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Sunday, October 6, 2013
Karakontie wins Lagardere battle

By Myra Lewyn
Bloodhorse



Favorite Karakontie dispatched pacesetter Noozhoh Canarias in the closing stages and captured the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Grand Criterium Oct. 6 at Longchamp.

Entering off a win in the Prix la Rochette Sept. 8 at Longchamp, Karakontie closely tracked unbeaten Spanish raider Noozhoh Canarias from third in the 1,400-meter (about seven-furlong) race before knuckling down to challenge in the final furlong and outfighting the pacesetter for a three-quarter-length victory.

Third-place Charm Spirit made a move to challenge, but the top two finishers were too strong.

A Japanese-bred son of Bernstein owned by breeders the Niarchos family, Karakontie was timed in 1:22.97 under Stephane Pasquier.

Trained by Jonathan Peace, Karakontie qualified for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at one mile Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park with the win in the BC Challenge "Win and You're In" event.

The Lagardere joined the Prix de l'Opera for fillies and mare and Qatar Prix de la Foret for 3-year-olds and older as one of three Breeders' Cup Challenge races on the Arc card.

Karakontie has three wins and a second from four career starts. The bay colt is out of the Sunday Silence mare Sun Is Up from the family of Racing Hall of Famer Miesque and prominent sire Kingmambo.