Favored Buena Vista used her stupendous kick to slip past Hikaru Amaranthus approaching the wire, registering a neck victory in the $2.1 million Victoria Mile (Jpn-I) at Tokyo Racecourse May 16.
With jockey Norihiro Yokoyama at the controls, Buena Vista shifted into high gear to make up seven lengths on the front-running Bravo Daisy in the final 200 meters. The 4-year-old filly, winner of grade I events Oka Sho (Japanese One Thousand Guineas) and Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) last year, got the job done for trainer Hiroyoshi Matsuda and owner Sunday Racing Co.
Hikaru Amaranthus, the eighth choice in the field of 18 older fillies and mares, finished second by three-quarters of a length over Nashino Blue Moon. Red Desire, the second favorite, finished fourth in her first start since an 11th-place showing in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
On a sunny day before 66,010, Buena Vista covered the 1,600 meters in a fast 1:32.4, tying the course record for her fourth group I victory. Buena Vista was coming off a second-place finish in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) on March 27.
Yokoyama had the winning daughter of Special Week--Biwa Heidi, by Caerleon, a bit closer than many of her previous races. Four horses off the back until the field rounded for home, Buena Vista shadowed Red Desire running directly ahead to the inside. Red Desire picked up the pace at the top of the stretch, with Buena Vista, steered to the outside, charging behind her.
Bravo Daisy looked to be holding her own at the front, but proved no match in the final strides as a wall of six horses led by Hikaru Amaranthus overtook her in deep stretch. Buena Vista challenged Hikaru Amaranthus and edged past just in time.
The usually subdued Yokoyama was overjoyed at the win. The 42-year-old Yokoyama bent over his filly to kiss her on both sides of her neck. He then rode a slow victory pass before the roaring fans while standing tall in his stirrups. He threw his whip into the crowd.
Buena Vista, now seven for 13 in her career, was bred at Northern Farm. She was sent off as the 3-2 favorite.