The Champagne (BC) (Grade 1)- $500.000 Purse
BEL- For Two Year Olds
One Mile on the Dirt
October 7, 2017
Centerpiece will be the center of attention next month when the field goes to the gate for the BC Juvenile. The Mb Stables-trained colt backed up his win in the Hopeful, which ended the meet at Saratoga with a Champagne shower here at BEL. He has done everything right so far, with three wins in five career starts, and only getting better as the races get longer. Centerpiece simply made it look too easy today. We won’t jinx him by thinking further ahead then the BC Juvenile right now, but chances are he will be a conversational centerpiece for a while. The victory gives trainer Mb Stables his first ever Champagne win, crossing another off the list of Grade 1’s he doesn’t have a win in. Who knows how many are left now! The winning jockey is J J Castellano, picking his second win and first in a decade as he also rode Date With Destiny in 2007. The time of the race was 1:35.09, and that is a new record for the Champagne. Let’s take a look at it!
(1/4 Mile- :23.37)- Breaking the quickest out of the gate would be Candy Fusion, the auction bargain from earlier in the year from Double Cross Ranch. Wicked Orange (Allinthegate) looked to run with him early, then looked like he might be restrained, then started to move forward again once A S Arroyo made up his mind. He would be third here, behind John Henry’s Tune Me Up, who would start a lot better then he would finish. On the rail and breaking well was Motorboat (Aer Stables), with Gumshoe (EasyMoney Stables) keeping pace with him for the fourth position. Following them by about a length was our race winner, Centerpiece, from Mb Stables. He was in the middle of the field, a little less then three lengths back, and in good striking range here. His stablemate Certain, and Asgar’s Rod Steiger were close by as well. Others were not very ambitious at the start, including Walkin Broomstick (Smokey Stover), Theory (D J C Racing Stables), and longshot U Cant Host (Crocker Ggs). Way back, we’d find Rootin Tootin (TwinTowersRacing).
(½ Mile- :46.90)- On the front end, Wicked Orange now moves up to challenge Candy Fusion for the lead, making you wonder why Arroyo restrained him for a couple seconds to begin with. These two are running side by side and have opened up a two length advantage over the third place Gumshoe. Tune Me Up still runs along to his outside here, and on the rail, Motorboat is keeping pace. Moving four wide now is Centerpiece, he has nothing that is going to get in his way if he can make this lane work. Don’t see much from the others in the back yet, although Rootin Tootin has moved to the rail and would love for it to open up in the stretch.
(Top of stretch, 3/4 Mile- 1:10.48)- Wicked Orange and Candy Fusion still go at one another hard while rounding the turn, as the field starts to apply more pressure. Gumshoe has gained about a length here, and seemed poised for a good run, but the one everyone was watching now was the post-time favorite, Centerpiece. With nothing getting in the way of his four wide move, he gradually got closer in the turn, and then exploded as they moved to the top of the stretch. He was clearly going to be the best of the horses that had been in the front for the stretch run. Elsewhere, Motorboat still sailed along about three lengths back but not really making a move, though Tune Me Up called it a day. Rod Steiger, Walkin Broomstick, and Theory needed to get going now if they had it in them. Looking good at the back was Rootin Tootin who looked like his inside move would pay off. Certain and U Cant Host were coming up empty.
(Finish- 1:35.09)- Centerpiece sized up his competition, and prepared to make the winning move. To their credit, neither Wicked Orange or Candy Fusion made it easy for him to do so until about a half furlong to go. The final moments of this race were thoroughly dominated by Centerpiece, making him more and more intriguing of a pick for the BC Juvenile with bigger plans next season. Wicked Orange earned second for his holding tough. Candy Fusion began to get a little leg weary very late in this race, but the wire came up just in time to get third. Gumshoe looked very good early on in the stretch, and held off the charge of Rootin Tootin along the rail, and they both get a fourth place check. Walkin Broomstick and Theory showed life at the end too, but it came too late. Rod Steiger ran steady to the wire and finished with those two. Motorboat had no stretch response, while Certain and U Cant Host may have been outclassed. The exhausted Tune Me Up rounds it out.
About The Winner: Centerpiece, trained by Mb Stables and ridden by J J Castellano, is a two year old colt by Anybody Home (by Commanding), and out of Chai Chai Again. He was bred in Ontario by Mb Stables as a yearling, and they have been together throughout. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his third in five starts, and it is his second graded victory, with both wins being Grade 1’s. His career earnings now sit at $562.400.
Time: :231 :464 1:102 1:35
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 4 – 11 Paid 104.50
$1 Trifecta: 4 – 11 – 8 Paid 1,544.40
Winner picked by NS
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES