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Honor Code vs. Strong Mandate in the G1 Champagne Stakes

10/5/2013 7:20 AM
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POST TIME 5:46 EST -- The return of #7 Strong Mandate post his scintillating victory in the G1 Hopeful and the follow up to #5 Honor Code's eye-popping maiden debut win make this year's Champagne Stakes one of the most highly anticipated BC preps of the year.  The one-turn mile at Belmont plays like a long sprint.  This field is loaded with horses featuring bountiful early energy distribution profiles with most stretching out for the first time.  This sets things up very well for #5 Honor Code.  I can not recall the last time I had seen a 2 year-old earn an unheard of BRIS late pace figure of 138!  Anything near 110 would have been super impressive.  Did that late burst take something out of this horse?  I don't think so and we might witness today something quite special and I'll have #5 Honor Code squarely on top.  #7 Strong Mandate is getting better with each race.  If #5 Honor Code fails to fire, then Strong Mandate is the only other horse I can see winning the Champagne Stakes.  He'll sit that great stalking trip on a surface that has been very kind to those on or near the lead.  As for upsetters underneath, I like Nick Zito's horse #8 Grand Arrival and Todd Pletcher's charge, #9 Intense Holiday.  Both horses show the ability to reserve some energy while not being too far back in the early stages.

The Wager:

$20 Exacta 5 with 7,8,9

$10 Exacta 5,7 with 8,9

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