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Oct 18, 2013

AMERICAN TURF LEAD-CHAMPAGNE-FRIZETTE

By: JOE GIRARDI


               We are going to take a look at the three Grade I races that were run at Belmont on October 5th as we bypassed them because of our lead on the new DRF format last week. On October 5th Belmont hosted three Grade I races, the Jamaica, the Frizette and the Champagne.

               In the Grade I Jamaica, a race for three year olds run over 1 and 1/8th miles on the turf had a field of 12 go postward with 11 betting entrants. Get in line went to the lead as served as a rabbit for his entry mate Admiral Kitten but didn’t set quick fractions getting away with fractions of 25:1, 49:4, 1:13:3 before he gave it up and tired to finish 12th and last. As they moved around the far turn Joha and Stormy Len where right up on the lead but the closers started to move in. As they entered the lane Up With the Birds (4.10-1) who made a wide move on the turn took over the lead in midstretch, Jack Milton (4.30-1) started to move up the inside after having to steady briefly with the favorite Admiral Kitten (3.90-1) closing well on the outside. As they got to the wire, Up With the Birds held on by a half length over Admiral Kitten with Jack Milton holding on well for third in a solid final time of 1:48:3. That win put the Ontario bred over a $1 million dollars in earnings.

               Moving onto the Grade I Frizette, for two year old fillies run over one mile and carrying a purse of $500,000. There was a field of seven that went postward with Sweet Reason, undefeated in two starts coming into the race going off as the 3-5 favorite. Breaking from the tricky rail post, Sweet Reason veered in at the start costing her many lengths and putting her far behind the field early on. As they moved down the backstretch Tea Time set the pace while being track by Artemis Agrotera through fractions of 23:1, 47:2, 1:11:4. As they moved around the turn Sweet Reason had moved into contention racing in fourth, she came four wide into the lane and started to make her run at the leaders. In midstretch, Artemis Agrotera had taken over the lead and was holding on by about a length, Sweet Reason, couldn’t overcome her poor start and had to settle for a clear second over Stopchargingmaria who finished third. The final time of 1:36:1 was a good time and these top two finishers look like they have a bright future.

               In the Grade I Champagne, for two year olds, run over one mile with a purse of $500,000 had a field of nine horses that went postward with impressive maiden winner, Honor Code going off as the slight favorite at 9-5. Strong Mandate and Havana were sent off as the second and third choices at 2-1 and 5-2 respectively. Those three horses were the only horses in single digits in odds. As the gates opened, the favorite Honor Code, like he did in his debut dropped back to trail the field of nine through the early going. Havana on the other hand was right up on the lead, racing inside of Debt Ceiling with Grand Arrival tracking in third. The fractions of the race were much faster than the Frizette, going 22:4, 45:2, 1:10 flat. As they moved into the lane Havana had dispatched of those early rivals and opened up a four length lead, he held that lead until deep stretch as Honor Code, who was spun very wide was closing strongly, as they hit the wire Havana held on to score by a neck over Honor Code, it was another 1 and ½ lengths back to Ride On Curlin who was third. Strong Mandate, the huge winner of the Hopeful at Saratoga, didn’t run a step and checked in seventh. Honor Code is going to skip the Breeders’ Cup and point to the Remsen at Aqueduct. Havana, who was impressive in his debut going 5 and ½ furlongs at Saratoga was impressive in stretching that speed to one mile, taking on those challenges and holding on for the win despite being very tired at the end. The two horses that went with Havana early on finished 8th and 9th, one of them easing up over the wire. Strong Mandate, although he didn’t run at all would be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup as well as Havana. Looks like there are some solid two year olds this year in both divisions.



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