02/26/2011 10:49AM

Mont Pelato disappoints in France while trying to earn Blue Grass start


Mont Pelato’s plans to come to America for the Blue Grass Stakes and a possible tilt at the Kentucky Derby hit a snag at Cagnes-sur-Mer on Saturday when the Forest Danger colt backed up to finish ninth in the listed $75,000 Prix Policeman.

Thomas Huet put Mont Pelato on the lead almost from the start of the 1 1/4-mile Fibresand stakes and opened up a five-length lead at the halfway point. He led to the eighth pole and then stopped as the 20-1 Nicolas Clement-trained Inscrutable held off the 5-1 Mariage Tardif by a head for the victory.

Mont Pelato, who had won his first two starts on the Deauville Fibresand this winter employing pace-tracking tactics, came home 5 3/4 lengths behind the winner as the 3-2 favorite. The winning time for the race was a rather quick 2:00.76.

“I’m very disappointed,” said trainer Christophe Ferland.”It was a very bad ride. Mont Pelato was pulling early and the jockey pushed him a bit and he went immediately in front without cover, only to die at the furlong marker. We haven’t seen anything like his true self today.”

But Ferland hasn’t yet ruled out a trip to Keeneland and the April 16 Blue Grass Stakes for Mont Pelato, who is based at Ferland’s training center in Bordeaux.

“We’ll send him back home,” he said. “A decision about whether he will go to Keeneland will be made later in the week.”