TAKARAZUKA, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) The legendary Deep Impact scored his first Grade 1 victory as a sire as second choice Marcellina held off favorite Whale Capture by three-quarters of a length to capture the Oka-sho on Sunday.
Marcellina took the first leg of the filly’s Triple Crown in 1 minute, 33.9 seconds on firm going at Hanshin Racecourse under Katsumi Ando, who won the Oka-sho for the fourth time in six years.
The Hiroyoshi Matsuda-trained Marcellina is from Deep Impact’s first crop of kids. Deep Impact, the unbeaten 2005 Triple Crown winner, won seven Grade 1 titles during his racing career.
“She felt great down the stretch, but the start wasn’t so good,” said the 51-year-old Ando, who also rewrote his own record as the Japan Racing Association’s oldest jockey to win a Grade 1 race.
“We were second from the back during the trip. I made a few mistakes, but the horse bailed me out. I didn’t think she had much of a closing rush, but she ran a heck of a race to come on late.”