Champagne

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2YO Champ War Pass Retired

2YO Champ War Pass Retired

War Pass, last year's unbeaten champion 2-year-old male and multiple grade I winner who was injured in April of this year, has been retired to stud to William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.

Pyro Schools at Keeneland

Pyro Schools at Keeneland

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Pyro, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and the second choice at 9-2 in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) future wager pool number three, schooled in the paddock at Keeneland April 5

Steve Haskin's BC Countdown: On to Monmouth

The preps are over and the journey to Jersey begins. This past weekend's stakes orgy did not measure up to the stirring stretch battles and top-class performances we saw the previous week. While there were some big efforts and exciting finishes, it was not a good weekend for favorites, with several big-name stars and division leaders going down to defeat.

Champagne: Getting Down to Biz-ness

Saturday's stakes races at Belmont Park are the final key East Coast preps for horses targeting the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov 4. One of the highlights of the card is the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-olds at a mile.

First Samurai Drills Bullet Five Furlongs

First Samurai, trainer Frank Brothers' undefeated winner of Saratoga's Hopeful (gr. I), worked five furlongs over Belmont Park's main track handily Saturday morning in :58 2/5. It was the fastest of 42 works at the distance.

Proud Accolade Retired; Will Stand at Padua

Proud Accolade, who won the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) last year at two and the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) earlier this year, has been retired and will stand in 2006 at Satish Sanan's Padua Stables near Summerfield, Fla.

Pletcher Pops Champagne with Proud Accolade

Unbeaten Proud Accolade, ridden confidently in his stakes debut by John Velazquez, dealt heavy favorite Afleet Alex his first loss with a half-length victory in the $500,000 Champagne (gr. I) for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park Saturday.

Rogues and Royals Among Champagne Challengers

Chapel Royal, the East's leading 2-year-old throughout the spring and early summer, will be out to prove he is more than a sprinter in Saturday's grade I, $500,000 Champagne at 1 1/16 miles. Seven rivals, including Birdstone and Notorious Rogue, will stand in his way.

Sightseek One to Beat in Beldame

Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel loves the position he is in with Juddmonte Farms' multiple grade I winner Sightseek. After 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri had her 11-race win streak snapped last weekend in California, the case could be made that Sightseek is better.

Numbers Down at New Zealand Sale

Turnover at the 77th New Zealand yearling sale series closed at $47,235,200 for 970 head and experienced a significant drop in the lower end of the market. Receipts for eight days of selling were down 14% on the previous year.

McPeek Takes a Peak

Repent, Minister's Baby, Fabulous Brush and Risky Cat are among trainer Ken McPeek's hopefuls to hit the track at Belmont Wednesday to prepare for important fall races.

Officer Readies for Champagne

The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Officer got his first feel for Belmont Park this morning, jogging a lap with exercise rider Simon Harris aboard, the New York Racing Association press office reported. Officer, who has won all four of his career starts, will be a heavy favorite in Saturday's grade I, $500,000 Champagne at a mile and a sixteenth, one of four grade I races including the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup. Officer arrived at Belmont Park yesterday afternoon.

BC Juvenile Update 9/25/01

After doing more about-faces than a soldier in boot camp, trainer Bob Baffert has decided that Officer, the leading juvenile in the universe right now, will make his next appearance in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 6 at 8 1/2 furlongs. Officer, by Bertrando, is perfect in four starts, including wins by six, eight, and seven lengths in his first three races. In his most recent effort, the Sept. 5 Del Mar Futurity (gr. II), Officer won, geared down, by 1 1/2 lengths.

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