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Sunday, June 10, 2001

Chantilly, France, Sunday, June 10, 2001:



109+ NADIA
105 CHOC ICE (GF 109 in 2000)

TIME AWAY beat Relish The Thought, with Flight Of Fancy further behind, when landing the Musidora Stakes at York last month. Flight Of Fancy and Relish The Thought ran second and third in the Oaks at Epsom yesterday, and Time Away will be a popular choice here. Though this is a very open affair, with seven fillies within three pounds on Globeform ratings. All seven have been given a + by their rating, and selecting one from the septet is far from easy.

The impeccably bred AQUARELLISTE may be the answer. She has been quite impressive in her two starts to date. After winning her debut from some other well bred animals, she took the step up in class in her stride in the Listed Prix Melisande over ten furlongs at this course in May. Aquarelliste ran out a game 2 ˝ length winner from Sugar Mill, who had earlier performed to GF 100+. Aquarelliste is by Danehill and out of Agathe. Agathe is a half-sister to the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arcangues. She ran second to East Of The Moon in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and third to the same filly in the Prix de Diane. This is one of the best families raced by the Wildensteins, and Aquarelliste looks good enough to land a Group One. She runs in one on only her third lifetime start.

NADIA, BALDWINA and MARE NOSTRUM are very closely matched. Baldwina is unbeaten and had Nadia 4 lengths behind her when winning the Prix Penelope in April. Nadia has since improved to take the Group One Prix Saint-Alary by a head from Mare Nostrum. CHOC ICE was 1 ˝ lengths behind in third that day, but is still looking for the level of form shown last year. She ran a good third to Amonita in the Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc day 2000.

ARHAAFF represents English classic form, as she was sixth to Ameerat in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6. She improved again to be secoond in a Listed event over ten furlongs at Goodwood. First and third in that race, Foodbroker Fancy and Candice, did little for the form in the Oaks yesterday, but Arhaaff is a progressive sort. The Andre Fabre trained LIGHT BALLET won a newcomers’ race and is impossible to assess.



Preakness victor Point Given won his second American Triple Crown race when taking the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park, New York, USA last night.

The Bob Baffert-trained horse - the favourite - won well from AP Valentine and Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. But British challenger Dr Greenfield came last.

Point Given beat AP Valentine by 12.25 lengths in the mile and a half contest..His time of 2 minutes, 26 2-5 seconds tied him with Risen Star and Affirmed for the fourth fastest time in Belmont history. Only Secretariat, Easy Goer and A P Indy ran faster in the race’s 133-year histrory.

“I'll always wonder what could have been,'' said winning jockey Gary Stevens. “This horse should have 'Triple Crown Winner' next to his name.”

Point Given finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby as the favourite. He rebounded from that disappointment to win the Preakness and then dominated the Belmont, winning by 12 1/4 lengths, the seventh biggest margin in 133 Belmonts.

“We knew this horse was this kind of horse,” Baffert said. “It just wasn't his day Derby Day.”

A big crowd at Belmont included former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary - now a New York senator - who backed the winner.

A P Valentine gave trainer Nick Zito his fifth runner-up in 11 Belmonts, with no victories. A P Valentine also was second in the Preakness.

Point Given winner: ``Just like winning the world.'' -- owner Prince Ahmed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

A P Valentine, 2nd: ``I tried to follow Point Given, with a half-mile to go I knew I couldn't beat the other horse. I rode him hard for second.'' -- jockey Victor Espinoza.

Monarchos, 3rd: ``He ran hard today but he didn't run the race he ran in the Derby.'' -- jockey Jorge Chavez.

Dollar Bill, 4th ``No excuse. He just didn't have it. At least, we didn't encounter any traffic problems.'' -- jockey Pat Day.

Invisible Ink, 5th: ``I thought we had a perfect trip. He just kept making one steady run, staying with the rest of the pack. The winner was much the best.'' -- jockey John Velazquez.

Thunder Blitz, 6th: ``Jerry (Bailey) thought that he should have put him in the race earlier. He didn't do that, and it kind of discouraged him.'' -- trainer Joe Orseno.

Buckle Down Ben, 7th: ``He ran well until the running started.'' -- trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

Balto Star, 8th: ``He just wasn't himself today. He might not handle hot weather real well.'' -- trainer Todd Pletcher.

Dr Greenfield, 9th: ``We are very disappointed. That was not the true Dr Greenfield on the track today. I don't know why he acted up at the starting gate like that. I never saw that in him before. From there, he just lost interest.'' -- trainer Gerard Butler.

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