The race began with a furious trip to start, with a pack of eight horses fighting to gain position early on. Aveenu Malcainu took the early lead out front with 3⁄1 odds, followed by 7⁄1 outside shot Enticed. Hazit and Honorable Treasure, who were both listed at 5⁄1, sat behind the leading pair but everyone was in the mix.
Good Magic, who went off as the favorite, sat patiently behind the lead pack at 4⁄1. The gang hit the first quarter-mile at :22.90, the half-mile at :45.94 and all hell broke loose at the three-quarter pole with a pace of 1:10.37.
Aveenu Malcainu had sat out front the entire way, but Good Magic broke with a ferocious intensity to seize the lead. Coming from the clouds, however, was Firenze Fire, an 11⁄1 longshot who had sat second-last down the entire backstretch. The two battled down the entire backstretch but it was Firenze Fire, who stretched out at the wire to secure the win.
Enticed edged Kowboy Karma to finish three lengths back in third, while Hazit fell to a very disappointing fifth considering that he had opened as the morning line favorite.
The staggering 2017 Champagnes Stakes victory paid out $24.00, $9.80 and $5.60 for Firenze Fire. Good Magic was worth $6.00 and $4.30 in second while Enticed delivered $4.70 to show.
Firenze Fire won his second stakes race in three efforts after scoring in the Sanford but falling to a respectable fourth in the Hopeful. Trainer Jason Servis alluded that his prized juvenile may not have been at his best in the Hopeful. "He wasn’t right that day. He had a virus or something going on," Servis mentioned. "He was flat. The week before the race the horse was coughing, but sometimes you’ve got to run them. Everything’s there. It’s in the moment. You run them and you move on."
Even in defeat, Good Magic showed extremely well. He has now finished second in two races, but Chad Brown sees a ton to be optimistic about. I thought we had a big shot. That horse came and got us. We were well clear of third, so it says something about how well both first- and second-place finishers ran."
The 2017 Champagne Stakes was certainly a rebound effort for the two-year-old, who has also booked his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile while also picking up 10 Kentucky Derby points. It’s a big swing of momentum for this colt as he will likely land in Del Mar soon to prepare for the world championships. It’s very probable that Good Magic will be there as well.
|12||Firenze Fire 11-1||$24.00||$9.80||$5.60|
|6||Good Magic 4-1||$6.00||$4.30|