HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Six Column Stables LLC’s Into Champagne identified herself as a 3-year-old filly to watch Sunday at Gulfstream Park, where the daughter of Into Mischief returned from a long layoff to produce a thoroughly professional and dominating triumph in the $100,000 Glitter Woman.

Jockey Julien Leparoux, who had guided her to a dazzling six-and-three-quarter-length debut victory at Ellis Park in June, ventured from Oaklawn Park for the Ian Wilkes-trained filly’s second career start in the six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies. Into Champagne, the 3-5 favorite in a strong field of seven, certainly made it worth the trip with a length-and-a-half victory.

Following a clean break from the rail post position, Leparoux settled Into Champagne behind a contested pace set by Florida-bred Let Them Watch and pressed by Scootaloo, who showed the way past quarter-mile fractions of :22.21 and :45.91. Leparoux, meanwhile, bided his time aboard Into Champagne before easing her off the rail entering the stretch and slipping inside a tiring Scootaloo. Once clear, the Wilkes trainee kicked in and drew away.

“Ian just told me to break and see what happens. He said she’s probably not 100 percent so save a little bit for the finish,” Leparoux said. “I could have probably gone to the lead, but I decided to just sit behind like she did first time out. She relaxed good and when I found the hole, she went through. She kind of looked around a little bit at the end, but she’s a nice filly. If she comes back like we think she will she’s going to be nice this year.”

Into Champagne ran six furlongs in 1:11.58 over a muddy track. Launch, a sharp maiden winner in her U.S. debut last time out, closed well to finish second, a length-and-a-quarter in front of a late-rallying Kissedbyanangel. Let Them Watch was fourth, a neck back.

Wilkes viewed Leparoux’s return to Gulfstream for the return mount on Into Champagne as an important element in the development of the $300,000 purchase at the 2022 Keeneland September sale.

“I’m all about developing horses. I like to use riders who’ll stay with the horse. Julien was quite happy and was wanted to stay with her and he was willing to come down, so that was the thing,” said Wilkes. “It’s all about developing horses and trying to win the right races.”

The Grade 3 Forward Gal (G3), a $125,000 sprint for 3-year-old fillies going seven furlongs and the next step on the road to the Grade 2  Gulfstream Park Oaks to be run Mar. 30, is a likely next-out target for Into Champagne.


Wednesday’s Rainbow 6 Gross Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $250,000

The 20¢ Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $250,000 for Wednesday’s program at Gulfstream Park.

Wednesday’s Rainbow sequence will span the fourth through ninth races.

The feature is race eight, a first level, $75,000 optional claiming with a purse of $91,000 for 3-year-old fillies going five furlongs on the turf. Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse is represented by a pair of Woodbine shippers in the full field of 12.

Ready to Jam was second to Airosa in the $143,000 Catch a Glimpse on Aug. 20 that preceded a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Natalma won by She Feels Pretty on Sept. 16, both at Woodbine. Golden Canary, who broke her maiden in her second career start in the $131,000 Soaring Free in August before a fifth-place finish in the Natalma and a runner-up finish in the $224,000 Algonquin.

Florida-breds Fairhopecurly and Jayana are also entered.

Who’s Hot: Trainer Brian Lynch’s hot start during the Championship Meet continued Sunday while scoring his ninth, 10th and 11th victories from 31 starters.

Lynch won with Ro Town ($6.80) in the third race, a five-and-a-half-furlong claiming races for older fillies and mares on synthetic. He came back to win with King Julien ($6.60) in the fifth race, a five-furlong maiden special weight event that was transferred from turf to the all-weather course, and Kalispera ($5.40) in race 10.

Trainer Kelly Breen notched his eighth victory from just 22 starters thus far in the Championship Meet with Florida-bred Megan Makin Money ($3.40) in the fourth race, a six-furlong claiming race for older fillies and mares. Megan Makin Money is owned by M and M Stables LLC and was bred by Helen Barbazon & Joseph Barbazon.

Luis Saez doubled aboard Florida-breds Cavu ($8.20) in the first race and Morgan Point ($7.60) in the sixth race.

Jose Ortiz also won a pair of races aboard Before You Go Go ($5) in the seventh race and Kalispera (Ire) in the tenth race.

Return to the Jan. 7 issue of Wire to Wire