ARCADIA — The 20th annual Tokyo City Cup was held on Saturday at Santa Anita Park, with corresponding Japan Family Day festivities.
The race is the sole graded stakes race named for a major city outside of the U.S. Santa Anita is the sister thoroughbred race track of TCK Ohi Racetrack in Japan.
Sky Kingdom won the Grade III $100,000 Tokyo City Cup for the second time for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Ridden by Martin Garcia, Sky Kingdom won by 5-3/4 lengths, running 1-1/2 miles in 2:28.90 and paying $7.60, $4.80 and $2.60. The 6-year-old won the race in 2013. He had been idle since losing on Oct. 31.
“They gave him a break but he runs well after some time off,” Garcia said. “He loves this track and he loves this distance. The farther the better for him. He has a long stride and these longer races just make him happy.”
An annual spring event, Japan Family Day celebrates a long partnership between two of the premier tracks in the world with a wide variety of Japanese cultural exhibitions, food booths and travel information on Japan. The day included karate and tea ceremony demonstrations, traditional flower arranging and calligraphy, kendo, origami, anime and stage shows, Japanese folk songs, sumo, Okinawan traditional dance and music and taiko drumming.
Ramen Yokocho, featuring some of the best ramen restaurants from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Japan, served their own signature noodles. This is their second appearance at Japan Family Day.
For the kids, there was plenty to do, from entertainment and games to pony rides and face-painting.
Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo