Champali, with Jason Lumpkins riding, took the lead with a wide move on the turn for home, shook off a challenge from Chicken Soup in the stretch and drew off late to capture Saturday's $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds by 3 1/4 lengths at Turfway Park.
The winner, a Kentucky bred by Glitterman, is owned by Lloyd Madison Farms LLC and is trained by Gregory Foley. The final time of the 1 1/16-mile test on amuddy track was 1:46
Champali was close up early while racing wide and had more than enough to hold off Chicken Soup, who had overcome a bump at the start to launch his bid for the lead. Grey Comet, the 4-5 favorite in the nine-horse field, was third, 4 1/4 lengths behind Champali.
Champali, winner of the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs in 2002, made his seasonal debut in the $50,000 Turfway Prevue on Jan. 4 and after a stretch-long duel with Great Notion, he earned the victory by a nose. One month later, the Glitterman colt was even more impressive when defeating a field of seven by 2 ¾ lengths in the $50,000 WEBN Stakes.
Sent off as the 2-1 second choice, Champali paid $6, $4.40 and $2.60. Chicken Soup returned $7.40 and $3. Grey Comet, suffering his second loss show payoff was $2.40.