05/25/2006 11:00PM

Admire Main has potential to wire derby

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The $3 million Tokyo Yushun, or Japanese Derby, at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday will be a highly competitive affair, but one that is unlikely to produce a winner as brilliant as last year's, Deep Impact.

Meisho Samson, the 13-1 winner of the 1 1/4-mile Japanese 2000 Guineas on April 16, is attempting to duplicate the feat of Deep Impact by taking the first two legs of the Japanese Triple Crown. The next four home in the Guineas - Dream Passport, Fusaichi Junk, Admire Moon, and Fusaichi Richard - will all try him again, but another entrant, Admire Main, is a front-running threat who just may be able to lead throughout the derby's 1 1/2 miles.

He did just that over the derby course and distance on April 29 when he won the Grade 2 Aoba Sho, or Japanese Derby Trial, by four lengths. By Sunday Silence out of a mare by Hector Protector, Admire Main led throughout when he won the 1 1/4-mile Mainichi Hai, a Grade 3 at Hanshin on March 25.

Admire Main will break ideally from post 5 in the 18-runner field, just outside the dangerous Toho Alan, who landed the 1 3/8-mile Group 2 Kyoto Shimbun Hai by coming from just off the pace on May 6. If Admire Main and Toho Alan go too fast early on, they could be vulnerable to the late-running Logic, who is stretching out after a fast-closing score in the Grade 1 NHK Mile Cup.