TAKARAZUKA, HYOGO PREF. – Gran Alegria was the uncontested winner of the Oka Sho on Sunday, claiming her first Grade 1 victory in record time.
The second-favorite, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, pulled ahead before the final turn at Hanshin Racecourse and crossed the finish line unrivaled in 1 minute, 32.7 seconds, eclipsing the 1:33.1 record time set by Almond Eye last year.
Seventh-pick Shigeru Pink Dia surprised the favorites and finished second, two-and-a-half lengths behind the winner in the 1,600 meter turf race for 3-year-old fillies.
Yuichi Kitamura, who won his maiden G1 title on Al Ain at last week’s Osaka Hai, finished third as expected aboard Chrono Genesis a neck further behind.
Race-favorite Danon Fantasy, piloted by Yuga Kawada, settled for fourth by a nose.
Gran Alegria, sired by seven-time G1 winner Deep Impact out of multiple G1 winner Tapitsfly, improved to three wins in four races. The filly finished third in her G1 debut at last year’s Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes for 2-year-olds.