05/24/2009 12:00AM

Buena Vista completes Guineas-Oaks double


Buena Vista doubled her classic pleasure at Tokyo on Sunday as she came with her patented late run to nail Red Desire on the line in a thrilling renewal of the $2.4 million Yushun Himba, or Japanese Oaks. The daughter of Special Week thus becomes the 11th filly in history to win both the Japanese 1000 Guineas and the Japanese Oaks.

But the 2-5 Hiroyoshi Matsuda trainee only just got the job done. Even her rider, Katsumi Ando, feared he had left it until too late. Next-to-last at the quarter pole in a field of 17, Buena Vista set sail on the wide outside, ultimately catching the 5-1 Red Desire, who had opened a two-length lead at the sixteenth pole. Her winning time was 2:26.10 on firm ground. With Germinal occupying the third spot, three lengths behind the winner, the Oaks finish was a duplicate of the 1000 Guineas, an indication that Japan has itself a very strong crop of 3-year-old fillies.

Buena Vista's margin of victory over Red Desire in the Guineas had been a half-length, and while she won the Oaks by the narrowest of margins, the style of her victories - closing with a tremendous late rush from far out of it - suggests that she is something out of the ordinary. Her half-brother Admire Aura finished third in the Japanese Derby two years ago and won the 1 3/8-mile Group 2 Kyoto Kinen last year. She may well be up to an eventual challenge of Unrivaled, the Japanese 2000 Guineas winner who will seek his own classic double next Sunday in the Japanese Derby.