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Kentucky Derby 2014 Contenders – Havana pops Champagne cork

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.

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