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Monday, June 2, 2008

Filly Natagora Does Herself Proud in French Derby

The filly Natagora finished third in the Prix du Jockey-Club on Sunday, just one length behind the winner Vision D’Etat and runner-up, Irish invader Famous Name. Ridden by the legendary Frankie Dettori, Natagora was attempting to become the first filly to win the French Derby since La Moriniere in 1900. However, she had never run the Prix distance, so her effort certainly reflected well on her quality. Here's a video of the race; she's the gray near the lead from the start, and she briefly takes over before being passed in the stretch.

Plans are to rest her for the G1 Prix d’Astarte against fillies and older mares on August 3, a race won last year by Darjina. Recent Darley purchase Democrate bombed, finished nearly 28 lengths back in 18th place.

By the way, seven fillies won the French Derby during the 19th century: Lydia (1837), Tontine (1840), Poetess (1841), Lanterne (1844), Gabrielle d’Estees (1861), La Toucques (1863), and Salterelle (1871).

Sad to hear from Jen over at Thorough Blog that Steve Asmussen-trained King’s Silver Son was vanned off from race 2 on Saturday at Woodbine. Hope all is well; he first caught my attention in January when he broke his maiden at Fair Grounds, and then he finished a strong second to Sierra Sunset in the G2 Rebel at Oaklawn in March. He had no luck in two subsequent graded events—G2 Arkansas and G3 Lone Star derbies—but with his pedigree (by Mizzen Mast out of a Dynaformer mare) looked to be a perfect turf and/or all-weather surface winner.

At Presque Isle Downs, Ravalo set a new track record (1:02.49) in winning the 5.5 furlong Karl Boyes Memorial Northwestern PA Stakes (whew!) on Sunday evening. It was the Mutakddim gelding’s fourth stakes win this year—at four different tracks (Aqueduct, Pimlico, Monmouth, PID). He’s also 3 for 3 at PID, thus he was the even money favorite. Mike Luzzi even came in to ride him (hey, for $61,000 first prize money, why not?).

Sorry, Patrick, but I didn’t buy Harlem Rocker on polytrack and around two turns in the Plate Trial, so I made nice money on runner-up Solitaire—too bad I didn’t play Not Bourbon, even just to show, as a “whale” dropped $47,000 on Harlem Rocker, thus the huge show payoffs. Not Bourbon's time was only .18 seconds off the track record, set by Leonnatus Anteas last October. Impressive.

I still think they missed a major opportunity with Harlem Rocker to win the G1 Met Mile on good old Belmont dirt...


Brooklyn Backstretch said...

Maybe it's just because I'm female, but everytime I see "PID," I can't help but think "pelvic inflammatory disease."

Doesn't exactly make me want to rush off to the races!

Maybe PDo? PrD?

Nick said...

I think this almost every time I watch a race from overseas, but why can't we have camera angles like they do? I'd love to see something like those rail cameras or the starting gate camera here in the states. I'm glad networks here have started playing around a bit with vehicle mounted cameras pacing the field, but they could do so much more.

Valerie said...

Nick, you are so right about the camera angles! Also, watching this particular race, I was admiring how beautiful the architecture was close to the course. Other than Saratoga, why don't tracks spend a little bit of money on landscaping to beautify the surroundings?

Nick said...

Oh yes, that's another thing that alway sticks out. The european courses in particular are always so beautiful. Then I go to the local track (Prairie Meadows) and look across the infield at the apartment complexes. =p

Winston said...

The camera angles and the scenic backdrops are not all we should borrow from overseas...
The regulation of the whip, the zero drug tolerance and the breeding for soundness are just a few.