08/30/2007 11:00PM

German home team tough in Grosser Preis von Baden


Early Arc de Triomphe clues will abound at Baden-Baden on Sunday, when Mountain High invades Germany to face a strong local group in the Group 1, $340,000 Grosser Preis von Baden.

Rested since his June 24 victory over Mandesha in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at the Grosser Preis distance of 1 1/2 miles, Mountain High is a 5-year-old son of Danehill trained in England by Michael Stoute. Among his challengers will be another British raider, Youmzain. Only fifth in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, Youmzain has since finished a sharp second to Dylan Thomas in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

But a quartet of tough German horses make this the most intriguing Grosser Preis von Baden in some time, despite the drastic cut in prize money from last year's $940,000.

Prince Flori faded to finish last in the King George, but he is the defending champ and also won the Group 2 Grosser Mercedes-Benz Preis here in May. Axxos, the winner of the Group 2 Oppenheim-Union-Rennen this spring, is coming off a second-place finish to current Arc second favorite Zambezi Sun in the Grand Prix de Paris. Quijano, who won 10 races in a row, three of them in Dubai, between April 2006 and March 2007, returned to winning ways taking the listed Ittlingen-Pokal last time and, like Prince Flori, is 2 for 2 at Baden-Baden.

Perhaps most dangerous of all to British hopes is Adlerflug, the seven-length winner of the German Derby on July 1 on heavy ground. Adlerflug is an In the Wings colt trained by red-hot rookie Jens Hirschberger, now the headman at Baron Georg von Ullman's Gestut Schlenderhan. The good ground at Baden-Baden, however, acts against his chances.