07/21/2006 12:00AM

Schiaparelli rates nod in Hamburg


The $807,000 Group 1 German Derby at Hamburg on Sunday boils down to a contest between the favored Aspectus and four sons or daughters of Germany's leading stallion, Monsun.

By the influential Champion Stakes winner Spectrum, Aspectus is an Irish-bred colt who made amends for his dull 13th-place finish in the 1 5/16-mile French Derby with a sharp score in the major German Derby prep, the 1 3/8-mile Group 2 Oppenheim-Union-Rennen on July 2. Trained by Hans Blume, he left three of his main German Derby rivals behind him that day and will have Andre de Vries in the saddle.

Two of those three, Lauro and Imonso, are sons of Monsun trained by Peter Schiergen, the former champion jockey who will also saddle Schiaparelli, another Monsun colt. A three-time conditions race winner going 1 3/8 miles, Schiaparelli stepped way up in class last time, finishing an unlucky second in the 1 1/2-mile Group 1 Deutschland-Preis against older horses. With Andrasch Starke on board, he is accorded the preference in Germany's 1 1/2-mile classic

The fourth Monsun in the field of 15 is the filly Quelle Amore. Trained by Andreas Wohler, she was the winner of the 1 3/8-mile Group 2 Schwarzgold-Rennen on May 14 before finishing fourth in the 1 3/8-mile German Oaks on June 4. She appears overmatched by both Schiaparelli and Aspectus.