Champagne Stakes (G1)

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seahawkgal
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Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:45 pm

Just saw the replay. WOW for both the winner and Honor Code. HC is the real deal here. What a closer. Only his 2nd start. He is only going to get better. Reminds me of Easy Goer a bit. Shug has a Derby horse.
second_glance
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Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:07 pm

93 BSF for both Havana and Honor Code.
Kay16
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Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:31 am

I'm with those that say being a closer does not automatically mean the more ground the better. But with Honor Code's breeding, that stride, the late kick, and that big body of his, I'd be surprised if these two year old distances aren't a little short for him, and the competition a little more precocious. This horse has a serious late run, he was spun extremely wide on that last turn (even though at Belmont it's not as bad as other tracks with sharper turns), and he just kept going. Havana had to deal with the quick pace up front, but still a much better trip than Honor Code. Both looked good. But I'm more excited to see what Honor Code does down the rode. As much as I'd love to see him in the Juvenile, he'd probably benefit more skipping it. Of course, I'm not Shug and Shug is a Hall of Fame trainer for a reason. I hope this horse develops a bit more speed as he matures.
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serenassong
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Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:34 am

It's going to be exciting to watch Honor Code go longer. And, with the extra ground he had to cover in the lane to get to the winner- he is very talented. Puzzled about Strong Mandate, sure that he is being scoped and examined at the barn. Havana should be fun to watch as well- he did do very nicely on the front, but not sure how long he wants to go.
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Jeff
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Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:32 pm

Somnambulist wrote:Closers =/= wanting more ground.
True enough.

It's not that he's a closer. He's an AP Indy. He does want more ground.
Tessablue
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Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:06 pm

Havana is very fast and very talented, and I believe he'll go farther than people expect.

Still, it's hard to not feel a twinge of excitement when thinking about Honor Code...
Matt Converse
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Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:18 pm

Havana was very impressive to stay on like that. Honor Code had to run a bit further but was benefitted by the pace. Rematch you might think Havana again if the pace isn't so hot. Derby-wise, Honor Code looks a bit more likely but of course that's a long way off.
Kay16
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Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:41 pm

Tessablue wrote:Havana is very fast and very talented, and I believe he'll go farther than people expect.

Still, it's hard to not feel a twinge of excitement when thinking about Honor Code...

He'll probably go a bit further than just sprint distances but I see this horse being best 1 1/16 or under. Of course it's almost impossible to tell when they are at this stage of racing.
Kennedy
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:00 pm

blamethewinner wrote:
dustino140 wrote:I was wrong about Honor Code. That was an impressive loss. Havana couldn't have asked for much of a better trip.
I'm a little puzzled by this. Havana was in the midst of an absolutely brutal pace, buried his other pace rivals and then held off two fresh horses in a stirring stretch drive. As a 2nd time starter stretching out from 5.5fs to a mile, he overcame a lot of hurdles today. I try not to get overly excited about Pletcher 2YOs, but that horse ran his eyeballs out.
Totally agree. Honor Code had a bad trip no question but doesn't make Havana's trip easy. I think he showed a ton in the Champagne. Sometimes people watch these races and immediately think "can he handle 10f?" and if the answer appears to be no they become slightly pessimistic about the horse. Havana looks less a Derby winner than Honor Code but I'd pick Havana over Honor Code if they both ended up in the BC Juve.
thinair
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:23 pm

Kennedy wrote:
blamethewinner wrote:
dustino140 wrote:I was wrong about Honor Code. That was an impressive loss. Havana couldn't have asked for much of a better trip.
I'm a little puzzled by this. Havana was in the midst of an absolutely brutal pace, buried his other pace rivals and then held off two fresh horses in a stirring stretch drive. As a 2nd time starter stretching out from 5.5fs to a mile, he overcame a lot of hurdles today. I try not to get overly excited about Pletcher 2YOs, but that horse ran his eyeballs out.
Totally agree. Honor Code had a bad trip no question but doesn't make Havana's trip easy. I think he showed a ton in the Champagne. Sometimes people watch these races and immediately think "can he handle 10f?" and if the answer appears to be no they become slightly pessimistic about the horse. Havana looks less a Derby winner than Honor Code but I'd pick Havana over Honor Code if they both ended up in the BC Juve.

What was even close to " bad " about Honor Code's trip?
Cladan
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:26 pm

Honor Code isn't going to run in the Breeders' Cup.

Without having any evidence to back up such a thought but I do wonder how long it will be before Havana gets injured.
Kennedy
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:43 pm

thinair wrote: What was even close to " bad " about Honor Code's trip?
Going into the middle of the track on the turn.
blamethewinner
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:25 pm

Kennedy wrote:
thinair wrote: What was even close to " bad " about Honor Code's trip?
Going into the middle of the track on the turn.
Couple of things about this. Honor Code covered 20 more feet than Havana when all was said and done. Going a one-turn mile, that is basically nothing.

Belmont is also, by far and away, the most forgiving dirt track in America when it comes to ground loss. Those sweeping turns make riding the 4-5 path much easier than it is at any other racetrack. Honor Code angled out at the top of the stretch after racing a bit off the inside, but all in all had a clean run and came up short. Doesn't make him any worse than Havana, just 2nd best on Saturday.
thinair
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:34 pm

Kennedy wrote:
thinair wrote: What was even close to " bad " about Honor Code's trip?
Going into the middle of the track on the turn.
I agree with Blamethewinner, and I think if you watch the race again, and look at the Trakus stats, you will agree.
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Ballerina
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:42 pm

I'm not selling my heart to a two-year old. They're here to disappoint the following year. I'm holding every single one of them at arm's length.
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serenassong
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:00 pm

Ballerina wrote:I'm not selling my heart to a two-year old. They're here to disappoint the following year. I'm holding every single one of them at arm's length.
yes, I've gotten burned in the past like that. He is an absolutely stunning horse, though. This nice looking now, can only imagine what he will be like next year.
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serenassong
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:01 pm

ok, that was bizarre, part of my message got cut off.
"I reject your reality, and substitute my own!"- Mythbusters
"Oh, What fresh Hell is this?!"- Sheldon Cooper(quoted from Dorothy Parker)- Big Bang Theory
"Sometimes I think he's the King of Stupid" - Old Man- Pawn Stars
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