10/17/2009 12:00AM

Champs Elysees goes out in style

Michael Burns
Champs Elysees was patiently handled by jockey Garrett Gomez early in the Canadian International and then finished fast to run down Jukebox Jury in deep stretch.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The blue-blooded Champs Elysees made quite a splash in his final career start Saturday at Woodbine, capturing the over the sharp European shipper Jukebox Jury.

Favored Champs Elysees ($7.20) got a patient ride from Garrett Gomez, who had him racing eight lengths off a moderate pace on the backstretch of the 1 1/2-mile, Grade 1 turf race.

Champs Elysees saved ground on the far turn, and then rallied strongly on the outside in the stretch to prevail by a half-length, in a time of 2:28.36 over the firm going. Jukebox Jury inherited the lead from pacemaker Marsh Side at the top of the stretch, and wound up two lengths clear of the hanging third-place finisher, Buccellati.

Marsh Side, last year's International winner, faded to fourth. He was followed by Just as Well, Spice Route, Allied Powers and Quijano.

"I was quite content early on," said Gomez. "We were in good shape. The pace seemed to quicken on the backstretch. I fell back a little, but I was confident that I could make up the ground. He was very responsive to everything I asked him to do. I was biding my time, and when I moved him out, he accelerated and got us home."

Champs Elysees was a troubled fourth in the prep for the International, the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes, in which he was elevated to third after the disqualification of the first-place finisher, Marsh Side.

"I felt like he was the best horse the other day," said Gomez. "He didn't get the chance to show it, and I'm glad he came back and showed that he was the best horse today."

Champs Elysees is trained by Bobby Frankel, who has been ill at home in California battling cancer. Champs Elysees has been stabled in trainer Brian Lynch's Woodbine barn for several months.

The Grade 1 International is a Breeders' Cup Win and You're In, but Champs Elysees has started for the last time and is scheduled to stand at stud next year in England, according Garrett O'Rourke, the farm manager for owner Juddmonte Farm. Champs Elysees is a 6 year old son of Danehill out of the legendary producer Hasili.

"His full-brother, Dansili, is one of the best stallions in Europe, if not the world, and this is going to make him a very important stallion prospect," said O'Rourke, who added: "Garrett rode him like he had the best horse. He made a beautiful move, and timed it perfect."

Champs Elysees, a 6-year-old by Danehill, earned $1.2 million, which boosted his bankroll to nearly $3 million. He has run four times in Canada this year, and is a major contender for Canadian Horse of the Year honors.

Field Commission rallies to take Nearctic

Field Commission ($13.20) rallied from the back of the pack to take the Grade 2, , a Breeders' Cup Win and You're In for the Turf Sprint.

Field Commission saved ground on the backstretch in the six-furlong turf dash, as Silver Z and Chamberlain Bridge dueled through splits of 22.45 and 45.84 seconds.

Field Commission was angled wide at the eighth pole, and then hit the front with a sixteenth left en route to a length and a half win, in a time of 1:09.23. Bogue Chitto, a 21-1 outsider, edged out favored Jungle Wave for second, and Little Nick was another nose back in fourth in the 11-horse field.

It was the third Nearctic score for trainer Danny Vella, who gave Julian Leparoux a leg up on Field Commission.

"The trainer told me to wait on the rail and be patient," said Leparoux. "I was in a very good position. He was very relaxed. When we got out, he made a nice kick for the finish."

Field Commission earned $345,000 for the partnership of Vella and Ed Seltzer.