The Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard—Jacques Le Marois (G1) at Deauville Aug. 13 could be billed as a rematch involving 3-year-olds Thunder Snow, Trais Fluors, and Gold Luck, the first three finishers in the Prix Jean Prat (G1) at Chantilly a month ago.
But as summer swings well past its midpoint, it's time for the youngsters to make their case against older horses, and the Jacques Le Marois offers a good opportunity to ease into such waters. Better yet, the race is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event to the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T).
The lone 4-year-old in the race, Taareef, will be giving significant weight to the other five in this field. But the American-bred colt by Kitten's Joy out of the Carson City mare Sacred Feather, trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, enters the fray off three straight wins dating back to last fall. His two victories this season came in group 3 events at Maisons-Laffitte and Chantilly.
Taareef, who sports the blue and white colors of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, has yet to win at the group 1 level—but his body of work has him near the top of the list with most bookmakers in antepost wagering.
Thunder Snow, the Godolphin-owned Helmet colt who famously declined to run when the gates opened for this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), has behaved much better since shipping back across the Atlantic.
The winner of the UAE Derby Sponsored By The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (G2) finished second to Churchill in the Tattersalls Irish Two Thousand Guineas (G1) at the Curragh three weeks after the first leg of the U.S. Triple Crown, reported third in the St. James's Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, and was a rather easy winner last time out in the Prix Jean Prat.
Trais Fluors, a 3-year-old Dansili colt trained by Andre Fabre, was undefeated going into the Jean Prat before losing by 1 1/4 lengths to Thunder Snow. Gold Luck, a Redoute's Choice filly bred and owned by Wertheimer & Frere, has a more modest record but did well to save third in the Jean Prat after stumbling badly leaving the stalls.
Al Wukair and Inns of Court round out the field for Sunday's tilt.