Updated on 11/21/2016 12:17PM

Champagne Room pulls off 33-1 surprise in Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies

Email
Susie Raisher
Champagne Room, who came into the Juvenile Fillies with just a maiden win from four starts, pays $69.20 after winning the 1 1/16-mile race under Mario Gutierrez.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Champagne Room was largely overlooked prior to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and why not? With just a single victory from four starts, albeit a Grade 2 stakes at Del Mar, she was one of the lesser-accomplished of the 12 starters in the 1 1/16-mile race.

Peter Eurton is glad, then, that races are run on the track and not on paper. Prominent from the start with Mario Gutierrez riding, Champagne Room shot to the lead turning for home and went on to a 33-1 stunner in the 33rd running of the $2 million BC Juvenile Fillies, the first of nine Saturday Breeders’ Cup events at Santa Anita.

It was the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Eurton, who is based year-round on the Southern California circuit.

“This means a lot to me,” said Eurton, who trains Champagne Room for the locally based partnership of Ciglia Racing, Exline-Border, Gulliver Racing, Sharon Alesia, R. Christensen, and Taylor Legan. “I’m trying to hold it in. I’m pretty emotional about it.”

Valadorna closed late to finish three-quarters of a length behind Champagne Room, while American Gal, the 4-1 favorite, was another 3 1/4 lengths back in third. Daddys Lil Darling ran on late to be fourth, another length back.

“I had a perfect trip,” said Gutierrez. “She broke really sharp. I was able to settle behind the speed and when I asked her, she ran with all her heart.”

Champagne Room returned $69.20 as the second-longest shot in the field after finishing in 1:45.12 over a fast surface. A Kentucky-bred by Broken Vow, Champagne Room won an Aug. 6 maiden race in her second career start, and then was third in the Del Mar Debutante and fourth in the Chandelier. The winners of both of those Grade 1 races, along with three other Grade 1 preps, were among her opponents Saturday, accounting for her long odds.

American Gal was expected to make the lead from her outside post, but it was her Bob Baffert stablemate, Noted and Quoted, who was in front into the first turn, with Champagne Room giving closest pursuit. American Gal went very wide into the first turn and momentarily trailed, but she steadily made up ground while looping the field to be third at the quarter pole.

From there, as Noted and Quoted faltered, Champagne Room suddenly drew off as Valadorna angled off the rail after getting a good inside trip near the back. Gutierrez kept Champagne Room to a steady drive with a right handed whip, allowing her to stay safe from Valadorna and jockey Julien Leparoux.

“She was getting a little tired, but there wasn’t anyone catching her,” said Eurton.

“I had to wait a little bit on the turn and I think the winner got away from us,” said Leparoux. “She ran a big, big race.”

After the top four, the complete order was Jamyson ‘n Ginger, Union Strike, Noted and Quoted, Dancing Rags, With Honors, Yellow Agate, Sweet Loretta, and Colorful Charades.

The $2 exacta (6-3) paid $723.60, the $1 trifecta (6-3-12) returned $2,347.30, and the 10-cent superfecta (6-3-12-11) was worth $2,589.24.