top of page

Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2022 Champagne Stakes Analysis

Uncle Mo - 2010 Champagne Stakes Winner

This year's edition of the Champagne Stakes is quite a disappointment. When the lowest chef index on the field is a 3.00 and it comes from a Justify boy and with only 5 other opponents, all sporting higher, it's just a bust. I will not be placing a bet on it this year, which is probably a first.

Over the last 15 years, 73% of the time, an index over 3.00 has won this race. 27% of the time, a midrange 2.00 to 2.90 has won. Incredibly, 0%-win ratio with an index under 2.00 and we don't have one in this race to toss! In this edition, 5 of the horses are over 3.00 and one is 3.00 exact. Basically, each horse has a 100% chance of winning. Ridiculous, right?! Not one entry is an easy toss.

Looking deeper, 81% of the time, the winner has been over the 3.00 cutoff, which comprises of 5 out of the 6 horses. Even more ridiculous. Therefore, this year, history is a non-issue and with only 6 horses in the gate, it would be wise to use your betting dollars in a different graded stakes race on Saturday.

The Champagne Stakes has produced an amazing number of players for the Kentucky Derby over the decades and that is exactly how this race should be viewed. There are two horses entered in this race that are built extremely well for the Derby and there is one other that is borderline. Therefore, they DO NOT have an advantage in this 8f race. These are the ones we want to win. These are the ones we need to have in a gate in Kentucky in May. Should any one of them happen to win this race, they would be spectacularly advantaged going forward. High speed wins this race, and all 6 entries are built with their chef's tilted on the speed scale, but two (possibly 3) have mare bloodlines that get them past 10f.

That tilt in the scale gives favor in May but not at 8f which means two things. One, the other three stand out for the Champagne Stakes at the 8f distance. Two, should one of the disadvantaged prevail, we will have our first 5-star rating of the year - but he must WIN. He only has 5 opponents, and his test will be to show speed against them. No second best here. We need the evidence that his mare's stamina is not over-riding his speed side. If he can beat the advantaged "sprinters" in Saturday's contest, he will be a major keeper going forward. The Champagne Stakes can be a huge steppingstone for the proper configurations.

In reality, those (3) do not have their scale tipped correctly for the 8f so should one make it to the wire first here, they would then become 5-star caliber for the Derby. Basically, 3 are advantaged for the Champagne and three of them are not.

GULFPORT Uncle Mo - Fame and Fortune (Unbridled's Song)

Post: 6 (E8) Trainer: Steve Asmussen Jockey: Jose Ortiz

DP = 2-12-2-0-0 (16) DI = 15.00 CD = 1.00

Mare Profile = 8-1-8-5-5 Speed = 9 Stamina = 10 Index = 1.09 Triads = 17-14-18

For the Champagne Stakes: He has inherited 15x the speed over stamina from his chefs and his mares have a speedy 1.09 index. He has advantage in this race, however, with those figures he should have demolished his opponents in the Hopeful Stakes traveling only 7f - ON A SLOPPY TRACK. If it was a clean and clear track, he would have been given a pass because his numbers are not suitable for 7f at such a young age. But since it was a sloppy track, he should have wired it easily, but he didn't. His pace figures from that race are spectacular, but typical for the wet bias. Because of that race, he is vulnerable here.

For the Kentucky Derby: Not quite there. Chef CD is high, and mare's index is too high. 7f to 9f runner.

TOP RECRUIT Midshipman - Oh So Bella (Afleet Alex)

Post: 2 (E6) Trainer: Mike Maker Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

DP = 4-12-6-0-0 (22) DI = 6.33 CD = 0.91

Mare Profile = 4-5-7-7-8 Speed = 9 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.67 Triads = 16-19-22

For the Champagne Stakes: With that 6.33 chef index and Irad on his back, he truly has no excuse for missing the wire in this race. He has a fantastic advantage BUT if he allows his mares to step in, he will lose his advantage. This will be his 4th race and the probability that he lets his mares have a say is starting to become a realistic scenario. This will cut into his speed at the 8f. He must win this race. His chef profile is dominate in the 7f to 9f distance, so a win here is not out of the question against this group. It is his mares that need to stay in the barn for the day for him to get that walk into the winner's circle. This horse has the capability to take it gate to wire if he wanted. Loving this guy and will be on his side every step of the way.

For the Kentucky Derby: Absolutely spectacular. Five stars. These are the type of configurations that win the Derby, rain or shine, so if he is a potential talented champion, he will beat this entire speedy gate and then he'll be well on his way. Fantastic potential here.

