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Monday, March 31, 2003

Believe winner of top-level sprint

Staff writer

NAGOYA -- The 5-year-old mare Believe made quick work of both the boys and the foreign competition Sunday with a length win of the Takamatsunomiya Memorial turf sprint at Chukyo.

It was her second top-level victory, following the Sprinters Stakes last September.

Believe, who went to the gate as race third pick, jumped superbly from the No. 1 slot and settled under Katsumi Ando in third position behind favorite Shonan Kampf, with Echo Eddie from the U.S. cranked into high on the inside.

Around the bend Shonan Kampf held the rail with Believe just behind but turning for home Ando brought Believe out and around and into the lead just past the 200-meter mark.

Echo Eddie dropped quickly from sight as Believe widened her lead down the stretch with Shonan Kampf fading. A charge by Sunningdale brought him strongly into second but never close enough to challenge Believe, who crossed the line clocking 1 minute, 8.1 seconds over the 1,200 meters.

Sunningdale finished in second place followed by Rikiai Taikan in third by a length and a quarter.

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