TAKARAZUKA, Hyogo Pref. – Long-shot Sweep Tosho surprised the field with a strong homestretch run Sunday to win the 46th running of the Takarazuka Kinen for her second Grade One victory.
Sweep Tosho, an 11th pick, beat out Heart’s Cry by a neck at the wire as the 4-year-old completed the 2,200-meter race in 2 minutes, 11.5 seconds at Hanshin Racecourse.
She became only the second mare to win the Takarazuka Kinen and first in 39 years.
The victory, which gave both jockey Kenichi Ikezoe and trainer Akio Tsurudome their first title in the annual race, is worth 132 million yen.
Zenno Rob Roy, bidding for his fourth straight Grade One victory, settled for third while Tap Dance City, last year’s Takarazuka Kinen winner, faded to seventh.
The winner paid out 3,850 yen on a 100 yen wager.
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