Bet on the Champagne Stakes
The Champagne Stakes is a Grade 1 race of significant stature and historical notoriety for two year-olds at Belmont Park. The race carries a $500,000 purse and was first run in 1867 – making it one of the oldest races in the country – at the now defunct Jerome Park in New York. Run at a mile on the main track, the Champagne is held in October with the winner earning an automatic spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Additionally, the race represents an early opportunity for Kentucky Derby hopefuls to earn qualifying points with ten points being awarded to the winner.
Champagne Stakes Racebooks
With both points on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” as well as an automatic berth to the winner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on the line, the Champagne Stakes always draws a top field of two-year-old horses, and provides an early look at which of those may be a star in the making. If you can’t get to Belmont Park, our featured racebooks are the best way to get into the race.
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Champagne Stakes Betting Odds
Whenever a group of relatively untested two-year-olds meet on the track, the chances are good that someone is going to come out of nowhere to hit the board at high odds. Finding that diamond in the rough is the goal of all handicappers, and once you’ve done so, the best way to get your bet in is through Bovada.lv, our number-one rated online racebook.
2016 Champagne Stakes Contenders
The next generation of Thoroughbred racing’s stars could be unveiled in the Champagne Stakes (G1), part of Belmont Park’s “Super Saturday” card. In addition to the winner’s share of the $500,000 purse, the victor will also earn a spot in the starting gate for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
Syndergaard, one of two horses in the race for trainer Todd Pletcher, tops the field as the 9-5 morning line favorite. Purchased for $450,000 as a two-year-old in training in the spring, the chestnut colt is undefeated from two starts. After breaking his maiden, he won the Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga and will be stretching out for the first time. Pletcher will also saddle longshot Thirst for Victory.
Chad Brown also has two of the six horses in the race including the second choice, Favorable Outcome, at 2-1 odds. A $300,000 purchase earlier in the year, the chestnut son of Flatter broke his maiden handily at Saratoga in August and will be facing winners for the first time. He has been training steadily since that race. Also coming out of the Chad Brown barn is Practical Joke, an undefeated son of Into Mischief who is already a Grade 1 winner. He won the Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga to earn his second straight victory.
Here is the field for the 2016 edition of the Champagne Stakes along with morning line odds.
1. Practical Joke, 4-1
2. Thirst for Victory, 15-1
3. Syndergaard, 9-5
4. Lookin at Blessing, 12-1
5. Favorable Outcome, 2-1
6. Big Gray Rocket, 6-1
Did you know?
Past winners of the Champagne Stakes comprise a veritable who’s who of racing greats including the likes of Buckpasser, Foolish Pleasure, Alydar, Easy Goer, Seattle Slew, Devil’s Bag, and Forty Niner. In recent years, winners of the Champagne have used the race as a springboard to other major wins. 2007 winner War Pass, and 2010 winner Uncle Mo, went on to capture the Breeders’ Cup Classic a month later with each horse winning in impressive fashion. 2012 winner Shanghai Bobby also won the BC Juvenile, shipping across country to Santa Anita and lasting in the stretch for a narrow victory. Union Rags won the Champagne in 2011 before launching a successful three year-old campaign that included a win in the Belmont Stakes.
The last Kentucky Derby winner to win the Champagne was Sea Hero in 1992. The Champagne was run at a mile and a sixteenth from 1994-2004 – and a variety of different distances prior to that – before being changed to its current one mile distance. Devil’s Bag and Seattle Slew are listed as speed record holders at the one mile distance with the former stopping the clock in 1:34.20 and the latter posting a 1:34:40 mark. Trainer Todd Pletcher has held the key to the Champagne in recent years, saddling winners in 2010 (Uncle Mo), 2012 (Shanghai Bobby), and 2013 (Havana). Pletcher also won the race with Scat Daddy in 2006 and Proud Accolade in 2004 giving him an impressive five wins in nine years.