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H. H. The Aga Khan’s homebred Edisa Scores in Jockey Club Oaks

Monday, 2019, September 9
Thoroughbred Daily News
Edisa | Sarah K Andrew
Alan Carasso

BELMONT, NY – H. H. The Aga Khan’s homebred Edisa overcame an awkward start by flying home in the late stages to win Saturday’s $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park.

At the age of 40, three years after taking over as the principal trainer for His Highness The Aga Khan, Alain de Royer-Dupre was one of seven trainers to get his picture taken at the inaugural Breeders’ Cup at Hollywood Park, saddling the Aga Khan’s Lashkari (GB) (Mill Reef) to a 53-1 upset of 1983 G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine All Along (Fr) (Targowice) in the GI Turf. Some 35 years later and seven years removed from his last U.S. victory courtesy of Bayrir (Fr) (Medicean {GB}) in the 2012 GI Secretariat S., the de Royer-Dupre-trained Edisa (Kitten’s Joy) outsprinted fellow French raider Wonderment (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) to scoop Saturday’s $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks Invitational S. at Belmont Park. Dyna Passer (Lemon Drop Kid), a half-sister to GISW Sadler’s Joy (Kitten’s Joy), landed the lone blow for the home team, clinging on for third.

Slightly unprepared at the break, Edisa tugged her way along from third-last beneath Frenchman Flavien Prat as Romantic Pursuit (Medaglia d’Oro) was allowed a soft lead through an opening quarter-mile in :25.10. The homebred was shuffled back one spot turning up the backstretch, with just Lady Prancealot (Ire) (Sir Prancealot {Ire}) behind her, but settled better for Prat through the middle stages. The cadence quickened somewhat midway on the second turn, as Dyna Passer ratcheted up the pressure while Wonderment looked full of run in behind, traveling nicely for Stephane Pasquier. In the meantime, Edisa was warming up to the task further back, picking her way through from between rivals and was steered out into the four path off the home corner. Wonderment finally had clear sailing three off the inside nearing the eighth pole and poked her head in front between calls, but Edisa managed to summon one final burst, covering her final two furlongs in :22.45 to seal the deal.

“Her main quality is a quick turn-of-foot and she was able to show it here today,” de Royer-Dupre said. “She was able to track early and when she finished late, she was able to come on strong with her quick turn of foot. It’s a great pleasure to win at Belmont Park today. I was last here in 1985, so it’s great to return and win. It’s a beautiful track and it’s nice to run here and win with a top horse.”

A maiden winner at third asking at Maisons-Laffitte, Edisa was up on the line for a first stakes score in the Prix Melisande at ParisLongchamp June 10. She entered her U.S. debut off back-to-back runner-up efforts, first in the G2 Prix de Malleret at Saint-Cloud June 30 and most recently in the G3 Prix de Psyche at Deauville July 27.

Pedigree Notes:

Inbred 3×4 to Sadler’s Wells, Edisa is the first foal from her dam, who was promoted from second to first in the 2013 G2 Prix de Royallieu over an extended mile-and-a-half trip. Ebiyza is a half-sister to MSP Ebayya (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}) and to SP Ebeyina (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}). There is stamina aplenty further down Edisa’s page, as her third dam was victorious in the 1997 G1 Irish Oaks over 12 furlongs and beat older males in that year’s G1 Prix Royal Oak, contested over a trip just short of two miles. Also the dam of Group 1-placed juvenile Eyshal (Ire) (Green Desert) and MGSP Ebanoran (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}). Ebadiyla’s half-sister Estimate (Ire) (Monsun {Ger}) produced one of the great moments in Royal Ascot history when carrying the silks of Her Majesty The Queen to a stirring victory in the 2 1/2-mile G1 Gold Cup in 2013, while the Aga Khan’s Enzeli (Ire) (Kahyasi {Ire}) won the same race in 1999. Ebiyza is the dam of the 2-year-old filly Ebaiyra (Distorted Humor) and a yearling filly by More Than Ready, both of which were exported to France.

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