Japan's leading jockey to ride at Churchill Downs this weekend [Sports]

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A newcomer is arriving to the Churchill Downs jockey colony for the final weekend of the meet.

Yuichi Fukunaga, a top rider in Japan, is scheduled to ride five races on Saturday’s night racing card. Fukunaga, 35, is also scheduled to ride on Sunday.

After this weekend, Fukunaga will move his tack to California, where he will ride at Betfair Hollywood Park. Jockeys there are competing for opportunities with the absence of top jockey Joel Rosario, who is now riding in New York.

Earlier this month, Fukunaga guided Strong Return to a win in the $2.6 million Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo Racecourse, setting a track record for one mile.

Also on Saturday, Doug O’Neill, trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner I’ll Have Another, will be present to accept engraved Kentucky Derby trophies.

Post time Saturday is 6:30 p.m.

In additional news from Churchill Downs, Thursday’s card was cancelled due to extreme heat. Trackside at Churchill will be open for simulcast wagering with gates opening at 11:30 a.m. Post times for Friday and Sunday were moved to 6:30 p.m. because of the predicted high temperatures. Gates open at 4 p.m.

 

About J.J. Hysell
Horse racing/sports writer involved in sports/news media for 15 years. We miss you Hunter S. Thompson.
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