12/26/2005 1:00AM

Heart's Cry beats Deep Impact


Heart's Cry spoiled the party at Nakayama on Christmas Day, outstaying Japan's Triple Crown winner Deep Impact to win the end-of-season championship, the Arima Kinen.

A crowd of 162,000, an increase of more than 40,000 from last year, sent Deep Impact off as the 3-10 favorite. Deep Impact, under Yutaka Take, raced at the rear while Tap Dance City set a slow pace in the 1 1/2-mile, 95-yard race. Deep Impact made up ground on the outside and reached sixth place in the field of 16 turning for home.

Cosmo Bulk took the lead early in the straight, but Heart's Cry soon went past him with Deep Impact in pursuit. It seemed that Deep Impact might get to the front, but his burst of speed slowed in the final half-furlong and Heart's Cry held him off by a half-length.

Heart's Cry, 16-1, was timed in 2:31.90 and earned a first-place prize of $1,576,700. Heart's Cry, trained by Kojiro Hashiguchi, gave French jockey Christophe Lemaire his first Japanese Group 1 victory.

Lincoln, fourth in the Japan Cup, ran third, one spot ahead of two extreme outsiders, Cosmo Bulk and Coin Toss. Amazingly, seven of the first eight finishers were sired by Sunday Silence, Cosmo Bulk being the only one of the top eight sired by another horse.

Tap Dance City, winner of the 2003 Japan Cup, faded to finish 12th and will soon be retired. So, too, will Zenno Rob Roy, the 2004 Japan Cup winner and Japan Horse of the Year, who was the second favorite under Kent Desormeaux and finished eighth.