The musical chairs game among jockeys during the Triple Crown season here, which features the filly Rachel Alexandra, has a parallel in Korea, too, where the filly Sangseung Ilro won the Korean Derby May 17 to snatch the second leg of the Korean Triple Crown. Japanese jockey Eiki Nishimura won the first leg of the Korean Triple Crown — the KRA Cup Mile — aboard Sangseung Ilro (Concept Win — Ms. Whiskey, by Whiskey Wisdom) on April 5 at Busan Race Park over 1600 meters. Click here to read the account from Gyongmaman from his Horse Racing in Korea blog.
However, for the 1800-meter Korean Derby at Seoul Race Park, Nishimura was replaced by Korean rider Jo Sung Gon. The filly won, anyway, by five lengths, to become the fifth of her sex to win the race. Click here for the Derby recap.
Gyongmaman wrote in a May 16 post, one day before the Derby: “The one sour note that hovers above this Derby is that Eiki Nishimura, the jockey who guided her to that victory, will not be with her amid suspicions that the idea of an overseas rider landing a Triple Crown is too much to take for some on the backstretches of Seoul and Busan.”
No such ex-colonial intrigue surrounding Calvin Borel, who had an inspired ride on Mine That Bird in the Derby, then switched to Rachel Alexandra to take the Preakness. He just picked the best horse for each race.