11/06/2004 12:00AM

France: Paita captures Criterium


Paita, a German-trained filly whose only previous race was in Italy, beat six colts in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud, over 1 1/4 miles at Saint-Cloud in Paris on Saturday.

Paita settled quietly for jockey Andreas Suborics behind a slow pace and was not asked for anything until the straight. Suborics brought her with a steady run up the outside. She caught the hard-ridden Irish raider Yehudi halfway through the final furlong and won by three-quarters of a length with her rider sitting still.

Laverock was one length back in third, and the favorite, Musketier, never threatened and finished fifth. The time was 2:19.80, slow even considering the very soft going.

Paita had been impressive in her debut at San Siro in Milan on Oct. 13, but that did not count for much on Saturday and she was sent off at 19-1. She is owned by Manfred Hofer and Albert Steigenberger and trained by Mario Hofer.