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3 yo. colt Tapit Heavenly Romance
A stakes-winning colt that has challenged his connections with poor starts and occasionally temperamental behavior, Lani exits the Kentucky Derby where he broke slowly and was bumped early, made a move on the far outside and closed to be ninth in what was his North American debut.
Lani, out of Grade 1-winning sire Tapit, was bred in Kentucky but made his first five starts in Japan, debuting at last fall at 1 ¼ miles. He won two races six days apart in November including the one-mile Cattleya Sho Stakes last fall to cap his juvenile season.
He opened 2016 running fifth in the Hyacinth Stakes, also at one mile, Feb. 21 in Japan before traveling to Dubai to compete on the World Cup program at Meydan. There, he overcame another poor start to win the UAE Derby (G2), run at the Preakness distance of 1 3/16 miles, by three-quarters of a length.
Lani has drawn attention for the Japanese style of training, with long gallops on the track mixed with intervals of short, faster sprints. He is looking to be the first horse to win the UAE Derby and the Preakness.