VIVA LA FRANCE, YO

No pace? No problem. Bad position? Doesn’t matter if you own a strong turn of foot. In a nutshell, that was the story of the inaugural Jockey Club Oaks at Belmont Park Saturday as a pair of French connections ran 1-2.

Edisa, the winning favorite, stormed down the center of the course to win the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational beneath Flavien Prat, a French jockey by way of Southern California.

Alain de Royer-Dupre tightened the girth on the daughter of Kitten’s Joy who raced 11 furlongs in 2:17.02 over a course rated “good.”

“I wasn’t really happy with where I was and they slowed down a lot,” Prat said post-race. “She broke slow and I was on the inside, but I’m very happy she really gave me a good turn-of-foot.”

So was the public, who made the three-year-old filly their 8-5 choice.

Older fans may recall that Royer-Dupre won the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Turf with Lashkari at Hollywood Park in 1984, adding he was last at Belmont Park in 1985.

“It’s a beautiful track and it’s nice to run and win here with a top horse. So, will there be a trip to Santa Anita in November and a second go at The Turf?

“I don’t know yet if we’ll go onto the Breeders’ Cup. We’ll watch the weather during the weekend of the Arc [de Triomphe] and see if the ground is good. Perhaps we can go on from there and return to Santa Anita. We’ll put it all under consideration. “

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