06/23/2006 12:00AM

Deep Impact a Kyoto killer

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Japanese superstar Deep Impact will have his last home start Sunday before journeying to Europe to tackle the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris in October. His immediate task is the Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen at Kyoto.

Deep Impact amazed even his most ardent admirers at Kyoto on April 30, circling all of his 16 opponents before landing the Grade 1 Spring Tenno Sho by 3 1/2 lengths in record time.

Although that was a two-mile race, he showed incredible speed, covering the last half-mile in a barely credible 44.80 seconds. This drop back to 1 3/8 miles should not be a problem.

A son of Sunday Silence, Deep Impact will be a 1-10 favorite to add an additional $1.1 million to a lifetime bankroll that already exceeds $8 million.

Lincoln, who beat the rest of the field by five lengths when he was second in the Tenno Sho, may again prove the best of Deep Impact's rivals.