The Japan Racing Association has named Gentildonna an overwhelming winner as Horse of the Year for 2012. The JRA Awards ceremony is scheduled for Monday, January 28.
Gentildonna (3f Deep Impact – Donna Blini by Bertolini) garnered 256 votes in a landslide victory over Gold Ship (21) and Orfevre (11). Only four other females have won the title – Tomei (1971), Air Groove (1997), Vodka (2008-09), Buena Vista (2010) – and they were all four years or older.
The Sunday Racing filly was only beaten once in seven starts last year when fourth in the G3 Tulip Sho after being subsequently diagnosed with a fever. Aside from Triple Crown wins in the Oka Sho, Yushun Himba and Shuka Sho, she also landed the G2 Sho Rose and G3 Shinzan Kinen prior to a ground-breaking victory in the G1 Japan Cup.
“It is a great honour to have been named the Horse of the Year,” Sunday Racing’s Shunsuke Yoshida said. “After winning the Fillies Triple Crown, she gave us a fantastic race in the Japan Cup against Orfevre and made it the ultimate three-year-old season.
“I hope her performances this year, both at home and abroad, will be fitting of her title of Horse of the Year. And, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all, especially the racing fans.”
Gentildonna is by Shadai Stallion Station superstar Deep Impact and her dam Donna Blini won the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes and G2 Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket in 2005. The Yoshida family paid 500,000 guineas for the mare at the 2006 Tattersalls December Sale.