Firenze Fire stunned the rest of the field at Belmont Saturday, holding off Good Magic to win the Champagne Stakes and 10 points in the Kentucky Derby standings.
Aveenu Malcainu took the early lead, with Firenze Fire waiting patiently in 10th place for most of the backstretch. He slowly began to make his move toward the end of the backstretch, passing horse after horse, and as the crowded pack entered the homestretch Firenze Fire was five wide.
It didn’t matter. The colt took off after Good Magic, the favorite who had just taken the lead from Aveenu Malcainu. He overtook Good Magic, then held him off to win by 1/2 length. Enticed was third.
The win marked a comeback for Firenze Fire, who finished a disappointing fourth in the Hopeful. His Beyer figure for the race was 90. We’ll see him next in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile.