06/10/2010 12:00AM

Miss Liberty wins Prix La Fleche


The French 2-year-old season got under way in earnest at Maisons-Laffitte on Thursday as won the listed, $66,000 Prix La Fleche. In keeping with the normal precocity of French fillies at this time of year, it was the sixth time in the last 10 years that a member of her sex had won the 5 1/2-furlong dash. A French-bred daughter of Statue of Liberty and Miss America, she will appropriately make her next start on the fourth of July back at Maisons-Laffitte in the Group 3 Prix du Bois.

Her chances look good in the 5 1/2-furlong Bois, as five of the last seven La Fleche winners have doubled up in that race. On Thursday, the 5.80-1 Miss Liberty tracked the pace in third and led at the three-sixteenths pole to defeat the 31-1 longshot Magic Potion by a length, getting the straight 5 1/2 furlongs on good to soft ground in 1:00.60. Melody Dawn, made the 2-1 favorite off a four-length maiden score at Longchamp, finished last of eleven.

Trained by Pia Brandt, a former jockey in Sweden who has been based in France since 2006, Miss Liberty was bred by her owners at Ecurie D Primes, the nom de course of Jean-Pierre Dubois. The last three fillies to win the Prix La Fleche - Percolator, Natagora, and Gwenseb - all went on to win the Prix du Bois. Among the more prominent La Fleche winners of years past are Ma Biche, Hector Protector, and Arazi, with Arazi also having gone on to success in the Bois.