10/03/2012 4:24PM

Belmont Park: Chief Havoc dangerous European shipper in Champagne


ELMONT, N.Y. – It pays to take notice when the European-based trainer Jeremy Noseda ships a horse to New York for a stakes race.

In 2010, Noseda won the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct with Awesome Act. Last year, he shipped Western Aristocrat to Belmont Park to win the Grade 1 Jamaica. In the last seven years, Noseda has three stakes wins from nine starters in New York.

Saturday, in a Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park that will revolve around trainer Todd Pletcher and his trio of entrants, Noseda has shipped in the maiden Chief Havoc to try and wreak havoc in the one-mile race for 2-year-olds.

A field of seven was entered for the Champagne, a Win and You’re In race for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.

Chief Havoc is based in England but has an American pedigree. He is a Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway out of the North American graded-stakes-winning mare La Reina. His granddam is Queena, who won five races at Belmont, including Grade 1 races like the Maskette and Ruffian.

Chief Havoc ran twice in Great Britain, finishing third in a one-mile maiden race on synthetic at Kempton and second in a one-mile turf race at Newbury.

Wayne Tanner, an assistant to Noseda, said a slow start and a little immaturity compromised Chief Havoc in his debut.

“He was a little bit green early,” Tanner said. “With a furlong and a half to run he was a good 15 lengths adrift and got beat a length and a half.”

In his second start, Chief Havoc was beaten three-quarters of a length by Wentworth, a horse trained by Richard Hannon who was winning his second straight start.

“The winner they think is pretty good,” Tanner said. “The Hannons think that’s their Guineas horse.”

Though this will be Chief Havoc’s first start on dirt, he has trained on it. Purchased for $325,000 out of the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale, Chief Havoc trained on dirt in south Florida before being sent to Noseda.

“We don’t think dirt will be a problem for him,” said Tanner, who galloped Chief Havoc over a muddy Belmont main track Wednesday morning. “He was bought for the dirt, really. He handled it good out there today. We don’t think we’ll use that as an excuse, really.”

Chief Havoc will break from post 3 under Cornelio Velasquez.

Shanghai Bobby, undefeated winner of the Hopeful Stakes, heads the Pletcher contingent. Pletcher also entered maiden winners Archwarrior and Micromanage in the Champagne. Micromanage was cross-entered in the Dover Stakes at Delaware Park, also run on Saturday.