04/06/2007 12:00AM

Lightly raced Spycrawler tries French Derby prep


Spycrawler can live up to his star billing at Longchamp on Sunday when he takes on four far more experienced rivals in the Group 2, $174,000 Prix Noailles, a 1 5/16-mile prep for the French Derby.

Bred in Kentucky by his owners, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, Spycrawler is a Red Ransom colt out of America, an Arazi mare who won the Group 2 Prix de Malleret and the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux for the Wertheimers in 2000. Trained by Andre Fabre, Spycrawler won at first asking by four lengths in a one-mile allowance at Saint-Cloud on Nov. 3. Olivier Peslier will ride him in his seasonal debut.

Spirit One was rated France's top juvenile last year but has failed to progress. The winner of the Group 3 Prix des Chenes, he was second to Mount Nelson in the one-mile Criterium International but only fourth to Passage of Time in the 1 1/4-mile Criterium de Saint-Cloud. He flopped in his first start this year when third in the listed Prix Omnium II and appears headed in the wrong direction.

Aidan O'Brien will saddle his dangerous Criterium de Saint-Cloud runner-up Soldier of Fortune, a Galileo colt who will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon in the absence of Kieren Fallon, who is suspended in France until June 7. Staraco and Quest for Honor, second and third in the listed Prix Maurice Caillault on March 17, complete the field.