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Champagne d'Oro Wins Test

Champagne d’Oro picked up her second Grade 1 victory in emphatic style, drawing off to win the 85th running of the $250,000 Test at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.

 

The 5-1 co-third choice in the Test, Champagne d’Oro pressed the favorite and pacesetter Pica Slew in second through fractions of 22.41 and 44.50. After Pica Slew capitulated in midstretch, Miguel Mena got to work aboard Champagne d’Oro, and she responded by driving clear to a 4 ½-length victory over Bonnie Blue Flag, who edged late-running Belle of the Hall for second by a half-length.

 

“In her last race, I got her into a little trouble before the quarter-pole, and she wound up second, beaten 1 ½ lengths,” said Mena. “I am very happy the connections gave me the chance to ride her back. Today, I had a great trip. She broke sharply, was right there on the lead with the No. 1 horse [Pica Slew], switched leads around the turn and came through in the end.”

 

Champagne d’Oro returned $12.40 for a $2 win wager, covered seven furlongs in 1:22.71, and improved her record to 3-3-1 from 12 starts. Including the $150,000 winner’s share of the Test purse, her career earnings stand at $493,465.

 

“I think she’s going to be a really good filly as a 4-year-old if she stays sound – a really good filly at a mile to a mile and a sixteenth,” said Eric Guillot, who trains Champagne d’Oro for Southern Equine Stables and Mike Smith. “I want to keep her at seven-eighths and stretch her out after the Breeders’ Cup. We’re going to follow the same route as Maryfield, whom we bought for our broodmare band. With the way she won easily, she could come back [in the Grade 1 Ballerina August 28].”

 

The 39-1 upset winner of the Grade 1 Betfair TVG Acorn at Belmont Park June 5, Champagne d’Oro chased home Franny Freud to finish second in the Grade 1 Prioress at Belmont on Independence Day in her most recent start. Those two appeared to be on course for a rematch in the Test before Franny Freud was withdrawn on Thursday with a career-ending ligament injury.

 

Lovely Lil and Ash Zee dead-heated for fourth, with Christine Daae, Buckleupbuttercup, Pica Slew, and Tidal Pool completing the order of finish.

 

 

 

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