01/01/2011 5:33PM

Preachintothedevil earns shot at Whirlaway by taking Champagneforashley

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Preachintothedevil will move on to the Whirlaway Stakes in February after winning Saturday's restricted Champagneforashley.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Gary Contessa will get another shot at winning the Whirlaway Stakes next month at Aqueduct.

Preachintothedevil, trained by Contessa for owner Molly Vogel, earned his spot in the $100,000 Whirlaway on Feb. 5 with a solid 3 1/4-length victory over pacesetting Eminent Tale in Saturday’s $60,000 Champagneforashley Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds at Aqueduct. Sky Music, the even-money favorite, got up for third over stablemate Crea’s Law.

 Last year, Contessa had heavily favored Eightyfiveinafifty in the Whirlaway, but that horse bolted, dumped his jockey, Jorge Chavez, jumped the fence, and ran through the stable area before getting caught.

  “I might get to make amends for Eightyfiveinafifty jumping the fence in last year’s Whirlaway,’’ Contessa said from his upstate New York home. “Make no doubt about it, we got a Whirlaway horse.’’

 After winning an off-the-turf maiden race by 7 1/4 lengths on Nov. 6, Preachintothedevil finished third in the Damon Runyon Stakes on Dec. 5. Contessa said he thought the horse raced a little green, or inexperienced, in that race.

 Saturday, under Junior Alvarado, Preachintothedevil stalked the pace from third as Eminent Tale set the pace with Awesome Merger chasing from second. Entering the stretch, Preachintothedevil came into the stretch three-wide and was able to pass Eminent Tale outside the eighth pole before switching to his correct lead and win drawing away.

 Preachintothedevil, a son of Pulpit, covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:43.48 and returned $17.80 to win.