2022 TVG Champagne Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview
The most promising juveniles on the east coast line up on Saturday, October 1 for the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Aqueduct, which is hosting Belmont’s fall meet this year. The one-turn mile race features a $500,000 purse, and the winner receives an expenses-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Keeneland.
Keep reading to learn about the field, find out about recent trends in the race, and see how to watch and bet the race online!
Champagne Stakes 2022 Information
Champagne Stakes Odds
Aqueduct drew the field for the 2022 Champagne Stakes on Wednesday, September 28; the track is expected to assign a morning line on Thursday. The morning-line odds will provide some clues about how betting is expected to go, though it can fluctuate all the way until post time. It is smart to keep track of the live odds all the way until post time, in order to make sure you’re getting the right odds on your horse.
This is the field for the 2022 Champagne Stakes including post positions, trainers, and jockeys.
|Andiamo a Firenze
|Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Horse racing is a game of information, and FanDuel TV gives you all the information you need to make the best bet possible. With up-to-the-minute news and odds updates, you can find out which horses are colder or hotter on the board than you expect, find out exactly how the horses look on track, and make sure you know whether you are getting the value you need on the horses you are interested in betting. Then, you can make the smartest wagers!
Champagne Stakes Prep Results
Two of the six horses are coming out of the Hopeful (G1), the most prestigious two-year-old race of the Saratoga meet. Though the Hopeful winner Forte does not show up in this field, beaten favorite Gulfport and third-place Blazing Sevens return to top-level company in New York. Two horses come into the race from wins in different stakes. Andiamo a Firenze won the Funny Cide against New York-breds August 26 at the Spa, and Top Recruit was last seen winning the Ellis Park Juvenile in game fashion on August 14.
Two others come into the Champagne straight from maiden special weight company. Verifying won his six-furlong debut at Saratoga on August 27. Champions Dream also graduated at Saratoga on debut, going seven furlongs on September 3.
Champagne Stakes Contenders
Andiamo a Firenze: Both of his victories have come against New York-breds, but he flattened out late when trying open company in the Sanford (G3) July 16. He has shown that he can win from either a leading or pressing spot, a good versatility to show, and he did break his maiden from the fence. Though, with a lot of other speed in the race, his hand may be forced and he faces the toughest test of his career. That said, both of his impressive wins have come over off tracks, conditions he will likely get this time, and his full brother Firenze Fire won this race in 2017.
Top Recruit: An improving two-year-old on the midwestern circuit, he faces graded company for the first time. Like the horse to his inside, he has shown the ability to either wire a race or press and duel. However, he was less than exciting the one time he was really outjumped to a frontrunning spot, meaning he will have to fight harder early than he ever has, and then go longer than he ever has.
Verifying: This horse is bred to the nines, as a Justify half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Midnight Bisou. Well bet on debut, he ran to it, setting a pressured pace and clearing in the final furlong. He is bred for the longer distance this time around and trainer Brad Cox does a good job with last-out maiden winners, but he will have to either tussle with a lot of speed or prove he can rate and rally.
Champions Dream: Another son of Justify, he led at every call of a seven-furlong maiden race at Saratoga about a month ago. Though he dueled early, the pace of that race wasn’t particularly sharp early, raising questions in such a speed-laden affair as this one. The win at an extended one-turn distance is a positive, though that race came back on the slow side, suggesting he will have to improve significantly for this Grade 1.
Blazing Sevens: Though he did not win his most recent race, he has the one tactic no one else in this field has shown: the ability to win a race from off the pace. He graduated going six furlongs at Saratoga from just off the pace, and drew off to win impressively. Perhaps he did not love the slop on Hopeful day, but it looks like Saturday in New York City will be rainy so he may run into that again.
Gulfport: He set the pace in the Hopeful but was outfinished by Forte late in that race. Though he is part of a large speed contingent, he has an advantage in that he has the clean outside draw in the field of six. He seemed to take to the slop decently well in the Hopeful as well, a positive given the wet weather forecast.
Champagne Stakes Past Winners Past Performances
Over the last ten years, every single winner of the Champagne has last raced in either the Hopeful Stakes or a maiden special weight, and nine out of the ten won their previous race. Four of them came into the race out of the Hopeful Stakes. Three won; the only one who won the Champagne off a losing effort in the last ten years is Firenze Fire (2017), who was fourth in the Hopeful before rebounding in the Champagne.
The other six of the last ten winners came into the Champagne off a maiden special weight win. Five of those six came in out of a debut victory, including Tiz the Law (2019) who stepped up all the way from New York-bred maidens to a Grade 1 score. The other, Greenpointcrusader (2015), broke his maiden second-out and then won this race.
Champagne Stakes Undercard
The Champagne Stakes is the tenth of 11 races on Saturday’s card at Aqueduct. It is one of four graded races on the card, which also includes the Woodward (G1), Miss Grillo (G2), and Belmont Turf Sprint (G3). With a full day of classy racing, including three maiden special weight races, it is an excellent betting card. So, plan to stay tuned to FanDuel TV and TVG.com to bet the card all day long!
Aqueduct Race Track
Aqueduct, affectionately known as The Big A, opened up in 1894 under the auspices of the Queens County Jockey Club in Queens, New York. It is the only racetrack within New York City limits. The original track was demolished in 1956, though the new one reopened in 1959 and has successfully hosted racing ever since. In 1975 the inner track was laid in order for the venue to host winter racing, now a fixture at the track.
Though winter racing originally took place over the inner track, the outer dirt track was winterized in 2017, and now winter racing happens on the main dirt. The main track is a nine-furlong dirt oval with a one-mile chute. It surrounds two turf courses. The outer turf is a one-mile course. The inner grass course, which took the place of the inner dirt in 2017, covers seven furlongs.
Champagne Stakes FAQ
Q: When is the Champagne Stakes?
A: Saturday, October 1, 2022, at 5:45 p.m. Eastern time.
Q: Where is the Champagne Stakes?
A: It takes place at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York.
Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Champagne Stakes?
A: Trainer Todd Pletcher has the most victories in the Champagne. He has won it six times, most recently with Daredevil in 2014. Pletcher does not have a runner in 2022. Among trainers who have a horse in this year’s edition, Chad Brown has the most wins, with three. He most recently won in 2021 with Jack Christopher. This year, Brown sends out Blazing Sevens.
Q: Who is the favorite for the Champagne Stakes?
A: Verifying has been named the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the Champagne. He should take money given his flashy breeding and his sharp maiden win, especially since his trainer Brad Cox tends to be well bet. However, Gulfport (the 2-1 morning-line second choice) could also very well go off favored in the Champagne, between his sharp score in the Bashford Manor and his good second-place finish in the Hopeful.
Q: Who is the best Champagne Stakes jockey?
A: Braulio Baeza leads all jockeys with five wins in the Champagne between 1964 and 1975. Among jockeys who are riding in the 2022 edition, Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Joel Rosario lead the way with two wins each.
Q: Who won the Champagne Stakes in 2021?
A: Jack Christopher won the 2021 Champagne Stakes for trainer Chad Brown and jockey Jose Ortiz. Brown returns this year with Blazing Sevens. Jose Ortiz also returns this year, though he rides Gulfport for Steve Asmussen.