Japan expands international schedule

The Japan Racing Association has expanded its international stakes schedule to 162 races for 2010.

The JRA began offering more opportunities for foreign horses in 2005, with the goal of gaining Part 1 nation status from the International Cataloguing Standards Committee, allowing Japanese races to carry group and black-type status around the world.

In 2004, only 24 Japanese races were open to foreign horses.  A gradual expansion has been underway since then, and Japan’s international schedule grew to more than 110 races in 2009.  Japan also began accepting license applications last year from foreign owners who want to race in the country on a regular basis.

The 2010 schedule includes 122 group races and 40 others open to foreign horses.  The richest races include the US$3.52 million Japanese Derby on May 30, US$5.87 million Japan Cup on November 28, US$3.05 Japan Cup Dirt on December 5 and $4.22 million Arima Kinen on December 26.