06/21/2006 12:00AM

Ouija Board beats boys at Ascot


Ouija Board upset Electrocutionist and David Junior at Royal Ascot Wednesday, leaving the boys in the dust and making the $688,000 Prince of Wales's Stakes the fifth Group 1 victory of her fabulous career. Quickening from well behind off a slow pace cut out by Electrocutionist, the gallant 5-year-old mare Ouija Board responded to the urging of Olivier Peslier to defeat Godolphin's Dubai World Cup winner Electrocutionist by half a length. It was three quarters of a length farther back to Manduro in third with Dubai Duty Free winner and 11-8 favorite David Junior fourth, beaten two lengths by a mare whose name must now be preceded by the adjective "legendary."

Few other fillies or mares have accomplished what Ouija Board has. At 3 she pulled off the English Oaks, Irish Oaks double, then added the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf in what would be the first of numerous transoceanic sojourns in search of Group 1 success. After suffering a quarter crack to her right foreleg early last year, she was later found to have a stress fracture to her right foreleg. Still, she managed to close out her 4-year-old campaign with a victory against males in the Hong Kong Vase.

Second last time behind the mighty Shirocco in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, Ouija Board was overlooked in the Prince of Wales betting at 8-1. The 9-4 Electrocutionist looked like he would not be reeled in under Frankie Dettori entering the stretch, but when Peslier angled Ouija Board out for room, the response was instantaneous. She led 150 yards from the line, running the 1 1/4 miles in 2:06.92 on good to firm ground. "Today was probably the best day of her life," said Ouija Board's trainer, Ed Dunlop. "Frankly, I would have run her in the Hardwicke here on Friday, but it was Teddy's [owner Lord Derby's] decision to go in this." Peslier, who was riding Ouija Board for the first time, was impressed with his mount. "She is great, and this was a typical English race . . . ladies first," the Frenchman quipped. "She's easy to ride and very generous." Dunlop suggested that Ouija Board was due for a rest but will consider the 1 1/4-mile Eclipse Stakes on July 8 before beginning preparations for a trip to Churchill Downs for the Breeders' Cup in October. "The plan," he said, "is to get her crown back in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf." Last year, she couldn't quite catch Intercontinental in that race at Belmont Park. Oct. 24 at Churchill could be her restoration day.

Meanwhile, Electrocutionist, running for the first time in three months, is scheduled to run next in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Royal Ascot on July 29, when he could run into both European champion Hurricane Run and Japanese sensation Heart's Cry. Trainer Brian Meehan said that David Junior might go next in the Eclipse.

Wednesday at Ascot belonged to the ladies. Earlier, Soviet Song returned to form with a consummate victory in the $240,000 Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes, a straight mile which she covered in 1:40.67. Quickening from last to first under Jamie Spencer, the 6-year-old Marju mare Soviet Song defeated recent two-time Group 3 winner Echelon by two lengths as the 11-8 choice. Soviet Song will now be aimed by trainer James Fanshawe at a third consecutive win in the one-mile Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket on July 12.

Meanwhile, a crowd of 54,892 came to see Ascot's new grandstand on opening day of the royal meeting on Tuesday - an increase of 7,629 over opening day two years ago when the royal meeting was last held at Ascot. But initial impressions of the new stand were mixed. While most everyone agreed that the largely steel-and-glass structure is visually impressive, many missed the sense of intimacy provided by sections of the old stand. Some had difficulty finding their place in the stands or in one of the track's many dining rooms. Such words as "shopping mall" were heard to describe the new structure, but by Wednesday it seemed that most spectators were settling in on a beautiful, sunny day.