More Than Ready 2yo colt Daredevil dominated the G1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in New York on Saturday and is now one of the top contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on November 1.
Daredevil accelerated to the lead entering the Belmont straight to win by more than two lengths in the $500,000 feature for juveniles. “I thought he was very impressive, very professional,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He rated kindly and finished really well.”
It was his sixth Champagne success following Havana, Shanghai Bobby, Uncle Mo, Scat Daddy and Proud Accolade.
Winning jockey Javier Castellano was also full of praise for the unbeaten colt. “He’s a special horse,” the jockey noted. “He was very impressive when I worked him last weekend and he just galloped along today.”
Daredevil (2c More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind by Forty Niner) opened his racing career with a 6 length romp at Belmont Park on September 13 and will join stablemate Carpe Diem on the trip west to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup.
“I told Todd he reminded me of Bernardini when he won the Jim Dandy Stakes,” Castellano said. “He will do whatever you ask.”
Bred in Kentucky by Marianne and Brandon Chase, Daredevil was purchased by Let’s Go Stable for $260,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September sale. He’s a half-brother to 2008 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Albertus Maximus.
Hall Of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher prepared More Than Ready and his 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Pluck. Both stallions are stationed at Vinery.
Daredevil is the 132nd stakes winner by More Than Ready and the Vinery champion doubled up with maiden winner Miss Always Ready at Belmont on Saturday.
Miss Always Ready (2f More Than Ready – Striking Kathy by Smart Strike) is also trained by Pletcher and she bolted in by 5 lengths over 1600m. It was a vast improvement on her unplaced debut during the Saratoga season.
Bred by Santucket Stables in Kentucky, she is a sister to Group 1 placegetter More Than Real and cost $400,000 at the Keeneland 2YO Sale in April.