In a race that featured the first and second place finishers from the Breeders Bowl Classic, the Japan Dirt Cup revealed a new and unexpected star among the ranks of the powerful Lenny stables. While the speedy ZIP FILE jetted out to a lead early, followed by dueling pair COWARD’S PUNCH and NOCONGRATSNEEDED, jockey Z Kentucky had sophomore NUKA DEATHMARCH reserved at midpack. The chasers could not keep up with the impressive ZIP FILE, but NUKA DEATHMARCH moved into second near the top of the stretch and powered by the leader to win by two lengths at 17-1. LOW FIDELITY, denied a sophomore surprise of his own when finishing second in the Classic, bested the rest to come in for the show position. Favorite and Classic victor BIGGEST IMPACT could not sustain his success and was sixth.
The winner, a Hussonet scratch bred who debuted only this year, lacked graded experience other than a nice second in the Grade 2 LA Derby. The big Grade 1 win points to big things to come as an older horse.