05/20/2006 11:00PM

Kawakami Princess remains undefeated


Kawakami Princess remained undefeated through four career starts after she rallied to win the $2 million Yushun Himba, or Japanese Oaks, at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday.

A daughter of the Dancing Brave stallion King Halo out of a Seattle Slew mare, Kawakami Princess prevailed in the 1 1/2-mile Grade 1 classic by three quarters of a length from the Fusaro Sekiguchi-owned Fusaichi Pandora, who got up near the line to take second from Asahi Rising by a neck. Favored Admire Kiss was fourth with Japanese 1000 Guineas winner Kiss to Heaven sixth, 4 lengths behind the 5.70-1 winner. The final time on rain softened ground that was running on the fast side was 2:26.20.

Trained by Katsuichi Nishiura, Kawakami Princess only made her debut on February 26 at Hanshin with a victory in a 7-furlong maiden. She has since won a 7-furlong Hanshin allowance and, most recently, the listed 1 1/8-mile Sweetpea Stakes at Tokyo on April 30.

"She's always had what it takes. It wasn't that she suddenly got better," said her 47-year-old rider Masaru Honda. "I rode her with the same confidence I always have in her."

Last year, Cesario followed her Japanese Oaks victory with a win in Hollywood Park's American Oaks. Neither trainer Nishiura nor her owner/breeders at Mitsuishi Kawakami Bokujo mentioned Hollywood for Kawakami Princess on Sunday, but Honda did say that she would be a perfect fit for the third leg of the Japanese filly's Triple Crown, the 1 1/4-mile Shuka Sho at Kyoto on Oct. 15.