04/09/2009 11:00PM

Naaqoos falls head short in Prix Djebel


Dreams of the 2000 Guineas for Naaqoos went up in smoke at Maisons-Laffitte on Friday as the French juvenile champion was beaten by Le Havre in his seasonal debut in the listed Prix Djebel.

After a 10-minute delay caused by Rachmaninov unseating his rider and crashing through the rail, Davy Bonilla put Naaquoos, the odds-on Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner, right on the lead. Challenged approaching the eighth pole, Bonilla put his foot to the floor aboard Naaqoos, only to be headed by the 4-1 Le Havre, who recorded a head victory under Christophe Lemaire in the $72,000 seven-furlong test. The time of the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained winner was 1:23.00 on good to soft ground.

Immediately afterward, trainer Freddie Head said that Naaqoos's participation in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 2 was "doubtful." The Oasis Dream colt has, however, the option of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, or French 2000 Guineas, at Longchamp on May 10 where he would meet Le Havre again.

Rouget doubled his pleasure a half-hour later by taking the Group 3, $105,000 Prix Imprudence with even-money favorite Elusive Wave. The daughter of Elusive City drew off to a comfortable two-length score over Entre Deux Eaux, getting the seven furlongs in 1:23.60. After her victory in Deauville's Group 3 Prix du Calvados, she was bought by Martin Schwartz for $957,000 at Saint-Cloud's Arc Sale on Oct. 4 and finished second the very next day to Proportional in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac.

Elusive Wave is likely to meet Proportional again in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 1000 Guineas, at Longchamp on May 10.

Proportional will have her classic trial at Longchamp on Sunday in the Group 3, $105,000 Prix de la Grotte at one mile. Trained by Criquette Head-Maarek for Khalid Abdullah, she was named French juvenile filly champion after her Marcel Boussac triumph. In Soneva, she will be meeting Article Rare, the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale winner who may have a conditioning edge after her March 23 win in the listed Prix La Camargo. Article Rare, a nose second in the Aumale, followed that with an Oct. 21 victory in the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs.

Westphalia, caught near the line by Donativum in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, makes his first start of the season in the Group 3, $105,000 Prix de Fontainebleau, a course and distance prep for the French 2000 Guineas. Winner of the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, the Aidan O'Brien-trained son of Danehill Dancer will be tested by Group 3 winner Silver Frost and the dangerous Andre Fabre-trained maiden winner Sand Tiger.