race that he had decided from the start to keep his eyes on Black Shell. Also, knowing that the turf on the inside was fairly rough, he was looking for a good place to run. His decision to run on the outside paid off, passing Black Shell and Smile Jack comfortably for the win.
Deep Sky has been giving sound performances, showing his ability and improvement with every horse racing event. So far in his racing career, he has earned over three hundred and fifty million yen, and Kon has mentioned that there is a good possibility that Deep Sky will be looking at competing internationally. Exactly where and when was not discussed by Kon, but his enthusiasm and faith in this magnificent racing extraordinaire is undeniable.
After his spectacular win, through perfect timing and his breathtakingly fast finishing style, it seems that the sky is the limit for Deep Sky. By outclassing and outrunning a field of formidable competitors, he has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with and that he is a three year old with the potential of achieving greatness in the horse racing industry.