04/22/2010 12:00AM

Dariole takes blanket finish at Saint-Cloud


Dariole prevailed in a three-way photo to lift the Group 3, $107,000 Prix Penelope at Saint-Cloud on Thursday, holding on bravely near the line to win by a neck with A Media Luz and the British favorite Middle Club dead-heating for second.

Ridden by Gregory Benoist for Pascal Bary, Dariole covered the 1 5/16 miles on good to soft ground in a tepid 2:19.90 after tracking A Media Luz's slow pace in second. Owned by Helen Barbe, Dariole was sent off at 8.70-1 after having scored a 1 1/4-mile Saint-Cloud allowance victory on April 9 over Sinndarina, who finished seventh on Thursday.

The Yann Fouin-trained A Media Luz had her perfect 2-for-2 record at Fontainebleau ended but actually enhanced her reputation in defeat, while the 5-2 Richard Hannon-trained Middle Club, who won the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale at Chantilly last fall, finished gamely along the rail.

Bary will now supplement Dariole, a Highest Honor filly, for the May 23 Prix Saint-Alary, the key prep for the French Oaks on June 13. Hannon will step Middle Club up to 1 1/2 miles for either the Prix de Royaumont or the Prix de Malleret.