05/10/2009 12:00AM

Elusive Wave upsets favored Fantasia


One American's loss was another American's gain at Longchamp on Sunday as Elusive Wave, owned by Martin S. Schwartz, won the $533,000 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 1000 Guineas, while George Strawbridge's odds-on favorite Fantasia came home a one-paced third behind runner-up Tamazirte. Earlier, Silver Frost had scored an impressive two-length victory the $533,000 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, or French 2000 Guineas.

The Pouliches was also a personal triumph for Jean-Claude Rouget, who trains both Elusive Wave and Tamazirte. Ridden by Christophe Lemaire, the 5-1 Elusive Wave led throughout, setting a rather slow pace that allowed her to hold them all off through the stretch. She had a half-length on Group 3 Prix de la Grotte winner Tamazirte on the line, with seven-length Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes winner Fantasia 1 1/2 lengths farther back in third. Proportional, last fall's Group Prix Marcel Boussac winner who had finished third behind Tamazirte in the Prix de la Grotte, was fourth, beaten 2 3/4 lengths. The time for the mile on good ground was 1:36.87.

Elusive Wave had prepped for her Guineas triumph with a win in the listed seven-furlong Prix Imprudence at Maisons-Laffitte. Her only loss in six career starts came when she finished three lengths second to Proportional in the Marcel Boussac.

Schwartz, a Wall Street trader who campaigned the French-bred fillies Gorella and Lady of Venice in America, purchased Elusive Wave at the Arqana Arc Sale at Saint-Cloud on the eve of the Marcel Boussac for $910,000. Rouget is considering either the 1 5/16-mile Prix de Diane (French Oaks) at Chantilly on June 14 or the one-mile Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19 as the next start for the Irish-bred daughter of Elusive City.

Strawbridge has now seen his two star fillies beaten in the last week as Rainbow View had finished fifth as the favorite in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. He intends to keep them separated, with Rainbow View being aimed at the English Oaks. Plans for Fantasia are still up in the air, although the French Oaks must be a strong possibility.

In winning the French 2000 Guineas, Silver Frost was improving upon his course and distance victory four weeks ago in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau. Rated in ninth in the 11-runner field by Christophe Soumillon, the 4-1 Verglas colt rallied to lead 150 yards out to defeat recent Prix Djebel winner Le Havre with Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner and Djebel runner-up Naaqoos third, a short neck farther back. Naaqoos, however, was disqualified and placed sixth for interference, promoting Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf second Westphalia to third. The winning time was 1:35.43.

Trained by Yves de Nicolay, Silver Frost, who had beaten Westphalia by a half-length in the Fontainebleau, could stretch out to the 1 5/16 miles of the French Derby next time on June 7 at Chantilly.

* Fame and Glory is William Hill's new favorite for the Epsom Derby after his five-length cakewalk over Mourayan in the Group 2, $160,000 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday. The Aidan O'Brien-trained son of Montjeu remains undefeated and is now rated at 5-2 for the Derby, displacing 2000 Guineas winner Sea the Stars, who is now 10-3.