05/21/2005 11:00PM

Cesario takes Japanese Oaks

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Cesario came with her usual late run to win the $2.1 million Yushun Himba, or Japanese Oaks, at Tokyo on Sunday with a narrow neck victory over Air Messiah.

Sent off as the 1-2 choice in a field of 18 fillies going 1 1/2 miles, Cesario in victory was paying a big compliment to Rhein Kraft, the filly who had ended her undefeated record by a neck in the Japanese 2000 Guineas on April 10 and who later defeated colts in the Grade 1 NHK Mile Cup.

Trained by Katsuhiko Sumii for U. Carrot Farm and bred by Northern Farm, Cesario was timed for the 12 furlongs in 2:28.80. She is also the U. Carrot Farm-owned and Northern Farm-bred stablemate of the third-place finisher Dia de la Novia, who finished another neck behind Air Messiah under Kent Desormeaux.