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There may be no Triple Crown winner, but Success Baekpa confirmed his place on top of the three-year-old ranks with a commanding nine-length victory in the Minister’s Cup (2000M KOR-G2) at Seoul Racecourse on U.S. Saturday night. Added to his win in the KRA Cup Mile and 3rd place in the Korean Derby, Success Baekpa ran out the winner of the Triple Crown series by almost 600 points.

True the task was made somewhat simpler for Success Baekpa at the start when World Dragon, who was set to jump as third favourite in the betting market, reared in the gate, crunching jockey Seo Seung-un into the machine. With the field backed out for a reload neither horse nor jockey was passed fit to race. That left fifteen in the race.

Hangang Class was sent off as the favourite at marginally better than even-money once World Dragon was removed from the pool, but it was outsiders Great Winner and Miracle Marine who set the early pace while Success Baekpa, the 4.5 second favourite sat behind the leaders alongside Nice Time, who began third in the market. 

Into the home straight, jockey You Hyun-myung asked Success Baekpa for an effort and the Purge colt cruised clear, putting the result beyond doubt a full furlong from home. Nice Time crossed the line in 2nd place, a full nine-lengths adrift, while a further four-lengths back, Doctor Kingdom edged out the Derby winner Eunpa Sarang by a nose. 

"I made a few mistakes (in the Korean Derby) but this time we were very well prepared" winning jockey You Hyun-myung told in-house broadcaster KRBC. "The draw didn't really matter and there were no opponents that we were afraid of here. The pace was a little fast, but he showed no signs of fatigue." When quizzed on what was next for the colt, You replied: "The aim is to come back here and win the President's Cup." 

The President's Cup (2000M KOR-G1) is the richest race restricted to Korean bred horses that is age open and Success Baekpa can expect to come up against Global Hit, last year's Minister's Cup winner. This year it will take place on October 13th. Connections may well be tempted by a tilt at the international Korea Cup in early September, although that will be a far harder ask.

Success Baekpa is by Purge and out of the 2007 Korean Oaks winner Baekpa (by Revere). He was bred by Kang Seung-youn and was purchased by her owner Lee Jong-hun for KRW 90 Million at the November 2022 Yearling Sale. He moves on to a record of five wins from nine starts.

In the final standings for the Triple Crown series, Success Baekpa finished on top with 1600 points with Eunpa Sarang in 2nd with 1030. His Minister's Cup runner-up finish saw Nice Time jump up two places to 3rd overall with 700 points.

There is no Stakes action next week in Seoul with the next big race being the Busan Owners' Cup (1600M KOR-G3) on June 30th. The early entries comprise an intriguing mix of stayers and sprinters with Tuhonui Banseok and Eoma Eoma, as well as unbeaten import Sky Wind among twenty-two still in.

Racing and Sports