06/09/2008 12:00AM

Vodka beats males in Yasuda Kinen


Vodka returned to the winners' circle for the first time in more than a year at Tokyo on Sunday with a second big win over colts in the $1.8 million Yasuda Kinen.

It had been exactly a year and a week since Vodka, a Katsuhiko Sumii-trained daughter of Tanino Gimlet, had surprised the world by winning the Japanese Derby. A good fourth since than in both the Japan Cup and the Dubai Duty Free, she overpowered Hong Kong invader Armada by 3 1/2 lengths on Sunday, getting the mile on firm ground in 1:32.70 as the 3.10-1 co-favorite with Super Hornet, who finished eighth. Two other Hong Kong raiders didn't fare so well, with Bullish Luck, the 2006 Yasuda Kinen winner, coming home 14th, and Good Ba Ba having his five-race winning streak ended when he finished 17th, 15 lengths behind the winner.

Vodka will remain in Japan and stick to Tokyo Racecourse, as all of her best races have come on left-handed tracks. Next up will be the 1 1/8-mile Mainichi Okan on Oct. 12, which she will use as a prep for the 1 1/4-mile Autumn Tenno Sho, or Emperor's Cup, on Nov. 2.