Flotilla wins the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches in France.
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Flotilla wins the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches in France.
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John Gilmore

Flotilla Strikes in Return to Take Pouliches

The Mizzen Mast filly was making her first start since winning at Santa Anita.

Flotilla, the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf (gr. IT) winner, overtook the leading Esoterique in the closing strides and won the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I), or French One Thousand Guineas, May 12 at Longchamp.

The race set up perfectly for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani's Mizzen Mast  filly, whose stablemate Sage Melody laid down the early tempo before yielding to Godolphin's Tasaday over 400 meters out and fading.

Tasaday's lead was short-lived, however, as recent Prix Vanteaux (Fr-III) winner Esoterique seized control in the final furlong. Flotilla was fresh and full of run in her first start since the Breeders' Cup, however, as she rallied from midfield and wore down the leader close to home to prevail.

Ridden by Christophe Lemaire, Flotilla was timed in 1: 34.77 for the 1,600 meters (about one mile) on turf rated as good.

In a breakthrough stakes performance Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park, Flotilla won the Juvenile Fillies Turf by 1 1/4 lengths at 11-1 odds. The victory was flattered when favorite and eighth-place finisher Sky Lantern won the One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) April 5 at Newmarket.

Flotilla entered the Juvenile Fillies Turf as a maiden winner off a fourth-place finish in the Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium des Pouliches (Fr-I) in October at Longchamp. Uncoiling an explosive rallied in the center of the track, she inhaled eight opponents, some finding traffic in the final furlong, for the victory.

Tasaday held for third in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, four lengths in front of Zurigha in the 20-horse field.

Flotilla has three wins from six career starts for trainer Mikel Delzangles. She was bred in France by Eric Puerari, Oceanic Bloodstock, and Ariane Gravereaux.

The dark bay or brown filly is out of 2004 Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT) winner Louvain, by Sinndar, a half sister to Calder stakes winner Louvakhova. Second dam Flanders was runner-up in the 1999 King's Stand Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot. Flotilla was a $172,740 purchase by Bahen Bloodstock at the 2011 Arqana Deauville August yearling sale from the Michel Zerolo's Haras de Capucines, agent, consignment.

Sire Mizzen Mast, a 15-year-old son of Cozzene, stands at Juddmonte Farms in Lexington. He was the only sire to have two grade I winners at last year's Breeders' Cup as Mizdirection won the Turf Sprint (gr. IT).