One of four stakes on Saturday’s Belmont Park program, the $500,000 Champagne (G1) serves as a final prep for Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) hopefuls and is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, with the top four finishers earning points on a 10-4-2-1 scale toward a berth in a 20-horse Kentucky Derby field.

A field of 12 is set for the 146 th running of the one-mile test.

Contenders

#6 Good Magic has been installed as the slight 7-2 morning line favorite despite being winless from his only start. The chestnut colt was bet down to 3-5 odds in his 6 ½-furlong debut and offered a nice challenge before settling for runner-up honors on the Travers Day undercard at Saratoga. Trainer Chad Brown wins at a 26% clip with runners making their second start and the $1 million son of Curlin is bred to appreciate the added ground. With a race under his belt, he’s eligible to keep improving and Good Magic figures to launch his rally from just off the pace with new jockey Jose Ortiz.

#11 Hazit, the early 4-1 second choice, edged Good Magic leading wire-to-wire over a Saratoga track that played kindly to inside speed. The War Front colt owns a precocious pedigree, with his dam being a Grade 3-winning sprinter and a half-sister to a Grade 1-winning juvenile, and he promises to bring speed to Saturday’s race from his outside post. Todd Pletcher’s go-to rider, Hall of Famer and Kentucky Derby winner John Velazquez, has the call.

#8 Aveenu Malcainu will try to improve to 3-for-3 in his first start against open rivals. A son of successful Kentucky-based sire Into Mischief, the 2-year-old colt was bred in New York and made his first two starts against state-bred opponents at Saratoga, posting a near one-length maiden tally before rolling to a 2 ½-length decision in the August 25 Funny Cide Stakes. Luis Saez rides the stalker for Jeremiah Englehart.

#4 Enticed overcame a less-than-favorable trip with a powerful finish in his debut, winning going away by a nearly two-length margin, and the Medaglia d’Oro colt should relish the stretch out in distance. Out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Mineshaft mare It’s Tricky, Enticed rates as an enticing prospect for Godolphin Racing and Kiaran McLaughlin at 10-1 on the morning line.

#7 Bahamian has been installed as the 5-1 third choice on the morning line. The Maryland-bred son of Freedom Child ships cross-country for Simon Callaghan following a pair of starts at Del Mar, finishing a commendable second, more than eight lengths clear of third, to subsequent FrontRunner (G1) runner-up Solomini in a maiden race five weeks ago. Two-time Kentucky Derby victor Mario Gutierrez will be in for the mount.

Selections

Enticed impressed at first asking and is eligible to keep moving forward in his stakes debut.

Top 3:

1st-Enticed

2nd-Hazit

3rd-Good Magic

Good luck playing the Champagne!