Just as suddenly, the real Mogambo may have made his long-awaited debut while winning the $279,500 Champagne Stakes by 9 N lengths. This was the Mogambo who walked to the track with aplomb, not the nervous, high-strung Mogambo who savaged his lead pony at Belmont three starts back; not the Mogambo who has been dripping with sweat before each of his races and has become known more for his adventures in the saddling paddock than his accomplishments on the racetrack.
This Mogambo was all business once Angel Cordero confronted him with the task at hand. "When I put him in the clear and asked him to run," Cordero said, "he really took off and finished well." This Mogambo ran past Ketoh, reached the wire in 1:37 1/5 for a mile and kept running. He galloped out another furlong in 13 4/5 seconds. This Mogambo is likely to be a handful on Breeders' Cup Day, Nov. 2 at Aqueduct.