06/25/2010 12:00AM

Buena Vista tackling males at Hanshin


Buena Vista can take the measure of her 16 male opponents in the $2.8 million, Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen at 1 3/8 miles at Hanshin on Sunday. An unlucky second to Dar Re Mi in the 1 1/2-mile Dubai Sheema Classic on March 27, this admirable 4-year-old daughter of Special Week returned to Japan for a sharp score in the Grade 1 Victoria Mile in a display of virtuosity rarely seen on the racetrack these days. Moreover, she beat many of her main Sunday rivals when she won the 1 3/8-mile, Grade 2 Kyoto Kinen in February. Trained by Hiroyoshi Matsuda, Buena Vista is once again expected to unleash her devastating late turn of foot with Norihiro Yokoyama aboard, and should leave the boys toiling in her wake once again.

Buena Vista's task was simplified when her filly rival Red Desire was withdrawn from the race on Thursday after bleeding in a workout. Still, the Takarazuka Kinen field is a competitive one, as it includes last year's winner, Dream Journey, who also won the 1 9/16-mile, Grade 1 Arima Kinen in December, as well as Jaguar Mail, the recent winner of the two-mile, Grade 1 Spring Tenno Sho. Jaguar Mail and Dream Journey, however, were second and third behind Buena Vista in the Kyoto Kinen, suggesting that they have their work cut out for them on Sunday.

Should Buena Vista get the job done at Hanshin on Sunday, her owner Teruya Yoshida of Sunday Racing Co. Ltd. will consider her for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, a race she was ticketed for last year until her second-place finish in the Grade 2 Sapporo Kinen on Aug. 23.