Kentucky-bred Jack Christopher remained undefeated with a facile victory in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on Oct. 1. Making his stakes debut in the 150th running of the Champagne, a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Jack Christopher ran to the lofty expectations his connections entertained following an 8 ¾-length romp in his career bow Aug. 28 at Saratoga.
With jockey Jose Ortiz in the irons, Jack Christopher broke sharply and was taken back a bit off the early pace set by Gunite, winner of the Hopeful Stakes (G1) in his previous outing. As the field negotiated the far turn, Jack Christopher moved up to engage Gunite and the pair surged clear of the rest of the pack. Jack Christopher put that rival away and cruised to the wire to defeat a rallying Commandperformance by a measured 2 ¾ lengths, stopping the timer for the one-mile distance in 1:37.31.
Trained by Chad Brown, Jack Christopher is owned by Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister, Coolmore Stud, and Peter Brant. The chestnut colt, by Munnings out of the Half Ours mare Rushin No Blushin, was bred in Kentucky by Castleton Lyons and Kilboy Estate. He was a $135,000 graduate of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale in 2020.
“He was a horse that identified himself as early on as his first work,” said Chad Brown. “I was on the phone with the connections, saying, ‘This is potentially a really good horse. I can’t believe what I just saw.’ He’s just been brilliant in every work. There was some buzz around him before he ran, and he lived up to it.
“I’m just so appreciative to have the horse and have another opportunity with another good dirt horse like this in our barn,” Brown added. “It’s our third Champagne win and I’m proud of my team. Here’s another horse that’s well on his way to a big career and probably a stallion career someday.”