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Greenpointcrusader Overcomes Trouble To Win Champagne

The Grade 1 Champagne Stakes looked like an easy win for the eventual winner Greenpointcrusader, however, it was anything but that.

It was a good start for Tale of S’avall and Ralis with Sunny Ridge up close in third. Magna Light was fourth early, Portfolio Manager broke best, but was reigned back in fifth. Greenpointcrusader had a terrible start as he stumbled, but was rushed up into sixth, Ready Dancer was seventh, and Sail Ahoy was last by 6 1/2 lengths.

Tale of S’avall continued to lead the field with Ralis edging closer in second and Sunny Ridge in third. Magna Light was fourth after steadying a bit on the backstretch, Portfolio Manager was fifth, Greenpointcrusader was still in sixth, Sail Ahoy seventh, and Ready Dancer was already relegated to last and quickly losing touch with the field.

On the turn, the trio of Tale of S’avall, Sunny Ridge, and Ralis began their battle for the lead while Portfolio Manager was ranging up on the outside and Greenpointcrusader was put under stringent pressure to continue his move while fifth. The remainder of the field was not a threat with Ralis, Magna Light, and Ready Dancer already backing out of the race.

As the field straightened for home, Sunny Ridge took the lead, but was quickly tackled by Greenpointcrusader, who found his stride. He went on to pull away and win by 4 1/2 lengths over Sunny Ridge with Portfolio Manager another two lengths behind in third. Sail Ahoy rallied to finish fourth.

The remaining order of finish was Tale of S’avall, Ralis, Magna Light, and Ready Dancer. Rafting was scratched earlier in the day and did not participate. The entire chart can be found here courtesy of Equibase.

Greenpointcrusader is by Bernardini out of the Cryptoclearance mare Ava Knowsthecode. He paid $15.00 to win, $7.30 to place, and $4.80 to show. He was ridden by Joe Bravo and trained by Dominick Schettino. He ran the one mile in 1:36.25 over a sealed and sloppy track.

In addition to the $300,000 winner’s share, Greenpointcrusader also earned a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland later this month. He also earned 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Sunny Ridge earned four points, Portfolio Manager received two points, and Sail Ahoy earned one point.

The Road to the 2016 Kentucky Derby continues on Sunday with the Grey Stakes from Woodbine.

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