PARIS, OCT. 7 -- Saumarez, purchased four months ago by the owner and star of the Los Angeles Kings, scored an upset victory today in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Europe's richest horse race.
Saumerez, a 16-1 shot, co-owned by Bruce McNall and Wayne Gretzky, took the lead entering the stretch at Longchamp and held off challenges by Epervier Bleu and Snurge. In the Wings finished fourth. Belmez, a doubtful starter until arriving in the morning from London, was fifth. He was ridden by Steve Cauthen.
The 3-5 favorite, Salsabil, started from the far outside post in the 21-horse field, was boxed in for most of the 1 1/2-mile race and finished 10th.
Saumarez, ridden by Gerald Mosse, held on for a three-quarter-length victory over Epervier Bleu, with Snurge a half-length back.
Mosse sent Saumarez ahead on the home turn and got him two lengths clear early in the stretch.
"In the last stretch I was bothered by the other horses, but Saumarez cooperated," Mosse said. "We found an opening and we went straight through."
The winner's prize was nearly $1 million from the purse of $1.7 million.
Saumarez's time of 2:29.08 was far off the race record of 2:26.30 set in 1987 by Trempolino, also part-owned by McNall.