Ralis pulled away to capture Hopeful at Saratoga

Ralis pulled away to capture Hopeful at Saratoga

Coglianese Photos

Ralis Returns From California for Champagne

Colt won the Hopeful at Saratoga in first start outside of his home state.

Reddam Racing's Ralis, an easy winner of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) in his first start outside of California, figures to be favored versus eight other 2-year-olds in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 3.

The Champagne, at one mile around one turn, is a "Win and You're In" event for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Keeneland Oct. 31. All starters are listed at 122 pounds.

Trained by Doug O'Neill, Ralis won one of four starts, that being a California-bred maiden special weight event, before his connections shipped him east after a second-place finish in a state-bred stakes at Del Mar. Sent away at almost 7-1 in the seven-horse, seven-furlong Hopeful at Saratoga Race Course, Ralis sat in third through quick fractions set by Magna Light and pulled away with ease to win by 5 3/4 lengths.

MITCHELL: Ralis Rallies to Hopeful Stakes Upset

The Square Eddie  colt returned to California and most recently worked an easy five furlongs at Santa Anita Park. Javier Castallano gets a return call from post 5.

Magna Light drew post 1 for the Champagne for owners Dubb, Imperio, Alexander, and Bethlehem Stables. The Magna Graduate  colt was three lengths clear of third-place finisher Uncle Vinny in the Hopeful, and before that crossed the wire first in the Sanford Stakes (gr. III), only to be disqualified and placed third for interference.

ANGST: Uncle Vinny Placed First in Sanford Stakes

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez has named Jose Ortiz to ride Magna Light, who hasn't run a bad race in three starts.

Five colts in the Champagne enter off maiden victories, including Wertheimer and Frere's Rafting, who is trained by Graham Motion. The son of Tapit  made his career debut in a 1 1/16-mile turf event at Saratoga and finished evenly in seventh, but was switched to the dirt and won a seven-furlong maiden event at the Spa.

Irad Ortiz Jr., who has been aboard Rafting in both of his starts, returns to ride from post 6. Rafting is listed as receiving first-time Lasix for the Champagne and should enjoy the added ground.

Entries: Champagne S. (G1)

Belmont Park, Saturday, October 03, 2015, Race 8

  • Grade I
  • 1m
  • Dirt
  • $500,000
  • 2 yo
  • 4:18 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Magna Light (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz122Rudy R. Rodriguez-
22Greenpointcrusader (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoe Bravo122Dominick Schettino-
33Ready Dancer (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJohn R. Velazquez122Todd A. Pletcher-
44Sail Ahoy (KY)Joel Rosario122Claude R. McGaughey III-
55Ralis (CA)Javier Castellano122Doug F. O'Neill-
66Rafting (KY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.122H. Graham Motion-
77Tale of S'avall (KY)Cornelio H. Velasquez122Barclay Tagg-
88Sunny Ridge (NJ)Junior Alvarado122Jason Servis-
99Portfolio Manager (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateManuel Franco122Chad C. Brown-