Submitted by Gasper Moschera on Friday, September 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Belmont Park: Strong Mandate to run in Champagne Stakes
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Strong Mandate will make his next start in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes on Oct. 5 at Belmont Park after the colt had his first breeze since romping to victory in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes.
Lukas also had considered the Grade 1 FrontRunner on Sept. 28 at Santa Anita as the horse’s final prep for the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before deciding on the Belmont race.
“Most likely, he’ll work twice more here before I send him up to New York about a week out,” Lukas said Friday after the colt went a half-mile in 47.40 seconds over a fast track at Churchill Downs.
Strong Mandate, a bay Tiznow colt owned by Robert Baker and William Mack, has raced three times, all at Saratoga. After finishing fifth in his July 22 debut, he led all the way in winning an Aug. 17 maiden race by 4 1/2 lengths, then came from just off the pace to take the Sept. 2 Hopeful by 9 3/4 lengths.
The $500,000 Champagne is run at a one-turn mile.