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Success Baekpa Swoops To Win KRA Cup Mile

If there is to be a Triple Crown winner this year, his name will be Success Baekpa after the Min Jang-gi trained colt roared home late to sweep past Nice Time to claim the first jewel, the KRA Cup Mile (1M KOR-G2) at Busan Racecourse on Sunday afternoon.

Last year's champion juvenile Hangang Class was sent off as the odds-on favourite among the thirteen-strong field, but just as in the Busan Classic Trial in February, he was a touch slow coming out of the gate and was always on the backfoot from there on. Ultimately, he did well to run 3rd. 

Seoul's Classic Trial winner Nice Time set the early pace along with second-favourite Wonderful Lear. The latter was quickly beaten but Nice Time stayed on and looked set to go on to score until You Hyun-myung launched 13/1 chance Success Baekpa, who had settled well back in the pack, down the centre of the track to sweep past everything in his path and beat Nice Time by three-quarters of a length on the line.

"The horses drawn in one, two, and three (Hangang Class, Wonderful Lear and Nice Time) were so strong that I would have been very happy even to make it into the top-three, so it is a little unexpected" winning trainer Min Jang-gi told in-house broadcaster KRBC. "I instructed (You Hyun-myung) to follow the leaders from midfield and I think he made good decisions at the right time and was able to win the race."

Accordingly, expectations have changed now for the remainder of the Triple Crown series. "Now that he has successfully passed the first hurdle, there are two races left. This horse can come from behind and pick up speed, so I think that the distances getting longer mean his winning chances increase."

For You Hyun-myung it was a return to the Graded Stakes winning enclosure for the first time since enduring a horrible 2023 when he missed most of the season after two heavy falls resulting in multiple surgeries. 

"It makes it more special because it's my first Grand Prize since returning and my family were here today so I'm even happier" he told KRBC. "I think of winning this race as a new beginning and a reason to work even harder, starting from next week."

You may have to wait a little longer than next week as he picked up a 2-day ban for excessive whip use. Moon Se-young on Nice Time also got a two-day ban for shifting out in the straight.

Success Baekpa is by Purge and out of the 2007 Korean Oaks winner Baekpa (by Revere). She was bred by Kang Seung-youn and was purchased by her owner Lee Jong-hun for $70,000 at the November 2022 Yearling Sale. She moves on to a record of four wins from seven starts – and four in a row.

The second leg of the Triple Crown is the Korean Derby (1 1/8M KOR-G1) at Seoul on Sunday May 12th. Next week, attention shifts to the Sprint Series and the SBS Sports Sprint (6f KOR-G3) at Seoul on Sunday afternoon.

Racing and Sports