Lemon Pop, out of Schumer Bloodstock purchase Unreachable, laid down his claims for an assault on the Breeders’ Cup on Sunday with an impressive win in the Listed $823,000 Listed Mile Championship Nambu Hai at Morioka Racecourse on the National Association of Racing circuit in Japan.
Already a Group 1 winner for Godolphin, Lemon Pop was making his first start since the Golden Shaheen in Dubai back in March and served notice that he might be better than ever by pulling apart the field with a 12-length win over Igniter.
“It’s impossible to be anything other than thrilled with a performance like that,” said Godolphin Japan President Harry Sweeney. “Lemon Pop was outstanding today. We hadn’t really expected him to make the running and there was a very audible murmur from the crowd as he took the lead, somewhat in disbelief. The jockey rode a brilliant race and pulled away easily to win very, very comfortably at the finish.
“It’s not easy to win a Japanese Group 1 race by a distance, so credit to the horse and the trainer. A special thanks must go to our own team in Castle Park, where Lemon Pop has been for about five months since he came back from Dubai.”
He added: “Lemon Pop’s trainer was never really in favour of running him over a mile, even though he has now won two top competitions over the distance, and he certainly showed today that he has no problem with the trip,” said Sweeney. “Certainly, we will be looking at the Champions Cup, with one run beforehand. We will be discussing it intently over the next few days.”
The son of Lemon Drop Kid is out of Unreachable, a daughter of Giant’s Causeway from the family of Danehill who was purchased privately by Chad Schumer as agent for $50,000 after she failed to sell at the 2020 Keeneland January Sale. The mare’s yearling colt by Maclean’s Music made $310,000 at the recent Keeneland September Sale to Irish pinhooker Tom Whitehead.
Also in Japan, two-year-old Ecoro Gaia landed a deserved win when successful by no fewer than eight lengths in a Kyoto maiden on Monday. The Speightstown colt is out of Charge Of Angels, a daughter of Distorted Humor purchased by Chad Schumer for $40,000 at last year’s Keeneland November Sale while in foal to Charlatan.
Meanwhile, the Lannister Holdings-bred Hurry Hurry capped a good run for Schumer Bloodstock graduates when romping in a starter allowance at Keeneland. Now the winner of three races for over $100,000 in earnings, the Accelerate colt is out of $27,000 purchase Grassy Nellie.