TAKARAZUKA, Hyogo Pref. – Second-pick Rhein Kraft held off favorite Cesario with a last-gasp burst Sunday to win the Oka-sho, the opening leg of the triple crown series for 3-year-old fillies.
Rhein Kraft surged ahead of the pack along with Daring Heart down the home stretch and then beat out the hard-charging Cesario at the wire, clocking an Oka-sho record time of 1 minute, 33.5 seconds at Hanshin Racecourse.
Cesario finished second, a neck ahead of Daring Heart, to see her winning streak end at four races since her debut.
The victory in the Grade One mile race earned Rhein Kraft 89 million yen. She won her fourth race in five starts and gave jockey Yuichi Fukunaga his second Oka-sho title and first in six years.
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