A Cup Full of Excitement

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Sky Kingdom leads the pack coming around the final turn to win the Tokyo City Cup for the second time.

Sky Kingdom leads the pack coming around the final turn to win the Tokyo City Cup for the second time.

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.”

2012 Miss International World Ikumi Yoshimatsu was on hand, clad in traditional kimono.

2012 Miss International World Ikumi Yoshimatsu was on hand, clad in traditional kimono.

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

L.A. Matsuri Taiko performed both prior to and following the Grade III $100,000 Tokyo City Cup.

L.A. Matsuri Taiko performed both prior to and following the Grade III $100,000 Tokyo City Cup.

Above and below: A noodle soup championship was held at the Ramen Yokocho, in which chefs competed to be named the world ramen champion.

Above and below: A noodle soup championship was held at the Ramen Yokocho, in which chefs competed to be named the world ramen champion.

ramen

A youngster takes a spin on the course set up for pony rides, with some trusty handlers leading the way.

A youngster takes a spin on the course set up for pony rides, with some trusty handlers leading the way.

Lightning McQueen had to make room for some kid contenders on a giant slide, one of the many activities for young visitors.

Lightning McQueen had to make room for some kid contenders on a giant slide, one of the many activities for young visitors.

a booth dedicated to continued assistance for those still affected by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami. Several past Tokyo City Cup participants were from the Tohoku region.

A booth dedicated to continued assistance for those still affected by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami. Several past Tokyo City Cup participants were from the Tohoku region.

Japanese beverages included Kirin beer.

Japanese beverages included Kirin beer.

Above and below: Japanese dishes included takoyaki (octopus balls) from Tanota.

Above and below: Japanese dishes included takoyaki (octopus balls) from Tanota.

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