Rocket Fuel
Please provide a valid email address.
Close

Blog - RACING

Strong Mandate surged away to win the Hopeful Stakes on Sept. 2 at Saratoga Race Course. (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportwire)

Some of the best 2-year-olds in the country will converge on Belmont Park on Oct. 5 for the $500,000 Champagne Stakes, a race that could have a major impact on both the 2-year-old championship and the Breeders’ Cup.

The race features the return of Strong Mandate, who dominated his rivals in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes a month ago. Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, Strong Mandate earned his first victory by 4 ½ lengths in his second start before moving on to the Hopeful. Running on a sloppy track, Strong Mandate romped by 9 ¾ lengths over Casiguapo, who also is running in the Champagne.

STRONG MANDATE WAS DOMINANT IN THE HOPEFUL

Mandate Inside

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Bred by the University of Kentucky, Casiguapo hasn’t been off the board in three starts, including that second-place finish to Strong Mandate in the Hopeful. It was obvious that Casiguapo’s connections thought a lot of him when he debuted in the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes, in which he finished third. Trainer Mario Morales dropped him down to a maiden race where he easily defeated the field by 11 lengths. The Champagne will be his second try at stakes competition.

Perhaps the most hyped maiden winner this year is Honor Code. The A.P. Indy colt impressed in his career debut when he came from 22 lengths back to win by 4 ½ lengths at Saratoga. Trained by 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Shug McGaughey, Honor Code’s third dam is Serena’s Song, the 1995 Haskell Invitational heroine. Honor Code will try to prove that he can win on a dry track as his maiden victory was in the slop.

The field also includes notables such as maiden winner Havana, a $575,000 purchase in March at a 2-year-olds in training sale, who won his debut at Saratoga; and $100,000 Bashford Manor Stakes winner Debt Ceiling.

Also on tap for Saturday at Belmont are the Grade 1, $500,000 Jamaica Handicap and the Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette Stakes.

Undefeated Sweet Reason highlights the field for the Frizette. Last seen winning the $300,000 Spinaway Stakes by 5 ¾ lengths, Sweet Reason earned owner Treadway Racing Stable and trainer Leah Gyarmati their first Grade 1 victory. Stopchargingmaria, who finished second to Sweet Reason in the Spinaway, will attempt to get her revenge in the Frizette. Owned Repole Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher, the Tale of the Cat filly won her first career start by 5 ½ lengths.

SWEET REASON

Sweet -reasonhero

Photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Three-year-olds take to the turf in the only non-juvenile graded stakes race of the day at Belmont. Admiral Kitten returns in the Jamaica Handicap for his first start since his Aug. 17 Secretariat Stakes victory. Admiral Kitten will be going for his second straight Grade 1 win.

The Jamaica drew a field of 13, including Secretariat second- and third-place finishers Stormy Len and Jack Milton and multiple graded stakes winner Notacatbutallama. Admiral Kitten will be running as part of a paired entry with Get in Line in the Jamaica.

 

$500,000 Champagne Stakes

Saturday, Race 10, Belmont Park, 5:46 p.m. ET

2-year-olds, 1 mile (dirt)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1

Casiguapo (KY)

Luis Saez

Mario Morales

2

Ride On Curlin (KY)

Alex Solis

William Gowan

3

Havana (KY)

Irad Ortiz Jr.

Todd Pletcher

4

Debt Ceiling (KY)

Junior Alvarado

John Robb

5

Honor Code (KY)

Javier Castellano

Shug McGaughey

6

Long On Value (VA)

Jose Lezcano

Bill Mott

7

Strong Mandate (KY)

Jose Ortiz

D. Wayne Lukas

8

Grand Arrival (KY)

Rosie Napravnik

Nick Zito

9

Intense Holiday (KY)

Chris DeCarlo

Todd Pletcher

 

$500,000 Frizette Stakes

Saturday, Race 9, Belmont Park, 5:14 p.m. ET

2-year-old fillies, 1 mile (dirt)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1

Sweet Reason (KY)

Alex Solis

Leah Gyarmati

2

Artemis Agrotera (NY)

Jose Lezcano

Mike Hushion

3

Tea Time (KY)

Luis Saez

Michael Matz

4

Stopchargingmaria (KY)

Javier Castellano

Todd Pletcher

5

Ria Antonia (KY)

Scott Spieth 

Jeremiah Englehart

6

Attention (KY)

Irad Ortiz Jr.

Kiaran McLaughlin

7

Recepta (KY)

Junior Alvarado

Jimmy Toner

 

$500,000 Jamaica Handicap

Saturday, Race 8, Belmont Park, 4:40 p.m. ET

3-year-olds, 1 1/8 miles (turf)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1

War Dancer (KY)

Junior Alvarado

Ken McPeek

2

Mills (KY)

Irad Ortiz Jr.

Barclay Tagg

3

Balance the Books (KY)

Jose Ortiz

Chad Brown

4

Admiral Kitten (KY)

Rosie Napravnik

Mike Maker

5

Jack Milton (KY)

Jose Lezcano

Todd Pletcher

6

Five Iron (KY)

Luis Saez

Brian Lynch

7

Stormy Len (KY)

Alex Solis

David Donk

8

Joha (KY)

Chris DeCarlo

Tom Albertrani

9

Michael With Us (KY)

Eddie Prado

Stephen DiMauro

10

Global Asset (KY)

Victor Santiago

Claudio Gonzalez

11

Get in Line (KY)

David Cohen

Mike Maker

12

Up With the Birds (ON)

Cornelio Velasquez

Malcolm Pierce

13

Notacatbutallama (NY)

Javier Castellano

Todd Pletcher

 

Image Description

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Melissa Bauer-Herzog was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up riding horses in all-around events. After graduating from West Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mass Communication she spent the summer of 2012 interning at the United States Equestrian Federation and working at the Paulick Report. Melissa joined America’s Best Racing in December 2012 while interning with Three Chimneys Farm in their marketing communications division.

Image Description

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Melissa Bauer-Herzog was born and raised in Vancouver, Wash. where she grew up riding horses in all-around events. After graduating from West Texas A&M with a B.S. in Mass Communication she spent the summer of 2012 interning at the United States Equestrian Federation and working at the Paulick Report. Melissa joined America’s Best Racing in December 2012 while interning with Three Chimneys Farm in their marketing communications division.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Sponsors & Partners

  • FoxSports1
  • NBC Sports
  • Logo 6
  • Saratoga
  • Santa Anita
  • CBS Sports
  • Monmouth
  • Keeneland
  • Gulfstream Park
  • Del Mar
  • Belmont Park
  • Arlington Park
  • OwnerView