ELMONT, NY – Klaravich Stables’ Complexity proved to be clearly the best of the field, leading gate to wire in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park.
The Champagne is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Complexity receiving an automatic berth in the Sentient Jet Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Friday, November 2.
Breaking sharply from post 4 under Jose Ortiz as the 5/2 favorite, Complexity took command and set quick opening fractions of :22.51, :45.31, and 1:09.40. Still running strongly as he ran away down the stretch, the Chad Brown trainee changed to his wrong lead inside the final furlong but still held sway to win by an easy 3 lengths in a final time of 1:34.63 for the 8-furlong event over the fast main track.
“We always knew he was nice,” Ortiz said. “The only question was whether he could stretch out to a mile and he proved that he could. Now, we have to stretch him out to a mile and 1/16 (the distance of the Juvenile). I’ve been working him all summer in Saratoga, It’s very special when you’ve been working with them and they come out and do this.”
After stumbling badly at the start, Code of Honor was relegated to the rear, but he recovered enough to put in a strong bid in the far turn and get up for second by 3 lengths over Call Paul, who nosed out fourth over Aurelius Maximus. Strung out behind them came Trophy Chaser, Endorsed, Casa Creed, Listing, Successful Zip, and Achilles Warrior to complete the order of finish.
Complexity’s win was his second in as many starts after breaking his maiden at Saratoga on September 3. The juvenile son of Maclean’s Music has now earned $321,750, nearly matching his $375,000 purchase price as a yearling.
“He’s just so strong,” Brown said. “An outstanding talent. He’s just a rare horse. Obviously, we’re going to the Breeders’ Cup if he comes back sound and healthy. We’ll try and run two turns, which will be another question mark. (The distance will be) another 1/16 of a mile, but he’s a class horse. Jose gets along with him well, and hopefully he’ll get a good trip in (that) race.”
Complexity returned $7 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.50 to show. Code of Honor brought back $13.20 to place and $8.10 to show, while Call Paul paid $5.30 to show.