05/12/2013 12:16PM

Tokyo Racecourse: Verxina gets first Grade 1 win in Victoria Mile


Verxina, second in the Japanese Oaks and three other Grade 1 races in 2012, got her first Grade 1 win in Sunday’s $1,908,722 Victoria Mile for fillies and mares on turf at Tokyo Racecourse, holding off a late threat from defending champion Whale Capture.

Verxina, the 2-1 favorite ridden by Hiroyuki Uchida, finished a nose in front of Whale Capture, who was sent off at 43-1. Meine Isabel (12-1) was third, a half-length behind Whale Capture, in the field of 18.

Verxina, a 4-year-old filly by Deep Impact trained by Yasuo Tomomichi, was always near the front in the turf race, stalking pacesetter I’m Yours. Verxina took the lead in the stretch and was fully extended to stay in front.

A winner of 4 of 11 starts for Kazuhiro Sasaki, Verxina was second to 2012 Japanese Horse of the Year Gentildonna in three Grade 1 races last year – the Japanese 1000 Guineas, Japanese Oaks, and Shuka Sho – and second to her in one Grade 2 race, the Rose Stakes. Verxina was second to Rainbow Dahlia in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup last November, a race that did not include Gentildonna.

Whale Capture’s performance in the Victoria Mile was a turnaround from her previous five races, in which she failed to finish better than 10th.