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Horse racing: Stars on Earth 1 closes on triple crown in Oaks triumph

Stars on Earth, right, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, wins the Japanese Oaks on May 22, 2022 at Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu, western Tokyo. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Stars on Earth became the 16th winner of two legs of Japan's filly triple crown Sunday with her victory in the Grade 1 Yushun Himba, better known as the Japanese Oaks.

    Stars on Earth, the third favorite, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, is now one victory from wrapping up the triple crown for 3-year-old fillies after capturing April's Oka-sho. The final race is October's Shuka-sho.

    Starting farthest from the rail at Tokyo Racecourse, Lemaire quickly took up station on the outside in the middle of the pack and cruised there until after the final turn.

    With about 200 meters left in the 2,400-meter race, Stars on Earth blew past the other contenders to win by over a length ahead of 10th-favorite Stunning Rose and fourth favorite Namur.

    It was Lemaire's third Oaks victory.

    The first prize purse was worth 140 million yen ($1.1 million). The race favorite, last year's top 2-year-old filly Circle of Life, finished 12th.

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