05/20/2012 6:13PM

Japan: Gentildonna moves one step closer to Japanese Triple Crown for fillies


I’ll Have Another is not the only 3-year-old in the world with a chance to win a Triple Crown.

The Japanese filly Gentildonna has won the first two stakes in that country’s lucrative series for 3-year-old fillies. Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse, Gentildonna won the $2.52 million Japanese Oaks by five lengths in stakes-record time.

Gentildonna won the first leg of the filly Triple Crown in the Japanese 1000 Guineas at Hanshin Racecourse on April 8. The third and final race in the series is the Group 1 Shuka Sho over about 1 1/4 miles on turf at Kyoto Racecourse on Oct. 14.

In the Japanese Oaks over about 1 1/2 miles, Gentildonna was timed in 2:23.60. Sent off at 7-2 and ridden by Yuga Kawada, Gentildonna was at the back of the field of 18 for the first mile and made quick progress in early stretch to take the lead near the eighth pole.

Gentildonna easily outran runner-up Verxina. The first two finishers are by Deep Impact.

Ice Follies, by Stay Gold, finished third. Midsummer Fair, the 2-1 favorite, was never a factor and finished 13th.

Gentildonna, owned by Sunday Racing and trained by Sei Ishizaka, has won 4 of 6 starts. She won a Group 3 stakes at Kyoto Racecourse in January.