08/23/2007 11:00PM

Champs Elysees tries again


Champs Elysees, whose brothers and sisters include Banks Hill, Intercontinental, Cacique, Heat Haze, and Dansili, will make a third attempt to notch Group 2 laurels in the 1 9/16-mile $271,000 Grand Prix de Deauville on Sunday, closing day of the seaside resort's 16-day August meeting.

A Danehill 4-year-old, Champs Elysees began the year with a victory in the 1 1/2-mile Group 3 Prix d'Hedouville in May but was only fifth in the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly a month later. Stepped up to 1 3/4 miles for the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil on July 14, he failed to run down German raider Bussoni, looking very much like a one-paced plodder in losing by a nose.

On Sunday he faces a trio of good looking 3-year-olds led by Sagara, who was an unlucky third on July 14 in the Grand Prix de Paris. Sagara is perfectly suited to the distance and the soft ground at Deauville. The same can be said for the Andre Fabre-trained stablemate of Champs Elysees, the lightly raced Poet Laureate, the winner on Aug. 4 of the listed Prix de Reux over the Grand Prix de Deauville course and distance.

Anton Chekhov, winner of the Group 2 Prix Hocquart when trained by Aidan O'Brien in May, has since been third in the German Derby for new trainer Uwe Ostmann and is also well suited by the conditions.