TAKARAZUKA, Hyogo Pref. – No. 1 pick Apapane had a spectacular late burst on Sunday to win the Oka-sho, the first leg of the triple crown series for 3-year-old fillies.
Hanging close in the middle of the pack on the final bend, Apapane surged on the outside with a brilliant finish to see off third favorite Oken Sakura by half a length with a time of 1 minute, 33.3 seconds at Hanshin Racecourse.
“I really wanted this title. She was lagging a bit after the start but we were in an ideal position. She is an obedient and positive horse, so I expect that she will continue to perform well,” said jockey Masayoshi Ebina.
Third place went to A Shin Returns, the No. 11 pick.
The victory for Apapane, winner of the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies last December, earned 89 million yen in prize money.
Apapane paid out 280 yen on a 100-yen wager.