2022 Champagne S. & Miss Grillo Stakes Recaps

Breeders’ Cup win-and-in contests provided plenty of clues at a grey and damp Aqueduct on Saturday, with Blazing Sevens booking his place in the Juvenile when cruising to a comfortable victory in the 2022 Champagne S. Pleasant Passage wired the field in the G2 Miss Grillo and could also be on her way to Keeneland next month for the Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Champagne Stakes

Sevens wins the pot, G1, $500,000, 1m, 2yo

The topsy-turvy nature of fall two-year-old form was highlighted by the result of the 2022 Champagne S at Aqueduct – Belmont at the Big A – on Saturday when Blazing Sevens pulled off a 14-length turnaround with the favorite Gulfport.

Nine lengths behind Gulfport in the G1 Hopeful at Saratoga, this time Blazing Sevens was four and three-quarter lengths ahead as the 8-1 outsider came from last to first under Flavien Prat for a dominant victory. Andiamo A Firenze took them to the top of the lane but Blazing Sevens was coming fast down the center of the track and led with a sixteenth to run, hitting the wire three and a quarter lengths clear of the second-choice Verifying, stopping the clock in 1:37 and change.

Gulfport, a beaten favorite for the third time running and becoming a liability for bettors, was a length and a half further back in third over a sloppy track.

“He hated the track at Saratoga,” said trainer Chad Brown, winning his fourth Champagne. “Today it went our way, he moved through it perfectly. I can’t wait to get him around two turns.”

That opportunity will come at Keeneland on November 4, as Blazing Sevens earned a paid berth into the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with this success. The colt’s sire Good Magic was runner-up in the 2017 Champagne before winning the BC Juvenile.

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Blazing Sevens win the 2022 Champagne Stakes & a spot to BC Juvenille #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sports

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Miss Grillo Stakes

Such a Pleasant surprise, G2, $200,000, 1m 1/16 turf, 2yo fillies

There was another two-year-old upset in the Miss Grillo, as 9-1 chance Pleasant Passage took them gate-to-wire on her stakes debut over rain-softened turf to keep her unbeaten record intact.

The race was won at the gate, Pleasant Passage breaking on top under Irad Ortiz and setting regulation fractions while pursued by the second-choice Free Look. The positions were unchanged throughout, and although Free Look tried her hardest through the stretch she couldn’t peg back the tenacious leader, who kept pulling out more and got home by three-quarters of a length.

The favorite Be Your Best could never get involved but kept on for third, two lengths adrift. The stopwatch showed 1:45 and one-fifth.

“There wasn’t much speed in the race and I knew if I could be in front that would be good,” said Ortiz. “I made the lead easily, and when I asked her to go she was there for me.”

The Miss Grillo is a win-and-in for the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, and trainer Shug McGaughey indicated that Pleasant Passage – winner of a Saratoga maiden on debut – may take that route. Keeneland also beckons for Free Look and Be Your Best, who was reportedly unsuited by the soggy ground.

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Pleasant Passage win the 2022 Miss Grillo Stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #Horse #FYP #Sports

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