ANDIAMO A FIRENZE Speightstown - My Every Wish (Langfuhr)

Post: 1 (E8) Trainer: Kelly Breen Jockey: Jose Lezcano

DP = 7-10-11-0-0 (28) DI = 4.09 CD = 0.86

Mare Profile = 6-6-3-7-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.95 Triads = 15-16-16

For the Champagne Stakes: Beautifully configured numbers and extremely advantaged for the 8f race. But, considering that 5 out of the 6 entries want to be up front, there is a strong probability that his killer early sprinting pace, along with a couple others, will compromise his late energy. Pace should be spread a bit better than his last in the mud though. He has the 8f distance, it's a matter of energy distribution with him at the mile.

For the Kentucky Derby: He has zero chance at 10f. Zero.

CHAMPIONS DREAM Justify - Dancinginherdreams (Tapit)

Post:4 (E6) Trainer: Danny Gargan Jockey: Manny Franco

DP = 3-6-7-0-0 (16) DI = 3.57 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 8-3-8-5-6 Speed = 11 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.08 Triads = 19-16-19

For the Champagne Stakes: A speedy son of Justify with the correct set-up for the 8f distance. Did extremely well at 7f at Saratoga (a race where he was not in the advantaged spot) and has exactly what it takes to find advantage here, however, he was very slow in that maiden. He was in charge though, and the other jockeys allowed it, so maybe he simply took advantage and skated to the finish line. He certainly has the inbred speed in him if he wants to show it. If the pace goes crazy up front (strong possibility with this crew), this guy is a second-generation Tapit boy so he will have all the stamina he needs for the 8f and should be able to keep pace or even lead the pace easily.

For the Kentucky Derby: With the sprinters speed through Justify and the Tapit stamina with an index at 3.57, he appears borderline for the Derby based on his sub-par pace figures on a fair track at Saratoga. Too much Tapit influence? Maybe. He would need to win this race and prove the speed side because the configurations are right, but the speed side didn't shine through even with the win in his maiden.

BLAZING SEVENS Good Magic - Trophy Girl (Warrior's Reward)

Post: 5 (P5) Trainer: Chad Brown Jockey: Flavien Prat

DP = 3-6-7-0-0 (16) DI = 3.57 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 5-6-6-6-9 Speed = 11 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.73 Triads = 17-18-21

For the Champagne Stakes: This guy has the exact same chef set-up as Champions Dream, but the mare's configurations are glaringly different. The distance of 8f is way below his optimum and the fact that he had a slow and hard time in his last race on the muddy surface is saying that his speed is not on par with the bulk of the field. He does have the late clear-cut stamina and overwhelming strong ability to come on strong late if all the speedsters go crazy early. On a clear track, he has better footing with his inheritance, but he does not have a clear advantage here. He needs to rely on the faults of others on this field and unfortunately for him, there are a couple who could easily run straight through with the leading flight. Would be nice if he could pull it off but he certainly is up against it.

For the Kentucky Derby: Perfectly configured for the Kentucky Derby. Beautiful scale for late run.

VERIFYING Justify - Diva Delite (Repent)

Post: 3 (E6) Trainer: Brad Cox Jockey: Joel Rosario

DP = 1-2-3-0-0 (6) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.67

Mare Profile = 9-1-6-7-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.00 Triads = 16-14-19

For the Champagne Stakes: This guy is very interesting. Looking at his workouts at Saratoga over the course of the meet tells a very open story. The layout of his pace figures in conjunction with those workouts during the time when Saratoga was running deep are at odds with each other - in a very good way. At 2 years old, most will favor their chefs (and sire) and based on some of those workouts, he was showing that he was not impressed with that hard bias, following the male side. In his race, he completely exploded late - all while still leading the pack. That is impressive and shows allegiance to both the top and bottom of his chart. With 9 points in his mare's brilliant slot and a .67 low chef CD, this horse has a great deal of advantage in this race to lead if he wants, or to sit back and watch the sprinters destroy each other, or he can come from way off the pace with that late speed of his. Loving his chances in this 8f race.

For the Kentucky Derby: This is a very intriguing horse with that .67 CD and the way his mares are configured. His triads are a bit off but there is something about it that really has potential to be something. Should he beat this speedy crew at 8f with the lowest chef index on the field, he could be Derby-worthy.

Top Pick: Verifying (who happens to have the lowest advantage on the field!)

Second: Top Recruit/Gulfport (Top Recruit has the 2nd lowest advantage on the field)


bottom of page