HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – After a pair of third-place finishes to start her 3-year-old campaign, Six Column Stables and Randall Bloch’s Champagne Anyone sported blinkers for the first time and popped off with a very game effort to win Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).
Breaking from post 5 under Chris Landeros at 7/1 odds, Champagne Anyone settled into a stalking position in second while Cookie Dough posted unpressured fractions of :23.80, :47.58, and 1:11.77. Inching up alongside the pacesetter through the far turn, Champagne Anyone took the lead at the top of the stretch and dug in gamely to first dispatch of Cookie Dough, then to hold off the 6/5 favorite Dunbar Road at the wire. The Ian Wilkes trainee crossed with a 1/2-length advantage in a final time of 1:43.47 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“They put blinkers on her and we anticipated being a little bit more aggressive with her, instead of falling out,” Landeros said. “I got her into a gear early and she went along beautifully today. She’s so naturally gifted. She still doesn’t know when to completely lay it down, but today’s a big step forward and I think the best is yet to come for her.”
Dunbar Road’s effort was strong, just not strong enough, as she ran out of real estate before finishing 3/4 of a length ahead of Cookie Dough. Point of Honor failed to put forth her best effort and finished fourth ahead of the maiden Safta, while Bella Ciao never factored into the running and was allowed to jog across the line to complete the order of finish.
The Gulfstream Park Oaks is part of the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Champagne Anyone earned 100 points for the win, with Dunbar Road receiving 40 for second, Cookie Dough 20 for third, and Point of Honor 10 for fourth.
Champagne Anyone’s win was her first since winning an allowance race at Keeneland on October 10 and improved her overall record to 7-3-0-3. The Ian Wilkes-trained 3-year-old daughter of Street Sense has now earned $267,950.
“I think the blinkers made her more tractable in the race,” said Wilkes, who is also Landeros’ father-in-law. “She’s a filly who doesn’t like Chris to ask her to be in the race. I had to do something to where she took Chris into the race. I wasn’t worried where she was today. I didn’t mean that I need to be on the lead. It didn’t mean I had to be second. I left it up to Chris to be where I wanted to be. That’s the idea with the blinkers – to get her to travel more and not dislike what Chris was doing on her.”
Champagne Anyone returned $17.20 to win, $5.20 to place, and $2.80 to show. Dunbar Road brought back $3.20 to place and $2.40 to show, while Cookie Dough paid $2.60 to show.