10/18/2010 12:24PM

Apapane captures Shuka Sho at Kyoto as Oaks rival ends up last


Apapane and Saint Emilion had finished in a dead heat the last time they met in the Japanese Oaks on May 21, but it was a different story at Kyoto on Sunday as Apapane beat her rival into last place in the Grade 1, $2.1 million Shuka Sho. Sent off as the 1.30-1 favorite and ridden by Masayoshi Ebina, Apapane rallied from 11th place to lead just inside the eighth pole for a three-quarter-length victory over Animate Bio. Her time for the 1 1/4 miles on firm ground was 1:58.40.

In victory, Apapane wins the mythical Japanese fillies' triple crown, as she had also won the Japanese 1000 Guineas this spring.

Saint Emilion, who was running for the first time since the Japanese Oaks, showed nothing in racing at the back of the 18-runner field throughout. She came home 13 3/4 lengths behind the winner.

Animate Bio, who had been fourth in the Japanese Oaks, had beaten Apapane in their mutual return to the races on Sept. 19 at Hanshin when she beat the Oaks dead-heater into fourth in the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 2 Rose Stakes. Trained by Sakae Kuneida, Apapane, the winning daughter of King Kamehameha, was much fitter this time around. The 1 3/8-mile, Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto on Nov. 14 is Apapane’s next likely assignment, although the Japan Cup on Nov. 28 is also a possibility.