The Champagne Stakes Betting Odds at the Big A

The Champagne Stakes has a remarkable roll of honor – Spectacular Bid, Seattle Slew, Easy Goer to name but three – and this year’s race has drawn a good field, with G1 runner-up Timberlake taking on very promising maiden winners Fierceness and General Partner in what could be a crackerjack contest at Aqueduct on Saturday.

Breeders Cup Odds

Champagne Stakes

G1, $500,000, 1m dirt, 2yo, 3.46pm ET

There is more substance to the field in The Champagne Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday than in its companion race the Frizette, with smart stakes form among those trying to grab the paid berth into the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

The best form on paper belongs to Timberlake (3-1), although he is cross-entered in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland the same day. Wherever he goes he will be a major player on the evidence of his fine effort in the 2023 G1 Hopeful at Saratoga over seven furlongs, when he beat them all apart from a 54-1 longshot, going down by a length and a half with Gold Sweep (8-1) four lengths further back in sixth.

Timberlake loses the blinkers this time and should confirm the placings with Gold Sweep, who looked special when winning a Belmont Park sprint stakes by nine lengths but has since missed out twice at Graded level. Perhaps the addition of blinkers will turn him around.

Timberlake’s barnmate Air Cav (15-1) comes here from a totally different direction, off a debut victory over five and a half furlongs at Horseshoe Indianapolis. He squeezed home by a neck and is likely much better than the bare form suggests, but this is a different ballgame and he has a lot of hard questions to answer.

Todd Pletcher has won the Champagne a record six times and will be very hopeful of reaching seventh heaven with the fiery Fierceness (6-5), who ran lights-out brilliant on his debut at Saratoga, pulverising the opposition by 11 and a quarter lengths over six furlongs in a good time.

Introductions do not come any better, but Fierceness still needs to back it up over further and against much better rivals – and the fourth horse at the Spa was beaten next time.

There are two other Saratoga maiden winners here, notably General Partner (7-2), whose trainer Chad Brown has won this for the last two years. General Partner made all on his second start to score by four lengths over seven furlongs, in a good time, and is just the type of horse Brown gets to move up quickly. Dancing Groom (20-1), who blitzed a mile maiden by five lengths, also at second time of asking, is less appealing but should give a good account.

The consistent El Grande O (8-1) stretches out again after running his rivals out of town in a state-bred stakes here over seven furlongs. The distance should be fine, but he may lack the scope for improvement that the maiden winners possess. Sweet Soddy J (50-1) hits the Big A with a stakes win at tiny Timonium to his name and will be outclassed.

The Champagne Stakes Odds & Racing Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Air CavDylan Davis+1500
Dancing GroomTrevor McCarthy+2000
TimberlakeFlorent Geroux+300
General PartnerManuel Franco+350
El Grande OKendrick Carmouche+800
FiercenessIrad Ortiz, Jr.+120
Gold SweepJose Lezcano+800
Sweet Soddy JJose Antonio Gomez+5000

There are some very promising contenders but FIERCENESS was so impressive when a runaway winner of his maiden that it is hard to oppose him.

Check out the 2023 Champagne Stakes at Aqueduct: Timberlake tops the charts

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