03/31/2011 3:37PM

Barocci: First Deep Impact Winner in Europe

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Barocci was first out of the gate in the race to the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, or French 2000 Guineas, when he prevailed in the listed Prix Omnium II at Saint-Cloud on Thursday. The race, made famous in 1992 when it was won by Arazi, was run on heavy ground which induced a time of just 1:48.90 for the mile. That is .9 of a second slower than Arazi's Omnium time and 1.4 seconds slower than the time recorded a half-hour earlier when Nova Hawk won the listed Prix La Camargo, a prep for the French 1000 Guineas.
That is not to disparage Barocci's achievement. In victory he becomes the first European winner sired by the great Japanese champion Deep Impact, who was the leading first crop sire in Japan last year. Trained by Elie Lellouche for Ecurie Wildenstein and ridden by their new contract rider Christophe Soumillon, Barocci outdueled the Henri-Alex Pantall-trained, Maxime Guyon-ridden Private Jet, a son of Aussie Rules, by a neck as the 7-5 favorite in a field of eight.
Since Arazi's 1991 victory, the Omnium has been won by two subsequent French 2000 Guineas laureates. They are the Criquette Head-Maarek-trained American Post in 2004 and the Yves de Nicolay-trained Silver Forst in 2009. Both of those horses followed their Omnium victories with wins in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau over the Guineas course and distance at Longchamp. This year's Fontainebleau is scheduled for April 24 with the Guineas set for May 15.
Barocci was making just the second start of his career and his first since Oct. 7 when he finished 2 lengths second to Ziyarid in a one-mile maiden on similarly heavy ground at Saint-Cloud where the winner clocked 1:50 flat. The third-place finisher that day, Durer, broke his maiden next time on March 17 going 1 3/16 miles on the Deauville Fibresand track.
Barocci, who was bred in Japan by the Wildenstein's Dayton Investments Ltd., is out of the Giant's Causeway mare Bastet, the winner of the listed 1 5/16-mile Prix de la Pepiniere at Saint-Cloud and second in Chantilly's 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Priz Allez France, a race named for one of the Wildenstein family's most notable racemares.