Asian Winds, making her group I debut, drew away from the challenger Vodka in the closing strides to win the US$1,675,000 Victoria Mile for fillies and mares before 60,038 at Tokyo Race Course May 18,
It was the third consecutive victory for the stalker Asian Winds, who was handled confidently by Shinji Fujita. The 4-year-old Japanese-bred daughter of Fuji Kiseki defeated the favored Vodka, ridden by Yutaka Take, by three-quarters of length. The time was 1:33.7 for the 1,600 meters contested on firm turf. There were 18 runners.
With less than a quarter-mile to run, Blumenblatt rallied between Pink Cameo and the pacesetter Yamaninmerveilleux to get the lead, but, closing in on the wire, she was overtaken by Asian Winds with Vodka chasing. Asian Winds, sent off as the fifth choice in the wagering at odds of 13-1, edged away under the wire to gain the victory. Vodka, the 2-1 favorite, nosed Blumenblatt for the runner-up spot.
Asian Winds was coming off a group II win at Hanshin April 12 for trainer Hideaki Fujiwara and owner Yosimi Ota. Shadai Farm bred the bay filly.
The Victoria Mile was the third win in four starts for Asian Winds this year. She has won six of 11 races in her career.
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