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Champagne and Woodward top Saturday’s Belmont at Big A card

By NY Hot List Staff | Thursday, September 29, 2022

The setting may be Aqueduct instead of Beautiful Belmont Park, but the first weekend of October still means it’s time for some significant Breeders’ Cup preps in New York. Saturday’s card at the Big A will play out as if it is Belmont with four graded stakes, two of them Grade 1 tests. The star of the day promises to be Life Is Good, who headlines the Woodward Stakes. But the most intriguing race on the card promises to be the Champagne, which should put a spotlight on New York’s top contender for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Here’s the Hot List picks for the 1 mile Champagne Stakes.

$500,000 Champagne (G1) Belmont at the Big A, Saturday, Race 10.

(3) Verifying is a half-brother of the champion $7 million earner Midnight Bisou. Brad Cox brought him to Saratoga and he won at first asking as an odds-on favorite with a front-end effort going six furlongs. (2) Top Recruit has two wins from three starts. He broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in June, ran third at Prairie Meadows behind the very speedy and unbeaten Tyler’s Tribe. He made a big jump in speed figures when he beat Curly Jack, who came back to win the Iroquois (G3), in the Ellis Park Juvenile. (6) Gulfport ran four times as a heavy favorite winning his first two starts at Churchill Downs in a maiden and then the Bashford Manor by more than 12 lengths. In his last two starts he was second in the Saratoga Special (G2) and the Hopeful (G1). (5) Blazing Sevens was an easy winner in his debut race for Chad Brown and then was third in the Hopeful.

The rest of the NY Hot List picks and the Special Saturday Pick 3 are available free of charge at this website.