Champagne Room puts in a timed work over Santa Anita’s main track in December

Champagne Room puts in a timed work over Santa Anita’s main track in December

Zoe Metz

Champagne Room Ready for Return in Remington Park Oaks

Champion filly could use 1 1/16-mile race as a springboard to the Breeders' Cup.

In the few months since champion Champagne Room has returned to training, Peter Eurton has observed a change in the large bay filly.

Unlike her mornings as a 2-year-old, when she was often less than cooperative, her trainer now describes the Broken Vow  filly as "compliant."

"The biggest thing about her mentally and physically is that she's maturing," Eurton said of the 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner, who was sent to the sideline with an ankle chip after her lone start of 2017, a third-place finish in the Feb. 5 Las Virgenes Stakes (G2). "That can cover both ends. She's bigger and stronger, even though she was plenty big last year. She's much more compliant. Her gallops are much kinder, even though they're still rapid.

"Last year she was always on the bridle. Every sixteenth of a mile she was throwing her head up and wanted to run."

Eurton now hopes what he's seen in the morning in Southern California will translate for her next start, the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks Sept. 24.

There were plenty of options this weekend for Champagne Room, but her connections landed on Remington Park for a variety of reasons.

The tight turns of the Charles Town Oaks (G3) were less than ideal for a filly of her size, and the seven-furlong Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs was a bit short for what they wanted. The $1 million purse for the Cotillion Stakes (G1) at Parx Racing was enticing, but Eurton didn't want to take on top-level company just yet.

"Those are horses I don't want to face yet, until I get a race into her," Eurton said of Cotillion favorites Abel Tasman, It Tiz Well, and Salty. "I don't know if I'd have her tight enough for a group of that caliber, even though the million dollars is tempting and she is doing well."

If a softer spot was what her connections desired, that mission was accomplished. The 1 1/16-mile Remington Park Oaks drew five, with the only other graded winner in the field Ever So Clever, who took the April 14 Fantasy Stakes (G3) but has finished off the board in her last two starts—the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) and the Iowa Oaks (G3).

ANGST: Ever So Clever Rallies to First Stakes Win in Fantasy

And this time of year, it's hard for anyone not to think of the Breeders' Cup, let alone a horse who has had success in the event and at its new venue, Del Mar. Champagne Room broke her maiden in the 2016 Sorrento Stakes (G2) at the seaside racetrack.

"It's good timing," Eurton said. "If we do decide to go the Breeders' Cup, it's all relevant to what she does here, and it gives us an opportunity to re-evaluate after. It's hard not to think about, because (the Breeders' Cup is) what everybody lives for and why they own horses. It's the epitome of success for an owner and trainer, and you don't want to look past it."

Eurton said, if all goes well in the Remington Park Oaks, Champagne Room would be considered for both the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) and the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).

Entries: Remington Park Oaks

Remington Park, Sunday, September 24, 2017, Race 8

  • STK
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 6:19 PM (local)
11Champagne Room (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMario Gutierrez116Peter Eurton1/1
22Babybluesbdancing (IL)Ramon A. Vazquez118Terrel Gore5/2
33Torrent (KY)Marlon St. Julien118Ron Moquett9/2
44Holiday's Angel (KY)Robby Albarado116Chris A. Hartman15/1
55Ever So Clever (KY)Ricardo Santana, Jr.120Steven M. Asmussen7/2