$3.3M Purchase Rougir Runs to Expectations in Beaugay

One week after successfully unveiling French import Speak of the Devil in capturing the Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes (G2T) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downstrainer Chad Brown and owner Peter Brant were up to that same stakes-winning maneuver with a different French filly, this time May 14 at Belmont Park.

Showcasing group 1-winning Rouger a filly purchased by Brant and Coolmore representatives for more than $3.3 million overseas last December, she delivered as the public expected Saturday, quickening down the stretch to outrun Our Flash Drive and High Opinion in the $150,000 Beaugay Stakes (G3T). Rougir’s group 2-winning, grade 1-placed stablemate Lemista Old also owned by Brant, fourth ran.

It was the kind of winning performance expected by the public, who backed the daughter of Territories to 3-5 favoritism in her first start since running seventh in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) in November at Del Mar. A start earlier, she had won the Prix de l’Opera Longines (G1) in France in her top achievement from her 3-year-old season.

Last of seven early after breaking from the inside, she advanced once moved outside, leaving her within the range of the leaders approaching the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile turf race. Asked to quicken in the lane, she went from fifth to second by midstretch, then took command and pulled away for a three-length win over stalker Our Flash Drive. The race was hand-timed in 1:43.40 with no accurate fractional times available. She paid $3.20 for a $2 win wager.

“I had the chance down the backside and got myself outside the slow pace and it felt like it wasn’t going to be any good to stay on the inside,” winning rider Flavien Prat said. “So, I gave myself the chance to go around and it was a big help for me.”

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High Opinion, who pressed the early pace of eventual last-place finisher Plum Ali was a nose back in third over a course officially rated as firm but dampened by afternoon rain.

This season, Rougir will look to add some more stakes as a 4-year-old on US soil, racing for Brant and Michael Tabor. Longer races are on deck toward a possible return in the Breeders’ Cup, held this fall at Keeneland.

“It certainly looks like she’ll stretch out fine. She’s proven at a mile and a quarter previously and I think that’s where she’s headed,” said Brown, who suggested the filly could run in the 1 1/4-mile New York Stakes (G1T) at Belmont June 10. Brown notched a record fifth Beaugay win, with all of his victories coming since 2014.

Out of the stakes-placed Elusive City mar Summer Moon , Rougir is easily the best of five foals produced from her dam, of which there is only one other winner. The dam’s youngest foal is an unraced 2-year-old filly by Style Vendome named Benvenuti.

Rougir now has five wins, a second, and three thirds from 15 starts and earnings of $635,143.

She was a desired filly at the Arqana Breeding Stock Sale in December, where Oceanic Bloodstock, agent for Brant’s White Birch Farm and MV Magnier, acquired her for the equivalent of $3,393,043 from the Sumbe consignment.

“I’m the lucky recipient of some nice fillies (Brant) bought over there” in Europe, Brown said. “Me and my team are very grateful for all the horses Mr. Brant sends us. It looks like we’re off to a great season. This is his tenth graded already win this season. He’s having a great year and deservedly so. He’s done the right thing by his horses (this) winter resting them.”



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