08/12/2010 1:20PM

Vision d'Etat returning in Gontaut-Biron


Vision d’Etat returns to the races at Deauville on Saturday in the $103,000 Prix Gontaut-Biron, a 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 contest for older horses that will be his first start since finishing a dull 12th in the Dubai World Cup on March 27.

The winner of the French Derby in 2008 and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes last year emerged sore from his first try on a synthetic surface in the World Cup at Meydan but has been pronounced ready to go by trainer Eric Libaud, who will give a leg up to Olivier Peslier. A 5-year-old son of Chichicastenango, Vision d’Etat generally runs well fresh, but he will be facing some tough customers on Saturday.

The most intriguing of them is the Argentine Horse of the Year, Interaction. Formerly with Alfredo Gaitan Dassie, for whom he won two Group 1’s on turf, the 1 1/4-mile Gran Premio Jockey Club and the 1 1/2-mile Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini, the South American equivalent of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Interaction is now with Pascal Bary preparing for the Arc itself on Oct. 3. Christophe Soumillon will ride.

Agent Secret, recent winner of the 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Grand Prix de Vichy, will be stepping up in class.

* The Group 2 $167,000 Prix de Pomone at 1 9/16 miles for fillies and mares features a clash between the Daryakana, owned by the Aga Khan and trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, and High Heeled, owned by George Strawbridge and trained by John Gosden. Daryakana had made it 5 for5 when she beat males in the 1 1/2-mile, Group 1 Hong Kong Vase in December but has failed three times since then, finishing third last time in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, in which Coronation Cup third High Heeled finished 4 lengths behind her.

* On Thursday at Deauville, Via Medici prevailed by a length over 13 3-year-old fillies in the one-mile, $103,000 Prix de Lieurey, prompting her trainer, Francois Rohaut, to announce that she will be aimed at Belmont Park’s Flower Bowl Invitational on Oct. 2.