06/26/2006 12:00AM

Deep Impact victorious at Kyoto


Deep Impact signed off in Japan with a four-length victory in the Takarazuka Kinen at Kyoto on Sunday. Travel plans will now be finalized for his trip to France and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Oct. 1.

The 1-10 favorite in the 13-horse field, Deep Impact raced in 12th position early under Yutaka Take. He began to edge forward inside the final half-mile, but still had several lengths to make up with two furlongs to run. Deep Impact caught Balance of Game with 150 yards to run and drew clear to win by four lengths.

Narita Century, who made his second start after a 14-month absence, finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of Balance of Game. Both horses started at 66-1.

Deep Impact ran the 2,200 meter - just short of 1 3/8 miles - in 2:13.00 on good ground. The victory was the 10th of his career, and the fifth in a Grade 1 race. His earnings now stand at about $8.7 million.