Uberleben Ends White Filly Sodashi’s Unbeaten Streak With Japanese Oaks Triumph

Winning her first graded stakes in her seventh career start, K. Thoroughbred Club Ruffian’s Uberleben handed the white filly Sodashi her initial defeat in Sunday’s 82nd running of the Grade 1, $2.3 million Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) at Tokyo Race Course.

Ridden by Mirco Demuro for trainer Takahisa Tezuka, the 3-year-oid filly by Gold Ship (a grandson of Sunday SIlence) scored by one length over Akaitorino Musume as the 8-1 third betting choice in the field of 18 runners. Hagino Pilina finished third, a nose behind the runner-up and 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Tagano Passion in fourth. Sodashi, the eye-catching white daughter of Kurofune who came into the race unbeaten in five starts, finished eighth after being forwardly placed until deep stretch. Coming off a victory in the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas), Sodashi was the 9-10 favorite.

Time for the 2,400 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) on good to firm turf was 2:24.50, compared to the race record of 2:22.80 set by Loves Only You in 2019.

The victory was the eighth in a G1 race for trainer Tezuka and the 33rd G1 in Japan for Demuro, who rode Loves Only You to her record-setting win.

“She suffered from colic in February and has shown a slow but steady recovery,” Demuro said after the Oaks. “She broke smoothly today and it did worry me a bit that we were dead last in the backstretch but she responded well when the pace accelerated from the third corner and showed her tenacity in steadily advancing in the straight. She was strong pulling away and holding off the others. The added distance wasn’t a problem for her at all. I’m thrilled—it’s always wonderful to win a G1 race.”

The win was the second in seven starts for Uberleben. She was bred by Shigeyuki Okada’s Big Red Farm. The victory was the first in a G1 race for the offspring of Gold Ship, a six-time G1 winner whose victories included the first and third legs of the Japanese Triple Crown in 2012. He stands at Big Red Farm. Uberleben was produced from Meine Theresia, a daughter of G1 Whitney Handicap and G1 Dubai World Cup winner Roses in May (by Devil His Due) for trainer Dale Romans and owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey. Roses In May also stands at Big Red Farm.

With attendance at Japanese race courses still limited because of COVID-19, an on-track crowd of 4,791 was reported. Wagering on the race was US$161 million with US$248.5 million bet on the day’s 12-race program.

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