10/28/2007 11:00PM

Meisho Samson takes Tenno Sho

EmailMeisho Samson completed a famous double at Tokyo on Sunday, overwhelming 15 rivals in the Grade 1, $2.2 million Autumn Tenno Sho. His 2 1/2-length victory made him the first horse to win both the two-mile Spring Tenno Sho and the 1 1/4-mile Autumn Tenno Sho in the same year since racing's all-time leading money earner, TM Opera O, in 2000.

A 4-year-old Japanese-bred son of Opera House out of a Dancing Brave mare, Meisho Samson was being ridden by Yutaka Take for the first time in nine career starts on Sunday. Never worse than sixth, the 1.90-1 favorite covered the 1 1/4 miles on good ground in a swift 1:58.40, just .40 of a second off the track record. He is without question the local favorite for the 1 1/2-mile Japan Cup on Nov. 25.

Trained by Shigetada Takahashi, Meisho Samson was prevented from running in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as he fell victim to the outbreak of equine influenza in Japan. The disease has now been largely brought under control in Japan and should not interfere with the Japan Cup or the Nov. 24 Japan Cup Dirt.

Fears that foreign runners in those races might have to be quarantined in Kyoto and make a 20-hour round-trip van ride between Tokyo and Kyoto for those races at Tokyo Racecourse were allayed when the Shiroi quarantine center near Tokyo was recently reopened.