09/29/2001 11:00PM

Choc Ice, at 31-1, takes Taylor


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - French-trained fillies added a new chapter to their history of success in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes as Choc Ice, let go at 31-1, led a 1-2-3 sweep for the Parisian raiders in Sunday's $500,000 supporting feature at Woodbine.

Choc Ice, owned by Micheline Vidal and trained by Robert Collet, burst to the lead in midstretch under jockey Johnny Murtagh and held safe a rallying Volga by a neck, with Spring Oak another 1 1/2 lengths back in third place.

Racing on Lasix for the first time in her first start outside France, Choc Ice broke from the outside post in the field of 13 for the 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

"I decided to get over to the rail and save a bit of ground," said jockey Johnny Murtagh, who was riding Choc Ice for the first time. "Up the straight, I had a great run in between horses and when I asked her to quicken she quickened very well."

Volga, who was racing 11th with a quarter-mile to run, was flying on the outside while Spring Oak, prominent throughout, came up the rail. Both the second and third-place finishers were trained by Andre Fabre.

Choc Ice returned $64.10 while Volga, the fourth choice at 6-1, completed a $576.30 exactor and Spring Oak, the second favorite at 4-1, rounded out a $1,889.90 triactor. Nymphenburg, based here at Woodbine, finished fourth.

Keemoon, the 3-1 favorite, finished 11th after being close to the early pace of Free Vacation, who set fractions of :26.33, :51, and 1:15.21 before giving way through the final quarter to finish ninth..

Choc Ice, clocked in 2:03.01 over good going, earned $300,000 for the first stakes victory of her career.

Collet sent out the 3-year-old filly Truly A Dream to capture the 1994 Taylor and the 3-year-old filly River Memories to take the 1987 Canadian International.

The list of French-trained 3-year-old fillies who have won the Taylor since 1980 also includes Hatoof, Khariyda, Ivor's Image, Devalois, Reine Mathilde and Vidor.