05/20/2007 11:00PM

U.S.-bred Robe Decollete wins Japanese Oaks


Robe Decollete became the first American-bred horse to win a Japanese classic at Tokyo on Sunday as she held off the favored Bella Rheia by a nose to capture the $1.88 million Yushun Himba, or Japanese Oaks.

In fact, Robe Decollette, bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams, is the first non-Japanese-bred horse to win a Japanese classic since those races were opened to foreign-breds four years ago. By Cozzene out of the Seeking the Gold mare Color of Gold, the Shigeki Matsumoto-trained Robe Decollete was providing rider Yuichi Fukunaga with his third Oaks triumph in the last four years.

Sent off at 10-1, Robe Decollete was timed in 2:25.30 for the 1 1/2 miles on firm ground.

There are no plans to take Robe Decolletet to Hollywood Park for the American Oaks on July 7, although connections of Japanese 1000 Guineas winner Daiwa Scarlet, withdrawn from the Japanese Oaks earlier in the week with a fever, are considering an invitation to run in the race.

Meanwhile, Koiuta, winner of the Grade 1 Victoria Mile at Tokyo on May 13, is considered 70 percent likely to run in the CashCall Mile at Hollywood on July 6.

* Japanese horses finished one-two in the $1.97 million Grade 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji in Hong Kong, where the Yukihiro Kato-trained Shadow Gate defeated the Kazunori Tabe-trained defending champ Cosmo Bulk by 1 1/4 lengths. The 5-2 winner covered the 1 1/4 miles on a yielding surface in 2:04.00.