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Monday, May 22, 2000

Silk Prima Donna wins Oaks

Staff writer

Race favorite Silk Prima Donna held off the field for a neck win of the 61st running of the Japanese Oaks (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday.

The winning time over the 2,400 meters of fast turf was 2 minutes, 30.2 seconds. Okasho champion and fifth choice Cheers Grace finished strongly in second place. Olive Crown followed in third.

Silk Prima Donna, with Shinji Fujita up, took the lead shortly past the stretch 200-meter mark after a slow-paced trip over the first 1,800 meters.

"With the pace as slow as it was, everyone was going into the straight with a lot of horse," said winning jockey Fujita, who had held Silk Prima Donna in fifth position from the start. "But I knew she had a good chance."

An elated Kenji Yamauchi, who had trained both the winner and runnerup, said this was as good as it gets. "My mind was just a blank when they crossed the finish line. As far as I'm concerned, we can wrap up the year right now."

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