10/29/2017 4:10PM

Kitasan Black by a neck in Tenno Sho

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Kitasan Black will be favored to win the Japan Cup on Nov. 26 after winning a key prep in Sunday’s Grade 1 Tenno Sho Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse.

Kitasan Black won the 2016 Japan Cup and has won 11 of 18 starts in his career.

Sunday’s win gave Kitasan Black a sweep of the Tenno Sho series this year. He won the spring running of the Tenno Sho at two miles at Kyoto Racecourse in April in course-record time. Sunday’s autumn running was run at a distance of 1 1/4 miles.

Ridden by Yutaka Take, Kitasan Black was the 2-1 favorite in a field of 18 in Sunday’s $2.56 million race. Take had Kitasan Black in midpack for nearly a mile before taking the lead in early stretch. Racing on a rain-softened course, Kitasan Black held off a late run from Satono Crown to win by a neck.

Satono Crown won the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong last December.

Rainbow Line, a 58-1 outsider, finished third. Soul Stirring, the winner of the Japanese Oaks and the only 3-year-old filly in Sunday’s field, finished sixth at odds of 8-1.

The Japan Cup is run at 1 1/2 miles.

Kitasan Black is trained by Hisashi Shimizu for Ono Shoji. Sunday’s Tenno Sho was his sixth Grade 1 win.