08/08/2008 11:00PM

Ariege impresses with victory in return


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Bobby Frankel believes with a little luck Ariege could have won either or both of her turf starts in Southern California. Ariege needed no luck, just her superior skill to win Saturday's $102,500 Madame Jumel on Saratoga's yielding turf.

Making her first start since April 10, Ariege launched a four-wide bid around the turn and then rallied down the center of the inner turf course to win the Madame Jumel by 2 1/4 lengths over Closeout. It was three-quarters of a length to Lickety Lemon.

It was a perfect return race for Ariege, who had surgery to remove a chip in an ankle. Prior to that, she won the Grade 2 Beaumont at Keeneland and Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks on synthetic surfaces. Before that, Ariege finished third in a turf stakes at Santa Anita where she was checked hard, then lost the Grade 3 La Habra, also at Santa Anita, by a nose.

Saturday, Alan Garcia kept Ariege in sixth position behind a slow pace. Entering the far turn, Garcia made his move, and he and Ariege made a four-wide sweep turning into the stretch. Garcia went to his right-handed whip and Ariege responded by drawing away from the field. She raced her final quarter in 23.73 seconds over the yielding turf and ran the mile in 1:38.87. Ariege, owned by the International Equine Acquisitions Holdings Stable, returned $6.70 as the favorite.

"My filly was a little rank the first part," Garcia said. "When I put her behind [Remarkable Remy] she relaxed very comfortably. When I got to the stretch I said, 'Let me go around, let me see what she has,' and she ran good at the end."

Ariege could make her next start in the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park on Sept. 6.

James Marvin: Eternal Star by neck

Eternal Star earned a shot in the Grade 1 Forego here on Aug. 30 with a front-running neck victory over Bold Start in the $102,500 James Marvin Stakes. It was the fifth victory from the last six starts and eighth from 14 overall for the 4-year-old son of Five Star Day.

Eternal Star broke a half-step slowly under Ramon Dominguez, but soon made the lead and ran fractions of 22.51 seconds and 44.79 while being pressed by Brilliant Son. Turning for home, Dominguez asked Eternal Star to run and he opened up a 1 1/2-length lead in midstretch before holding off a late bid from Bold Start.

Eternal Star, owned by Harry and Tom Meyerhoff and trained by Michael Trombetta, covered the six furlongs in 1:08.79 and returned $6.90 as the second choice. Brilliant Son finished third, a neck in front of favored Noonmark.

"I didn't expect him to be on the [lead], I figured he might be a little close but nobody was in a tremendous hurry," Trombetta said of Eternal Star. "Ramon thought it proper to jump on top and go ahead and go. It wasn't a crazy first quarter."

In the Forego, Eternal Star will likely face Benny the Bull and possibly defending BC Sprint champion and Forego winner Midnight Lute.

"I think he's deserving of a shot in the Forego," said Trombetta, who added he thinks the seven furlongs of the race is Eternal Star's best distance. "I can relax a little bit with seven-eighths. Obviously that's a super test for him because it's a different kind of horse."

Solomon Northup: Dr. D.F.C. stays up

Dr. D.F.C. overcame a stumble at the start and a jockey's objection at the finish to win the $102,750 Solomon Northup Stakes for New York-bred males.

Under Aldo Arboleda, Dr. D.F.C was last after stumbling at the break, then launched a bold move along the rail entering the far turn. Approaching the quarter pole, Arboleda wanted to come off the rail, and when he did he forced Tommasi out one path, which in turn forced Stud Muffin out a path.

After Dr. D.F.C. came a home a much-the-best one length winner over Stud Muffin, Mike Luzzi, the jockey of third-place finisher Tommasi, lodged an objection. After a long look, the stewards let the result stand.

Dr. D.F.C., a son of Personal Flag owned by August Forever Stable and trained by Rodrigo Ubillo, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.57 and returned $18.

Duke of Magenta: Fairbanks cruises

Favored Fairbanks ($5.20) led every step of the way under Richard Migliore to take the $111,750 Duke of Magenta Stakes by 5 3/4 lengths over Angliana, who nosed out Magna Graduate for the second at the wire.

The win broke an eight-race losing streak dating back to March 31, 2007 for Fairbanks, a son of Giant's Causeway owned by Team Valor International and trained by Todd Pletcher.

Fairbanks broke running and set fractions of 23.93 seconds, 47.86, 1:11.16, and 1:36.07 and covered the 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.45 over a fast main track.