Todd Pletcher’s top early Kentucky Derby 2014 contender Havana
followed up a sharp debut maiden win with a game neck victory in the
Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, October 5.
Havana dueled through honest splits of :22.87 and :45.54. He opened
up a 2-1/2 length lead after six panels in 1:10.12 and widened his
advantage to 4-1/2 lengths in the lane.
The Champagne was not ready to be uncorked with Honor Code was flying home on the outside, but he came up a tad short in a gallant effort. Ride On Curlin was well clear of the rest in 3rd. The final time was 1:35.81, which translated to a solid 93 BSF.
We Miss Artie is a Grade I winner on paper after
capturing Keeneland’s Breeders’ Futurity, but he only received a 70 BSF
for his winning effort. He needs to run much faster if he expects to be
competitive on Breeders’ Cup day.
Sunday’s Grade III Grey Stakes winner Ami’s Holiday garnered an 80 BSF against three opponents.