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HAPPY REUNION AT ‘GULF’

Edited Gulfstream Staff Release – 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 6 ¾-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 1 ½ -length victory.

Leparoux gave the Kentucky-bred filly a smooth trip en route to a most promising win. Following a clean break from the rail post position, Leparoux settled Into Champagne behind a contested pace set by Let Them Watch and pressed by Scootaloo, who showed the way past fractions of 22.21 and 45.91 seconds for the first half-mile. 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, 1 ¼ lengths 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 $125,000 Forward Gal (G3), a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies and the next step on the road to the March 30 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), is a likely next-out target for Into Champagne.

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

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

            Wednesday’s Rainbow sequence will span Races 4-9, featuring a $91,000 optional claiming allowance for 3-year-old fillies in Race 8, a five-furlong turf sprint. Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse is represented by a pair of Woodbine shippers in the full field of 12. Ready to Jam is coming off a second-place finish in the Catch a Glimpse Stakes that followed a sixth-place finish in the Natalma (G1) at Woodbine. Golden Canary, who broke her maiden in her second career start in the Soaring Free Stakes before a fifth-place finish in the Natalma and a runner-up finish in the Algonquin.

             The Rainbow 6 jackpot is paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

            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 Race 3, a 5 ½-furlong claiming races for older fillies and mares on Tapeta. He came back to win with King Julien ($6.60) in Race 5, a five-furlong maiden special weight event that was transferred from turf to Tapeta, 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 Megan Makin Money ($3.40) in Race 4, a six-furlong claiming race for older fillies and mares.

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