05/22/2010 11:00PM

Japanese Grade 1 ends in a dead heat


History was made at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday as Apapane and Saint Emilion finished in a dead heat in the $2.5 million Yushun Himba, or Japanese Oaks, marking the first time a dead heat has occurred in a Grade 1 race in Japan.

After settling in 11th and 12fth places early on, the 2.80-1 Apapane and the 7.50-1 St. Emilion dueled through the final furlong and hit the line together. The stewards studied the photo for 10 minutes before deciding there was nothing between them. They clocked 2:29.90 for the mile and a half on rain-softened good ground. It was two lengths back to the fading Agnes Waltz in third, with Animate Bio fourth and Oken Sakura fifth.

The Sakae Kuneida-trained Apapane was completing a classic double. The daughter of 2004 Japanese Derby winner King Kamehameha, Apapane won the one-mile Oka Sho, or Japanese 1000 Guineas, at Hanshin on April 11.

Saint Emilion, a Zenno Rob Roy filly who is trained by Masaki Koga for leading Japanese owner/breeder Teruya Yoshida, had previously won the 1 1/4 -mile, Grade 2 Flora Stakes. This was just her fifth career start, while Apapane was running in her seventh race. Both fillies are likely to get some time off at this stage to prepare for autumn campaigns.