04/20/2009 12:00AM

Unrivaled wins Japan's 2000 Guineas


Unrivaled stamped himself as Japan's leading 3-year-old colt at Nakayama on Sunday with a scintillating victory in the $2.3 million Satsuki Sho, or Japanese 2000 Guineas.

A son of the Sunday Silence stallion Neo Universe, Unrivaled closed with a rush off a fast early pace to defeat longshot Triumph March by 1 1/2 lengths, with last year's Japanese juvenile champ, Seiun Wonder, third, another half-length behind. The previously undefeated 7-10 favorite Logi Universe - also by Neo Universe - showed nothing in finishing 14th, beaten 12 1/2 lengths.

Ridden by Yasunari Iwata for trainer Yasuo Tomomichi, the 5.10-1 Unrivaled covered the 1 1/4 miles on firm ground in 1:58.70, just .20 of a second off the stakes record.

Students of breeding might have predicted the outcome, as Unrivaled's sire had won this race in 2003, while his second dam, Sun Princess, won the English Oaks in 1983. Unrivaled, who had prepped for this with a victory in Nakayama's 1 1/8-mile Spring Stakes, will now attempt to emulate both his sire and his half-brother Fusaichi Concorde by winning the 1 1/2-mile Tokyo Yushun, or Japanese Derby, at Tokyo Racecourse on June 1.

With the victory of Japanese juvenile filly champ Buena Vista - being touted in some circles as the filly version of Deep Impact - in last week's Japanese 1000 Guineas, Japan appears to have itself a vintage crop of 3-year-olds.