Breaking from the rail going five furlongs and inside throughout, Champagne Room figured to move forward off her second-place debut finish and she did just that to break her maiden Aug. 6 in the $200,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. II).
This time, drawn outside in a field of five under jockey Mario Gutierrez, the 2-year-old filly owned by Ciaglia Racing, Exline-Border Racing, and Alesia et al. broke sharply in the 6 1/2-furlong test, stalked the early pace, and wore down Miss Southern Miss in the stretch to win by 1 1/4 lengths.
"Instead of me being conservative and putting bubble wrap around her, and wait for (the Del Mar Debutante, gr. I), we decided to go here," Eurton said.
The trip for Champagne Room was somewhat odd. The filly comfortably tracked Auntjenn early in the race, but Miss Southern Miss and jockey Kent Desormeaux forced the issue soon after. Squeezed and steadied at the break, Miss Southern Miss rushed up on the outside to put a head in front through an opening quarter of :23.63 and easily dispatched of Auntjenn through a half in :45, as Champagne Room moved into striking position, a length off the leader.
"I had a good trip from the outside," Gutierrez said. "I could see what was going on out there and I waited for my turn (to run). She fired for me. I’ve been getting on her in the mornings and she’s been so sharp—training so well. I knew she’d run big."
The pair did battle in the stretch, but Champagne Room proved the best on the outside and finished off the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.35.
"I got mad at (Miss Southern Miss). I couldn't stand what she did, putting us between the two of them" Eurton said. "But she handled that well and she did what she was supposed to do—she ran them down. That was an awesome race."
The winner paid $4.60, $2.60, and $2.10 across the board. Miss Southern Miss delivered $2.60 and $2.20, and Antjenn, 4 1/2 lengths back in third, brought $2.60 to show. Rooms and Unforgiveable U completed the order of finish. Ciao Bella Rosa was scratched.
Champagne Room was bred in Kentucky by Respite Farm, out of the Bernstein mare Lucky to Be Me, and now has $132,600 in earnings. She was purchased by Joseph Ciaglia Jr. for $310,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. 2016 April sale of 2-year-olds in training.