CHAMPION CHAMPAGNE ROOM TOO TOUGH IN REMINGTON PARK OAKS
For Immediate Release
OKLAHOMA CITY – Champagne Room came to the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks with a lot of questions swirling around her. She had not raced in nearly seven months and had only one start since winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last November at Santa Anita.
Sunday, September 24, 2017
The Breeders’ Cup score earned Champagne Room the Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old filly in North American racing. However, a poor performance in the Grade 2 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita in February left her with an ankle chip that required cleaning and rest. Even the connections of Champagne Room had some concerns on how she would act in her return to action at Remington Park.
"I was a little worried but not because of the layoff," said two-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Mario Gutierrez, who rode Champagne Room. "I was just a little worried because of her not relaxing before the race."
Trainer Peter Eurton was on the same page with Gutierrez. "She was agitated, yeah," he said. "She wanted to run and was having a tough time waiting behind the gate."
Once the feisty Champagne Room left the starting gate, she dominated her four rivals in the Oaks, running freely and imposing her will. Owned by Sharon Alesia, Robin Christensen, Ciaglia Racing and Gulliver Racing of Carlsbad, Calif., Champagne Room went straight to the lead and never looked back in the 1-1/16 miles race, finishing in 1:42.05 and winning by 3-3/4 lengths. Her time was a stakes record, breaking the 1:42.76 set in 2011 by Tourmaline.
"We knew she was going to be off for two-to-four months at least with that injury and surgery to remove the chip, but we had no doubt that she was ready," Eurton said. "She was working great in the mornings, not only her timed workouts but also her gallops."
Gutierrez, who the Kentucky Derby with I'll Have Another in 2012 and again with Nyquist in 2016, guided Champagne Room to a comfortable lead on the backside and then with about a half mile to go in the race, her competitors began to move up beside her. Some must have thought she was starting to feel the seven-month layoff, but not Gutierrez.
"She was beginning to relax at that point and came off the bit on her own, but as soon as they come up to her, you saw her kick it back in and she drew away from them.”
After that, it was easy to see Champagne Room was going to win by as many as she wanted as she cruised home easily in front. The 3-year-old filly added $120,000 to her lifetime earnings, boosting her bank to $1,430,600 in only seven starts. It was her third career win.
Running second behind the heavy 2-5 favorite was Ever So Clever and second favorite Babybluesbdancing in third.
Now the connections of Champagne Room must decide whether to send this daughter of Broken Vow from the Bernstein mare Lucky To Be Me to the Breeders' Cup Distaff or to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. There is no race in the series strictly for 3-year-old fillies.
Champagne Room paid $2.40 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Ever So Clever returned $2.80 to place and $2.10 to show. Babybluesbdancing paid $2.10 to show.
It was the first win in the Remington Park Oaks for all of the connections of Champagne Room. With the victory, she became the first horse to have won an Eclipse Award to win a race at Remington Park.
Remington Park Thoroughbred racing continues Thursday thru Saturday, Sept. 28-30, with the first race nightly at 7pm-Central.
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