09/30/2011 4:40PM

Belmont: Kimmel points Invocation to Champagne


ELMONT, N.Y. - While he won’t have Fire On Ice to run in next Saturday’s Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, trainer John Kimmel plans to enter his maiden Invocation in the one-mile race for 2-year-olds, which awards the winner an automatic spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE: Racing schedule, replays, and past winners »

Invocation, a son of Pulpit is winless in two starts. He finished third to the impressive debut winner Giant Surprise and then second, beaten six lengths by Alpha in his second start. Alpha is also pointing the Champagne.

Kimmel has been training Invocation in blinkers and will use them on the horse in the Champagne.

“Even though he’s a maiden, I think he’s a talented horse,” Kimmel said. “The addition of blinkers has kind of helped him a little bit. He’s going to be really good going longer, and right now the field is looking ordinary.”

On Tuesday, Invocation worked a sharp half-mile in 47.20 seconds over the Belmont main track.

In addition to Alpha and Invocation, others pointing to the Champagne include B Shanny, Laurie’s Rocket, Speightscity, and Union Rags. Possible runners include Me and My Gals, No Spin, Right to Vote and Power World.