French Village Canters to Susan's Girl Win
Updated: Saturday, August 30, 2003 5:35 PM
(from Calder track report)
Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2003 5:35 PM
Laura and Eugene Melnyk's French Village remained perfect in her career, winning for the third time at Calder Race Course on Saturday while taking the $125,000 Susan's Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes.
Trained by Bill White, the 2-yar-old filly French Village won the $75,000 Desert Vixen division in her last start, which puts her two-thirds of the way to a sweep of the FSS series, which culminates on Oct. 11 with the $400,000 My Dear Girl Division. Only one filly has ever won the three races in the 21 years of the FSS program: Nancy's Glitter in 1997.
"Now it gets interesting," White said. "When 2-year-olds go two turns for the first time (the My Dear Girl at 1 1/16 mile), you're in 'no man's' land.
"My challenge is that she's a light-bodied filly that you don't want to train hard. She only had one five-eighths work since her last race. So I'll have to balance between not training her too hard and yet keep her fit enough."
Sent off as the 1-to-5 favorite, French Village made it look easy. Ridden by Gary Boulanger, she raced alongside Family Favorite, the 9-to-2 second choice, until putting her away at the quarter pole. A mild challenge came from Chatter Chatter, a former White trainee, down the stretch but French Village was much the best, covering the seven furlongs in 1:25 4/5. She paid $2.40, 2.20, 2.10.
"She kind of gave me a scare coming out of there (starting gate)," said Boulanger. "She broke really hard to the outside. Then (One Smart Lady) kind of stumbled and I was right back in position. That's the first sign of a good horse – when they can overcome adversity and put themselves back in the race without having to do anything but hang on to her. From there, I just nursed her along as long as I wanted."
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