06/05/2004 11:00PM

Tsurumaru Boy captures Yasuda Kinen


Tokyo, Japan - Island Fashion faded tamely in the stretch to finish 16th of 18 as the locally trained Tsurumaru Boy landed the $1.6 million Yasuda Kinen at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday.

Well placed under Iggy Puglisi in sixth or seventh in the Grade 1 turf mile, the 14.50-1 Island Fashion showed nothing in the latter stages when the real running began. Beaten a total of 10-1/4 lengths, her chances may have been compromised by daylong rain which turned the course yielding. Run over a one-turn track similar to the Widener mile at Belmont, she really had no excuse, but trainer Marcelo Polanco is to be commended for making the long trans-Pacific trip with his two-time Grade 1 winning filly.

The victorious Tsurumaru Boy, ridden as was last Sunday's Japanese Derby winner King Kamehameha by Katsumi Ando, was making just his second start of the year. Sixth in the 1 1/4-mile Grade 2 Osaka Hai, the Kojiro Hashiguchi trainee had shown his class as well as his versatility when fourth behind Japanese champion Symboli Kris S in the 1 9/16-mile Arima Kinen (Japanese Grand Prix) on Dec. 28. Sent off at 10.30-1, he covered the mile in 1:32.60 despite the give in the ground to hold off the late closing runner-up Telegnosis by a neck.

Self Flit, the only other non-Japanese runner in the race, finished tenth in what will be the last foreign expedition for leading Hong Kong trainer Ivan Allan, who will retire at the end of the Hong Kong season on June 20. Allan will, however, continue to run horses in his name in Europe and America.