Champagne d'Oro speeds to Test win

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Champagne d'Oro, second to Franny Freud in last month's Prioress Stakes, took advantage of Franny Freud's sudden retirement on Thursday by speeding to a 4 1/2-length victory over Bonnie Blue Flag in the Grade 1, $250,000 Test Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Saratoga.

The win was the second major victory in New York this year for Champagne d'Oro, who captured the Acorn Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day.

In the Prioress, she was second and Bonnie Blue Flag was third behind Franny Freud.

Franny Freud was injured Thursday, after entries for the Test were taken, and was immediately retired.

Champagne d'Oro ($12.40), ridden by Miguel Mena, shot clear of her rivals at midstretch and poured it on. Bonnie Blue Flag finished a half-length in front of Belle of the Hall for second. Another half-length farther back came Lovely Lil and Ash Zee, who finished in a dead-heat for fourth.

Champagne d'Oro covered seven furlongs in 1:22.71 for her third victory in 12 starts. She is owned by the Southern Equine Stable of Michael Moreno and is trained by colorful Eric Guillot, who earlier this meet was tossed from the Saratoga paddock because he was wearing shorts.

"How many lengths you got to win by to change the rule to wear shorts in the paddock?," Guillot said to Steven Duncker, chairman of the New York Racing Association, during the trophy presentation in the winner's circle. Guillot was wearing pants and a sports jacket on Saturday.

"She was training like a bear lost in the forest," said Guillot, a native of Louisiana.

Guillot said he wanted to point Champagne d'Oro to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. Like the Test, it is at seven furlongs. But Guillot said the best spacing for his filly does not allow him to keep her on conventional dirt, so he is considering bringing her back against older fillies and mares in the Grade 1 Ballerina here Aug. 28, the day of the Travers Stakes.

"Most likely, it's the Ballerina," Guillot said. "There's not many options."

* Sea Road ($25) held off favored Snow Top Mountain to take the $70,000 Hattie Moseley for 3-year-old turf fillies on the Saturday undercard. She won by a neck, with Barracks Road a nose farther back in third. Cornelio Velasquez rode the winner for trainer Stanley Hough. Sea Road was timed in 1:35.17 for one mile on firm turf.