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Breeders' Cup 2017

Champagne d’Oro Ready for Honorable Miss

Southern Equine Stables’ Champagne d’Oro, emphatic winner of last year’s Grade 1 Test, has returned to the Spa in preparation for a start in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap on August 7 and possibly the Grade 1 Ballerina on Travers Day, August 27.

 

Now 4, Champagne d’Oro has raced once this year, finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder Race Course on July 9. Her primary goal is November’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup & Filly Mare Sprint, in which she was fourth last year. She made two starts after last year’s Breeders’ Cup – a sixth in the Grade 1 La Brea and a fourth in the Grade 2 El Encino – before she was given a breather.

 

“She was good enough last year, but by the time she had won the Test and gone back to California she was a tired horse,” said trainer Eric Guillot. “We freshened her up and gave her four months off, and ran her at Calder in a Grade 1. She needed the race.”

 

In the Princess Rooney, Champagne d’Oro stalked the pace, loomed in midstretch, and flattened out late.

 

“She broke the bias,” said Guillot. “The track was drying out that day and the speed backed up. The horses that were 1-2-3 in front of her finished seventh, ninth, and 10th. She punched through at the eighth pole and looked like she was going to win, but she came up a little short. That race under her belt is going to make all the difference in the world.”

 

If Champagne d’Oro runs well in the six-furlong Honorable Miss, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro could return in the seven-furlong Ballerina three weeks later, which Guillot admits would be a quick turnaround.

 

“And that’s what I’m going to determine, depending on how she comes back, how she runs, and who’s going in the Ballerina,” added Guillot. “It’s a Grade 1 right out of her stall on a track she likes – you almost have to take a shot.”

 

 

 

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