Undefeated Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) looks to continue his domination of the 2-year-old colt division as the headliner in Belmont's GI Champagne S. Saturday, a “Win and You're In” for the Breeders' Cup. A debut winner at Churchill June 19, the bay scored a decisive win in the GII Saratoga Special S. Aug. 7 and was an impressive victor of the GI Runhappy Hopeful S. at Saratoga Sept. 7, earning a 95 Beyer Speed Figure.
“He handles everything well,” said trainer Steve Asmussen's Belmont Park-based assistant trainer Toby Sheets. “Just like his races are, that's how he is. He's done everything very professionally and he's very straightforward. I don't see the mile being an issue at all.”
Asmussen also saddles Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) in this event. Earning his diploma by 5 1/2 lengths at second asking at Ellis Aug. 22, the bay was second in the GIII Iroquois S. at Churchill Sept. 5.
“He came in on Saturday, had a little [three-furlong] blowout [in :39.22] here on Tuesday,” Sheets said. “He's another well-built, big horse. He's figuring it out a little bit, but he's been doing really well.”
Reinvestment Risk (Upstart) garnered 'TDN Rising Star' honors after his 7 3/4-length graduation in his career bow at Saratoga Aug. 1. The bay earned a 90 Beyer that day and repeated that figure when second in the Hopeful last time.
“He's doing super. I'm looking forward to getting him out another furlong. He'll have no problem with more distance,” trainer Chad Brown said.
The remaining three entries in this juvenile test include: Civil War (Bodemeister), who broke his maiden for a $40,000 tag at Monmouth Sept. 7; Run Casper Run (Ghostzapper), who graduated at second asking when switched to dirt at Colonial Aug. 5; and Ambivalent (Constitution), who is a maiden of four starts, including a third in the GII Best Pal S. and another third last time in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. Sept. 7.