Trainer Peter Eurton had a plan for the first work back for 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Champagne Room, who was freshened following her Nov. 5 upset victory, but the Broken Vow filly had other ideas about the matter.
Happily clicking through three furlongs in a bullet :35 1/5 to earn the rare Southern California "breezing" designation from local clockers Dec. 15 at Santa Anita Park, Champagne Room signaled her readiness to get back to business.
"It was a little bit quicker than I was looking for, but a horse broke off eight or 10 lengths in front of her and she's got pretty good eyesight," Eurton said. "She went really well, well in hand. I knew she was going to be fresh; she's been happy to have the time off but she's more enthused to be back on the racetrack."
Jockey Juan Ochoa was in the irons aboard Champagne Room, who runs for Ciglia Racing, Exline-Border, Gulliver Racing, Sharon Alesia, Christensen, and Legan.
"She's content," Eurton said. "Juan basically said she's stronger; he has been on her in the past, she is strong, she is big, she does look really very good right now. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact she hasn't been doing anything other than some gallops. She was in one of those moods where she wanted us to let her stretch out, and she could have gone so much faster, but that would have been scary. We wanted to keep it to a moderate roar."
Eurton hopes for Champagne Room to begin her 3-year-old campaign in the $200,000 Las Virgenes (gr. II) Feb. 5 at Santa Anita in pursuit of her third graded score after her 33-1 Breeders' Cup win. She broke her maiden winning the 6 1/2 furlong Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) in August at Del Mar.
"The (eight furlong) Las Virgenes seems like the spot for us," Eurton said. "I don't want to sprint her any more, I think her best game is going to be two turns. She's always had a lot of stamina. For as keen as she was in the Breeders' Cup, she held everybody at bay convincingly. Two turns is what we're going to do. I think we'll have about six works (leading into the race); I penciled that in backwards and I think it should be just fine for her."
Among others on the Thursday tab, Eurton also got things underway with multiple graded stakes winner Kobe's Back . The 5-year-old son of Flatter , who has not raced since a third in the June 25 Triple Bend Stakes (gr. I), went three furlongs in :37 1/5. Eurton has not yet determined a race target.