TAKARAZUKA, Hyogo Pref. — On a day when the cherry blossoms were at their peak, jockey Katsumi Ando made sure the colors changed when he drove Daiwa Scarlet home to make it two consecutive Oka-sho victories, and in so doing, notched up his 700th win under JRA rules. The daughter of Agnes Tachyon fairly flew home, leaving supporters of the heavy odds-on-favorite, Vodka, needing a couple of shots of the spirit of the same name on Sunday.

With the weather and ground conditions almost perfect, the maximum of 18 fillies went to post for the 67th Oka-sho and each one of them carried hopes of lifting the 89 million yen first prize. In reality, though, most of those hopes were turned into wild dreams not long into the race.

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