05/25/2008 11:00PM

Tall Poppy wins Japanese Oaks


Tall Poppy could be Hollywood-bound after her victory in the $2.2 million Tokyo Yushun, or Japanese Oaks, at Tokyo on Sunday. She is trained by Katsuhiko Sumii, the same man who engineered Cesario to the Japanese Oaks/American Oaks double in 2005.

After having watched Tall Poppy avenge her loss in the Japanese 1000 Guineas - in which she finished eighth as the favorite - Sumii said that he was thinking of entering her for this year's American Oaks on July 5. Sent off as the 8.70-1 fourth choice in the 18-strong field on Sunday, she withstood a 15-minute stewards' inquiry before being named the official winner by a head over F T Maia, with Guineas winner Reginetta third, 1 1/2 lengths farther back.

Little Amapola, the 2.90-1 favorite, was seventh, beaten 2 3/4 lengths. The winning time for the 1 1/2 miles on firm ground was 2:28.80.

Although Tall Poppy was allowed to keep the race, her rider, Kenichi Ikezoe, was suspended two days for allowing his mount to drift in front of horses while angling for the rail.