By John Manley
Susan Magnier had her choice of either Paris or Chicago last weekend, or quite possibly both. We know she didn’t choose the Windy City, so she probably went to Paris, even though April is now just a speck in the rear view mirror. Anyhow, she came out a winner in either venue. On Saturday, Yarrow Br’ won the $500,000 Illinois Derby (Grade II) at Sportsman’s Park for co-owners Michael Tabor and Magnier, who is the daughter of Vincent O’Brien. Yarrow Br’, a son of Deputy Minister, was wisely held out of the Kentucky Derby by trainer D. Wayne Lukas, a decision that resulted in victory in the Land of Lincoln by three-quarters of a length. Yarrow Br’ paid $14.60 to win.
On Sunday, Victory Note was in key as he posted an upset win in the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp. A pair of jockeys native to Ireland figured in this one’s triumph. Walter Swinburn, in the midst of a comeback, is listed as breeder of the Kentucky-born son of Fairy King. John Reid got the colt to the wire a half length in front of Muhtathir, the second finisher. Magnier’s partner in this venture is Robert Sangster, who is the father-in-law of Peter Chapple-Hyam, Victory Note’s trainer.
Speaking of surprises, fans at Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco were left to puzzle over Miss Universal, the 24-1 winner of the $125,000 Yerba Buena Handicap (Grade III) there on Saturday. The Irish-bred daughter of Lycius was a half-length better than Proud Fillie at the wire, entitling her to the $75,000 winner’s purse. Miss Universal was bred by Bobby Donworth and Honora Corridan. The latter is the owner of the Drominycarra Stud in Fedamore, Co. Limerick. The mare is now owned by Norman Cheng. Ben Cecil is the trainer and Pedro Mercado rode.