Description: Practical Joke (KY) B, C, foaled April 15, 2014 (Into Mischief - Halo Humor, by Distorted Humor) wins his second Grade I in as many starts with a hard fought victory in the 8 furlong $500K Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 8, 2016. Jockey Joel Rosario and Practical Joke broke awkwardly and trailed the field as Syndergaard and Big Gray Rocket battled for the lead up the back stretch. Syndergaard started to draw clear at the 3/16's marker, however, Practical Joke had advanced steadily along the inside after the poor start up the back stretch and around the far turn. Practical Joke came off the rail at the 3/16's marker and engaged Syndergaard at the 1/8th pole and those two went to the wire with Practical Joke getting the win in a head bob. Syndergaard set quick fractions of 22.74, 44.63, 1:08.76 and still had plenty left for the drive to just miss by a nose. The final time for the 8 furlongs was 1:34.68. Favorable Outcome got the show 6 1/2 lengths further back a 1/2 length in front of Big Gray Rocket in fourth. Practical Joke is 3 for 3 and he has earned $559,800 for his owners William Lawrence and Klaravich Stables. He was bred by Whispering Oaks and he is being trained by Chad Brown. The Champagne is a Breeders' Cup World Championships Challenge 'Win & You're In' Series race and Practical Joke earns a free entry into the 2016 BC Juvenile November 5th at Santa Anita Park. The Champagne is also a Kentucky Derby Prep Season race and the first four finishers received points on a sliding scale of 10-4-2-1 towards a start in the 2017 Kentucky Derby May 6th at Churchill Downs. Drawing by Daily Racing Funnies ®.
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