Havana wins the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park on SaturdayPICTURE: Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photos
Havana holds on to
Report: USA, Saturday
Belmont Park: Champagne Stakes (Grade 1) 1m, dirt, 2yo
COOLMORE'S Havana (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz) will surely be heading to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile after just holding the late-running Honor Code in New York's most prestigious two-year-old contest.
Stepping up from a flashy Saratoga maiden success, the roan son of Dunkirk opened up a big lead and was treading water inside the final furlong as Honor Code came charging from well adrift at the back of the field.
The runner-up can be counted an unlucky loser as he was forced six wide into the straight and would surely have got his head in front if he had got any sort of a clear passage.
Havana, a $575,000 purchase in March, had got first run and he held on to win by a neck from the 9-5 favourite in a race where runaway Hopeful Stakes winner Strong Mandate was never involved.
Also on Saturday
Artemis Agrotera wins the Frizette Stakes to maintain her unbeaten recordPICTURE: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos
Belmont Park: Frizette Stakes (Grade 1) 1m½f, dirt, 2yo fillies
Artemis Agrotera (Mike Hushion/Jose Lezcano) maintained her unbeaten record with her second victory but the story of the race was hard-luck runner-up Sweet Reason.
The Spinaway Stakes winner veered left after exiting the gate at the start of this one-turn mile, spotting five lengths to the remainder of the field before making headway five wide into the stretch.
The favourite rallied to be beaten only a length and a quarter in this $500,000 contest, a major trial for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and part of the 'Win and You're In' programme.
Canadian Classic winner Up With the Birds (left) wins at Belmont ParkPICTURE: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos
Belmont Park: Jamaica Hcap (Grade 1) 1m1f, turf, 3yo
Canadian Classic winner Up With The Birds (Malcolm Pierce/ Cornelio Velasquez) closed well for a come-from-behind victory over a hot field of three-year-old turf performers.
Having won the Breeders' Stakes, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, at Woodbine on his previous outing, he was returned at just over a 4-1 shot as he got home by a half-length from Secretariat Stakes winner Admiral Kitten to take his career record to six wins from nine starts.
Santa Anita: Santa Anita Sprint Championship (formerly Ancient Title) (Grade 1) 6f, dirt, 3yo+
Points Offthebench (Tim Yakteen/Mike Smith) will go the Breeders' Cup Sprint over course and distance in four weeks' time on the back of a four-race winning streak after holding off Goldencents by a half-length.
The four-year-old, who also beat Goldencents in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby at Del Mar, has now won six of his eight career starts after scoring in a speedy 1.08m0s as he completed a four-timer on the card for Mike Smith.
Last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Trinniberg was last of seven.
Indiana Downs: Indiana Derby (Grade 2) 1m½f, dirt, 3yo
Haskell runner-up Power Broker (Bob Baffert/Martin Garcia) became his trainer's third winner in the last five years in this $500,000 event.