Champagne Stakes 2021 Entries: Classy field of six entered
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It might be a small field of six for the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park but it is brimful of absolute quality.
Neil Monnery has an overview of the field…
- Post Position
- My Prankster
- Jack Christopher
The top two from the Grade I Hopeful face-off once again on Saturday as the East Coast Road to the Kentucky Derby gets underway with the $500,000 Grade I Hopeful.
The Steve Asmussen trained Gunite crossed the finish line first that day at a nice 11-1 price. An 83 Beyer was nice enough and it gave Gun Runner yet another Grade I winner. Going into that race it was the Todd Pletcher trained Wit who was considered the heavy favorite but an absolutely horror break from the gate stalled his chances.
This son of Practical Joke - who won the 2016 Champagne - certainly passes the eye test and if they can teach him how to break then he’ll be the one to beat. A 90 Beyer in his Sanford win is however not the highest speed figure in this race.
Todd Pletcher has two other juveniles entered including Into Mischief colt, My Prankster. This two-year-old won his debut by ten lengths at Saratoga and put up a quite scintillating 92 Beyer. That is pretty darn sweet. Any horse that hits the 90s Beyer wise early on in their career has to be considered a real talent and Pletcher seems to have a very nice crop coming through.
His third choice here in Commandperformance who rallied to second place in the slop in his debut at Saratoga earlier in September. So we don’t know much about this Union Rags colt but he sure looks to have some stamina.
We are four horses in and we haven’t yet talked about Jack Christopher and his debut also lived up to the hype as he put up a 92 Beyer at Saratoga in late August. This Chad Brown trained son of Munnings is another who has made waves early on and who has a real chance to beat some good horses in the Champagne.
The past two winners of the Champagne have gone on to be outstanding horses. 2020 winner Jackie's Warrior is one of the premier one-turn horses out there and Tiz the Law went on to win the Belmont. So this race is a good indicator of potential.
Kavod rounds out the field of six but this will be a real tough one to handicap.
Both J.N. and I will make our picks later in the week...