Second-favorite Justin Milano kept his career record perfect after three races Sunday by winning the 84th running of the 2,000-meter Satuki-sho classic for 3-year-olds.

Third pick Jantar Mantar took the lead after the final corner at Chiba Prefecture's Nakayama Racecourse but was outstripped at the finish. Justin Milano darted down the final stretch alongside Cosmo Kuranda before crossing the wire a neck ahead in a record race time of 1 minute, 57.1 seconds with Jantar Mantar third.

"He was excited at the start but was calm thereafter," jockey Keita Tosaki said after Justin Milano's first Grade 1 victory. "We managed to race at a good rhythm...He overcame many issues that he faced for the first time, which shows his high ability. He's a horse with high potential."

Justin Milano (back) beats Cosmo Kuranda to the wire to win Satsuki-sho at Chiba Prefecture's Nakayama Racecourse near Tokyo on April 14, 2024. (Kyodo)

Tosaki also paid tribute to late jockey Kota Fujioka, who died at 35 on Wednesday, having sustained head and chest injuries from a fall in an April 6 race.

"He had trained (Justin Milano) in the past two weeks and was telling me his condition in detail," Tosaki said. "I think he gave us the push in getting that winning margin at the end, and is feeling happy up there. I want to tell Kota thank you."

The favorite, Regaleira, finished sixth, missing out on becoming the first filly to win the race in 76 years.

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