10/10/2003 11:00PM

Oscar sweeps, but French flops


MIAMI - Sir Oscar completed a sweep of the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes on Saturday's $1.5 million Festival of the Sun program at Calder, while his filly counterpart, French Village, was soundly defeated while attempting to complete a sweep of her division.

Sir Oscar rallied from off the pace to take the lead, then withstood Tap Dancer's late challenge to register a 2 1/4-length victory in the $400,000 In Reality Stakes. Thirty minutes earlier, French Village stopped badly and finished a well-beaten seventh behind her former stablemate Chatter Chatter, who thoroughly dominated the $400,000 My Dear Girl Stakes with a record 19 1/2-length win over Ride Her Out.

In winning the In Reality, Sir Oscar became the fifth horse to win all three legs of the open division of the Stallion Stakes and the sixth overall - counting the filly division - to post a sweep. The victory was also the fifth in as many starts for Sir Oscar, a son of Halo's Image who was bred by his owner, Oscar Novo.

Sir Oscar paid $4.40 as the favorite in a field of nine 3-year-old colts and geldings. He ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.40 with regular rider Julio Garcia aboard.

Sir Oscar raced within easy striking distance of early pacesetter Perpetual Peace and gradually edged closer while kept wide into the stretch. He wore down the tiring leader in midstretch, and after edging well clear held off a belated rally from Tap Dancer.

"Now we can laugh and say we're done," said trainer Manny Azpurua. "He's a nice horse and proved today he can go a distance of ground."

Azpurua said he had no intention of sending Sir Oscar to the Breeders' Cup.

"We'll wait now," said Azpurua. "I don't want to send him to the West Coast and also it's too close coming back in two weeks. It's not fair to the horse. He'll run once more this season and then we'll wait until next year."

Azpurua said Sir Oscar will likely make his next start in the seven-furlong Jack Price Stakes on Nov. 15, Florida Million Day, which could set up an intriguing match with the undefeated Wynn Dot Comma, who won the Birdonthewire Stakes earlier in the day.

Filly sweep fails

French Village, who also entered the day undefeated, raced within striking distance for six furlongs in the My Dear Girl, then tired badly and was all but eased to the wire by jockey Gary Boulanger.

Chatter Chatter, who was transferred to trainer Marty Wolfson's barn by her owner-breeder John Franks shortly before the Aug. 30 Susan's Girl Stakes, led throughout under Jerry Bailey to post her second straight one-sided victory. A daughter of Lost Soldier and Bedroom Chatter, she paid $4 as the co-favorite with French Village.

Chatter Chatter's final time of 1:47.57 was just .17 seconds slower than the open division.

"When she broke on the lead I knew they'd never catch her," said Wolfson, who was himself denied a sweep of the filly division of the Stallion Stakes in 1993 when Miss Gibson County was upset by Cut the Charm. "She just demoralizes horses she's so fast and so efficient. She got a little tired at the end but she ran very fast early and the track is not very fast today."

Wolfson ruled out any chance that Chatter Chatter would run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Gary Boulanger, who rode French Village, said his filly never acted like herself.

"I never had any horse at any time during the race," said Boulanger.