Las Vegas, NV - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will be the scene of the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne Stakes this Saturday, October 5. A purse of $400,000 will be on the line for two year olds willing to race one mile on Belmont Park's dirt track.
A field of nine two year olds will line up in the Champagne Stakes - race 10 on Belmont Park's Saturday card. Post time 5:46 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all nine entries for this important Grade 1 stakes. A win here means an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November.
Strong Mandate - D Wayne Lukas trained colt will be making just his fourth career start Monday after a fifth in his debut and a Maiden score at Saratoga August 17. Last time out he put his name on the radar with an impressive win 9 3/4 length over Casiguapo in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes September 2 at Saratoga. He is the slight 5-2 favorite for the Champagne and departs from post 7 with a chance to become the name to watch in the two year old division.
Honor Code - Shug McGaughey trained colt has just one career start under his belt - a MSW score at Saratoga August 31 after overcoming a 22 length deficit to win by 4 1/2 lengths in the slop. Despite the limited experience, Honor Code is the 3-1 second choice, and will have Javier Castellano in the saddle from post 5. Shug McGaughey has a good history in this race - his best chance Saturday is with Honor Code.
Havana - Todd Pletcher trained colt has just one career start and it was a good one - a 2 3/4 length MSW score August 23 at Saratoga with a terrific Beyer Speed Figure of 102. He is listed at 7-2 odds this weekend and leaves with Irad Ortiz from post 3.
Grand Arrival - Nick Zito trained colt broke maiden by 6 1/4 lengths last time out in his second career start August 31 at Saratoga after a third in a similar race on the same track in his debut July 22. Rosie Napravnik gets the mount Saturday from post 7 at 8-1 odds.
Debt Ceiling - has five career starts and four impressive wins for trainer John Robb - the last one coming last time out in the minor First State Dash Stakes at Delaware Park September 14. Before that was a disappointing last place finish as favorite in the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes for his worst career effort. He had a terrific statement 2 3/4 length win in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes over Hollywood Talent at Churchill Downs June 29 to follow a good win in the minor Rollicking Stakes at Pimlico May 18. He started his career March 30 and scored an impressive MSW win at Laurel Park. Debt Ceiling has won four of five starts and looks good for the Champagne. Despite the stakes experience and the past success, Debt Ceiling is 10-1 on the morning line and will have Junior Alvarado guiding him.
Long On Value - Randy Allen trained colt has been very impressive in his young career - four starts and three wins including a pair of minor stakes wins - the 5 1/2 furlong Strike Your Colors Stakes by six lengths at Delaware Park July 29 and the Jamestown Stakes July 6 at Colonial Downs. Last time out was a career worst effort however - a sixth in the Grade 1 Hopeful - he hopes for a strong rebound effort Saturday. He will be sent off at 10-1 odds with Jose Lezcano in the reigns from post 6.
Ride On Curlin - will make just his fourth career start Saturday and is coming off an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs September 7. Before that was a MSW score at Ellis Park and a second in a MSW in his career debut. Ride On Curlin departs from post 2 at 12-1 odds for the Champagne.
Intense Holiday - Todd Pletcher trained colt is coming off a maiden win at Monmouth Park after a fifth in a MSW July 27 in that same track July 27. Intense Holiday is listed at 12-1 odds and departs from the outside post Saturday.
Casiguapo - debuted with a respectable third in the minor Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes June 22 at Calder and went on to break maiden for trainer Mario Morales - a MSW on that same track July 20. Last time out was a very good graded stakes debut - a second behind Strong Mandate in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga September 2. He is listed at a very intriguing 20-1 odds - the best value on the board and departs from the rail Saturday.
Race 10 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:46 PM.
||Ride On Curlin
||I. Ortiz, Jr.
||C. McGaughey III
||Long On Value