Updated on 09/16/2011 8:30AM

Sulamani surprises in France


The colors of the Niarchos family were thrust back into the spotlight Sunday when Sulamani scored a 19-1 upset over previously undefeated Act One in the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) at Chantilly.

Sulamani was keeping it in the family in more ways than one. He is a son of 1993 French Derby winner Hernando and a half-brother to the 1998 winner, Dream Well, both of whom were ridden by Cash Asmussen. Hernando was owned by Stavros Niarchos, and Dream Well was owned by the Niarchos family, which is overseen by Niarchos's American-born widow, Maria.

The 9-10 Act One looked home free approaching the eighth pole but could not contend with the late rally of Sulamani, who prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths. Ridden by Thierry Thulliez, Sulamani covered the 1 1/2 miles on good ground in 2:25, the second fastest time in the race's history and just .90 off the track record set by Bering in 1986.

British supplementary entry Simeon was third, five lengths behind Act One; Black Sam Bellamy and Castle Gandolfo finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Trainer Pascal Bary accepted the plaudits for his fourth Jockey-Club winner, having won three times in the previous seven years, with Celtic Arms, Ragmar, and Dream Well. But Bary was making no promises about Sulamani's next race. Dream Well went on to glory in the Irish Derby in 1998, but Bary said that as Sulamani would have to supplemented to the classic race at The Curragh for $135,000, he may look elsewhere.

Sulamani, who made his racing debut April 7, was winning for the third time in four starts. British bookies Coral have made him the 5-1 second choice for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, behind 3-1 Sakhee and ahead of 6-1 Act One, but those prices could change drastically after Saturday's Epsom Derby.

* Trainer Criquette Head-Maarek mentioned Arlington's Secretariat Stakes as a possible stop on the summer schedule of Rouvres, the winner of the

Group 1 Prix Jean Prat on Sunday. The St. James's Palace Stakes and the Grand Prix de Paris are also possibilities for Rouvres, who won the Jean Prat by a short neck at 5-1, getting the 1 1 /8 miles in a fast 1:46.50.

* In Tokyo, Admire Cozzene, a Japanese bred son of Cozzene, took the $1,435,000 one-mile Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen by a neck from Dantsu Flame. Tokyo Racecourse, ultra-modern by American or European standards, will close next week for the remainder of the year for refurbishment.