10/18/2009 11:00PM

Champs Elysees finishes career on winning note


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - was a sweet swan song for Champs Elysees.

Juddmonte Farm already had announced Champs Elysees would be heading for a life at stud in England, and he turned in what might have been the finest performance of his career here Saturday.

With Garrett Gomez perfectly timing his late move, Champs Elysees ran down Jukebox Jury to prevail by a half-length.

"To go out on such a huge win is obviously a huge boost to his stallion career," said Garrett O'Rourke, manager of Juddmonte Farm in Kentucky. "He has been a tremendous servant. He is very game; he is very talented."

Champs Elysees, bred by Juddmonte in Ireland, retires with a record of eight wins, eight seconds, and seven thirds from 28 starts for a bankroll of $2,864,444 (U.S.).

Trained by Bobby Frankel, who is based in California, Champs Elysees has been here with trainer Brian Lynch since the third week of July.

His win in the $2,001,200 Canadian International, second-place finish in the Sky Classic, and thirds in the Northern Dancer and Nijinsky have put Champs Elysees in the driver's seat for the Sovereign Award as older male turf horse and make him a leading candidate for horse of the year honors.

Jukebox Jury, Buccellati returning home

English invaders Jukebox Jury and Buccellati finished second and third in the Canadian International and were scheduled to head home Tuesday.

Jukebox Jury had won his previous two races by a nose, including the Group 1 Preis Von Europa in Germany for trainer Mark Johnston.

Both wins could be attributed to his tendency to wait when clear of other horses. When the pacesetting Marsh Side faltered and Buccellati's bid stalled in the International, Jukebox Jury had found himself on a daylight lead with a furlong to run.

"He opened a gap," said Johnston. "If one of the others had stayed with him longer, the winner might not have got by."

Jukebox Jury was nominated to the Japan Cup but is not scheduled to participate.

"He probably won't run again this year," said Johnston, who has penciled in next March's Dubai Sheema Classic as Jukebox Jury's next major target.

Buccellati, a 5-year-old horse who is based in England with Andrew Balding, recorded his first Grade 1 stakes-placing when he finished two lengths behind Jukebox Jury.

"We're very happy," said Balding. "He probably just wanted a little more give in the ground."

Buccellati is scheduled to return to Sha Tin Race Course for the Dec. 13 Hong Kong Vase, in which he finished a close sixth last year.

Early lead doesn't work for Marsh Side

Marsh Side, a 6-year-old horse who won last year's Canadian International after stalking, was the early leader this time and finished fourth, a head behind Buccellati.

"We were concerned as to who was going to go to the lead and thought it could have been us," said Patrick Lawley-Wakelin, who is the racing manager for Marsh Side's owner Robert S. Evans.

"We found out he'd rather be a hunter than being hunted."

Marsh Side will be heading back to California but is scheduled for a return trip to the Japan Cup, which will be run Nov. 29.

Last year, Marsh Side traveled to Japan but fell ill during his journey and had to be scratched.

Plans for Just as Well in the air

Just as Well, a 6-year-old horse who was awarded the victory in the Northern Dancer after Marsh Side's disqualification, trailed the field of eight early and failed to fire while finishing fifth in the International.

"He just got outpaced the last part," said Jonathan Sheppard, who owns and trains Just as Well. "I think I'll put him away for the year. Whether I race him next year remains to be seen. I might stand him at stud if I get the right offer."

Will connections supplement Lahaleeb?

Lahaleeb earned a guaranteed berth in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf after her 1 3/4-length score under rider William Buick in Saturday's .

Lahaleeb, a 4-year-old Irish-bred filly, is not Breeders' Cup eligible, however, and would have to be supplemented at a cost of $180,000.

"The key now is to get her home," said Mick Channon Jr., son and assistant to Lahaleeb's trainer Mick Channon, who accompanied Lahaleeb on her trip. "They'll want to have a look at it. Mick and the owners will make the decision."

Lahaleeb, who is based in England, had finished a close second in the Grade 1 Irish Guineas. But she had been unproven beyond one mile, a fact that may have contributed to her 44-1 price.

Rainbow View on target for Breeders' Cup

Rainbow View, the runner-up in the E.P. Taylor as the 2-1 favorite, had shipped in from England with an eye toward an appearance in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, and her effort did nothing to dissuade her connections.

Last year's champion 2-year-old filly in England, Rainbow View was scheduled to leave Thursday for California.

Eastern Aria and Look Here, the other English raiders in the E.P. Taylor, will be heading home following their fourth- and sixth-place finishes.

"She was maybe a bit unlucky," said Mark Johnston, who trains Eastern Aria. "She's a horse that needs a good test of stamina. There was no sort of pace, and she needed a good clear run in the stretch.

Ralph Beckett, who had sent out Look Here to upset last year's Grade 1 English Oaks, had hoped to use the E.P. Taylor as a stepping-stone to the Breeders' Cup.

"She would have had to finish in the first two to do that," said Beckett. "She's run very disappointingly, below par. It's hard to say why, except she grew a winter coat when she came here. It's possible that's it for her for the year."

* Allied Powers, a 4-year-old colt who finished seventh in the International in his Grade 1 debut, will be returning to England.

* Quijano, the well-traveled 7-year-old gelding from Germany, will be going back to his homeland after finishing eighth in the International.

* Princess Haya, Treat Gently and Salve Germania, who had shipped up from the United States, are returning to their bases after their third-, fifth-, and sixth-place finishes in the E.P. Taylor.

* All-sources handle on Sunday's 11-race card was a robust $5,805,611, an increase of 20.2 per cent over last year's Canadian International Day on Oct. 4.