05/13/2011 3:39PM

Tokyo: Buena Vista heads Victoria Mile

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Buena Vista, the 2010 Japanese Horse of the Year, will be a strong favorite to defend her title in Sunday’s $2,214,000 Victoria Mile for fillies and mares at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan.

The Group 1 race, over about a mile on turf, will be Buena Vista’s first start since an eighth-place finish in the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates on March 26.

A winner of 8 of 18 starts and a staggering $12,371,878, Buena Vista is making her second start of 2011 in the Victoria Mile, which drew a maximum field of 18.

Last year, Buena Vista, 5, won the Victoria Mile as part of a seven-race campaign that included three stakes wins. Buena Vista finished first in the Japan Cup last November, but was disqualified and placed second for causing interference.

The biggest threat to Buena Vista appears to be Apapane, who won the 2010 Triple Crown for fillies in Japan. A winner of 6 of 11 starts and $4,909,542, Apapane was fourth in the $1.33 million Yomiuri Milers Cup against males at Hanshin Racecourse on April 17, her only start of 2011