09/02/2012 5:25PM

Germany: Danedream preps for Arc de Triomphe defense by winning Germany's top race for second time


Danedream won Germany’s most important race for older horses, the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden, for the second straight year on Sunday at Baden-Baden, but her workmanlike half-length victory over Ovambo Queen bore little resemblance to the six-length waxing she put on her nearest pursuers in the race’s 2011 edition.

Winning for the eighth time in 17 starts, the German-bred and partially owned Danedream is now all set for a defense of her smashing win in the 2011 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, a race she won last year by five lengths in course-record time. Sunday’s race is expected to be her final start in Germany, where she has run seven times during a career that, improbably, has thrust her to the front ranks of European middle-distance horses. Danedream didn’t win a Group 1 until the 10th start of her career, but the daughter of Lomitas now has won five such races in her last seven starts.

Sunday, with regular rider Andrasch Starke up for trainer Peter Schiergen, Danedream raced close to the lead while her stablemate and pacemaker, Girolamo, failed to make the front and set a truly legitimate tempo, circumstances that Schiergen said concerned him. But with Starke getting to serious work not long after turning into the homestretch of the left-handed course, Danedream delivered a dynamic enough kick to hold clear German Derby winner Pastorius, who had loomed with a good run from last, and Ovambo Queen, who took second by a half-length from Pastorius.

While Danedream will head back to Paris, Ovambo Queen was mentioned afterward as a possible starter in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. Pastorius’s connections have expressed an interest in tackling Frankel this fall in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.