04/28/2006 12:00AM

Deep Impact odds-on at Kyoto


Deep Impact looms a prohibitive favorite in the $2.25 million Spring Tenno Sho at Kyoto on Sunday, when even 17 rivals in the two-mile Grade 1 contest should not prevent his odds rising higher than 1-10.

A virtual course-and-distance winner at this level when he won the Japanese St. Leger going 1 7/8 miles on Oct. 23, Deep Impact appears to have his foes over a barrel. He beat six of his Tenno Sho rivals when he won the 1 7/8-mile Grade 2 Hanshin Daishoten last time on March 19 by 3 1/2 lengths over Tokai Trick, who will try him again. That effort signaled that trainer Yasuo Ikee has Deep Impact in much the same condition as at this time last year, when he won the Japanese Triple Crown.

Lincoln, sixth in last year's race, could be the main threat, considering his third-place finish behind Heart's Cry and Deep Impact in the 1 9/16-mile Arima Kinen on Dec. 25.