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Champagne Room Pops Winning Cork in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

By Casey Laughter

This year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) was a wide-open edition, with no one filly showing any real advantage over the rest. That left this field to be a tough one to choose one potential winner in the 1 1/16-mile main track event and in the end it proved the truth as longshot Champagne Room captured the $1 million race by three-quarters of a length, giving trainer Pete Eurton his first-ever score on Racing’s Championship Day.

 As the second-longest shot on the board at 33-1, the Alecia, Ciaglia and Christiansen, et. al colorbearer returned $69.20 to win.

 After an easy load, the field of 12 broke evenly, but the run into Santa Anita’s first turn is a short one, which often causes traffic problems. Yellow Agate – racing between horses – checked sharply going into the first turn and regained her rhythm, but the chain reaction sent a couple horses wider than they’d like, including American Gal, who got a birds-eye view of the facilities eastern most parking lot.

The field settled in, though, shortly after and as they straightened out for the run up the backstretch, Noted and Quoted led the way through splits of :23 2/5 and :48 for the first half-mile. Champagne Room was able to sit just off the leader for most of the trip and began to make her move on the far turn just as a fading Noted and Quoted posted the six-furlong split in 1:13.01, and within just a few strides led the the field into the stretch and stayed there, earning the mile in 1:38.54 and holding off the challenge from

Trainer Peter Eurton trains Champagne Room, who gave the trainer his first lifetime Breeders’ Cup win. After the race, the veteran Southern California conditioner said he liked to, “think of her as a 2-year-old version of Beholder.”

Valadorna finished second and was followed by the troubled American Gal, who was another 3 ¼ lengths back in third. Daddys Lil Darling finished fourth.

Mario Gutierrez was aboard Champagne Room and earned another career Breeders’ Cup win after guiding Nyquist to victory in last year’s Juvenile.

“I got a really perfect trip,” Gutierrez said. “The minute I started asking her, she cooperated with me.”

Champagne Room is a big bay daughter of Broken Vow, who has sired top horses like Unbridled Belle, Cyber Secret, Rosiland and Sassy Image. While her pedigree looks to be geared toward the turf, she has been successful on dirt and she appears to have no severe distance limitations.

With her win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Champagne Room earned 20 points toward a potential start in the 2017 Kentucky Oaks (GI). Valadorna earned eight points, American Gal earned four, and Daddys Lil Darling earned two.