04/19/2004 11:00PM

Stevens wins French stakes


Gary Stevens rode three winners at Maisons-Laffitte on Tuesday, chief among them Valixir, who gave the American his first French stakes triumph in the listed Prix Matchem.

A 3-year-old son of Trempolino trained by Andre Fabre for the Lagardere Family, Valixir cruised to the lead at the three-eighths pole in the 1 1/8-mile Matchem and went on to a handy four-length tally over Red Tune. It was his third victory in four career starts, his only loss coming when he ran second by 1 1/2 lengths to the European juvenile champion Bago in the Group 3 Prix des Chenes last September.

Valixir is slated to go next in the Group 1 Prix Lupin at Longchamp on May 16, after which Fabre will choose between the 1 1/2-mile French Derby on June 6 and the 1 1/4-mile Grand Prix de Paris on June 27.

Stevens followed with a victory aboard Osidy in a five-furlong first-timers' maiden. A 2-year-old colt trained by Xavier Nakkachdji, Osidy could have a bright future, as he is by Storm Cat out of the 1997 German Oaks and German 1000 Guineas winner, Que Belle, who later won the Osunitas Handicap at Del Mar. Stevens completed his triple on the Fabre-trained Diamond Tango, a first-time starter, in a 1 5/16-mile conditions race.