Trainer Peter Eurton wanted a good race for champion Champagne Room for her first start in nearly eight months, but it was also important she had something left in the tank afterward.
Both objectives were accomplished after the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks Sept. 24, which ended up as a workout of sorts for the 3-year-old daughter of Broken Vow .
After some anxious moments before the race at Remington Park, Champagne Room broke well from the inside post, effortlessly went to the lead, and showed a little bit of opposition to the tight hold from jockey Mario Gutierrez in the backstretch, but relaxed before she entered the final turn of the 1 1/16-mile test.
That allowed the field to gain ground, but Champagne Room simply kicked away with ease again and breezed to the wire under a hand ride to win by 3 3/4 lengths at odds of 1-5. Ever So Clever closed from last in the five-horse field to finish second, 3 1/2 lengths clear of Babybluesdancing.
"She was a little on fire there, but Mario did a great job to comfort her," Eurton said of the filly's pre-race antics. "I think she was behind the gate there for five minutes, but it all worked out."
Champagne Room set fractions of :23.65, :47.05, and 1:11.07 through six furlongs and hit the wire in 1:42.05 on a fast main track.
"I was glad to see (Gutierrez) finally be able to stand up on her, like he does, and she was (able) to drop the bridle," Eurton said. "They all came up on her, so all I was thinking was, 'OK. Kick back in again.' Once she did, I was pretty happy at that point."
Earlier in the week Eurton said he was considering both the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) and Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) for Champagne Room's second run off her layoff, which came about when a bone chip sent her to the sideline. After the Remington Park Oaks, he was hesitant to declare plans before speaking with his ownership group, but indicated where he was leaning. Champagne Room won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in 2016.
"I'm going to leave that open," Eurton said. "I'm probably thinking distance, but we've still gotta talk about it. ... I think (Unique Bella) will go for the sprint, obviously, and we'll probably go for the route."
Trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. took four stakes events on the card, including the Oklahoma Derby (G3) with Untrapped.
They opened the stakes slate with a neck win by William and Corinne Heiligbrodt's Golden Mischief in the $50,000 Flashy Lady, turned a $25,000 claim Sept. 2 into another neck stakes win for Clark Brewster's Turbo Street in the $100,000 Remington Green, and scored a three-quarter-length victory with Whispering Oaks Farm's Iron Fist in the $175,000 Governor's Cup.
Another notable win on the Oklahoma Derby undercard was Ivan Fallunovalot's three-length score in the $150,000 David M. Vance Sprint. The 7-year-old Valid Expectations gelding has won the Vance Sprint in four consecutive seasons and has seven wins from eight starts at Remington.