Etoile, a beaten favorite in her two prior North American starts after being transferred to Chad Brown, came through with a victory in Sunday's GI E.P. Taylor S. at Woodbine, giving red-hot Siyouni (Fr) another top-level success in the same Peter Brant colors as that stallion's G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hero Sottsass (Fr).
Two-for-two to open her account for Jean-Claude Rouget last winter at Cagnes-sur-Mer, the bay was a neck runner-up in Longchamp's G3 Prix Vanteaux before annexing the G3 Prix Cleopatre at Saint-Cloud. A close fourth in the G1 Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly, she was off the board in her last two French outings and disappointed when eighth at 17-10 in the GI Gamely S. May 20 after being bought for over $1 million at Tattersalls December. Second in the local GII Dance Smartly S. Aug. 15, she was made one of three 5-2 chances here and tracked from third past soft splits of :26.44 and :51.03. Moving up a spot as the pace quickened a touch through three-quarters in 1:15.50, she drew on even terms past the five-sixteenths and drifted wide off the turn. Blowing by tiring pacesetter Theodora B. outside the furlong grounds, she kicked clear before just holding 41-1 bomber Court Return on the wire.
“It was a good trip,” said local winning rider Rafael Hernandez, who was riding his meet-leading 12th stakes winner. “I called Chad this morning and he told me, 'Raffi, try to get a good trip like last time. Just make sure you clear down the stretch. He told me he'd been working the horse a few times and he put her outside of other horses, and she'd been finishing great. I heard that other horse coming late but I wish she was coming closer. It was too far out so my horse couldn't see. That's why I switched the whip to the left, to try to get her out and get her attention. But we did it.”
Etoile becomes the 43rd stakes winner, 24th graded stakes winner and sixth Grade I/Group 1 scorer for Aga Khan Studs' Siyouni. She is his first North American Grade I winner. Her third dam Navratilovna was a GSW in France. Her dam has a juvenile filly by Lethal Force (Ire) named Arletta (Fr) and a yearling Dabirsim (Fr) filly.
E. P. TAYLOR S.-GI, C$630,000, Woodbine, 10-18, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/4mT, 2:03.12, gd.
1–ETOILE (FR), 124, f, 4, by Siyouni (Fr)
1st Dam: Milena's Dream (Ire), by Authorized (Ire)
2nd Dam: Rozella (Ire), by Anabaa
3rd Dam: Sweet Blue Eyes, by Seeking the Gold
1ST GRADE I WIN. (€160,000 Ylg '17 ARAUG; 750,000gns 3yo
'19 TATMA). O-Peter Brant, Mrs M V Magnier & Mrs Paul
Shanahan; B-Dominique Ades Hazan, Geraldine Henochsberg
& Patrick Fellous (FR); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Rafael Manuel
Hernandez. C$360,000. Lifetime Record: GSW-Fr, 10-4-2-0,
$454,351. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk
Nick Rating: A++.
2–Court Return, 124, f, 4, by Court Vision
1st Dam: In Return, by Horse Chestnut (Saf)
2nd Dam: Bartered Bride, by Shadeed
3rd Dam: Lady Vixen, by Sir Ivor
O-Ivan Dalos; B-Tall Oaks Farm (ON); T-Josie Carroll.
3–Secret Message, 124, m, 5, by Hat Trick (Jpn)
1st Dam: Westside Singer, by Gone West
2nd Dam: Zawzooth, by Unbridled's Song
3rd Dam: Lady Blockbuster, by Silent Screen
O-Madaket Stables LLC, Heider Family Stables LLC, ERJ Racing,
LLC, Elayne Stables and Bouchey, Steven; B-Allen Tennenbaum
(KY); T-H. Graham Motion. C$66,000.
Margins: NK, 2, HF. Odds: 2.50, 41.80, 6.70.
Also Ran: Rideforthecause, Theodora B., Pretty Point, Elizabeth Way (Ire). Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.