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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

 


Belmont Stakes Horses

Complete

 

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BOURBON WAR
EVERFAST
INTREPID HEART
JOEVIA
MASTER FENCER
SIR WINSTON
SPINOFF
TACITUS
TAX
WAR OF WILL

 

 

BOURBON WAR (KY)
Trainer: Mark Hennig
Owner: Bourbon Lane Stable & Lake Star Stable
Breeder: Conquest Stables, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tapit (Pulpit, Tap Your Heels)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): My Conquestadory (Artie Schiller, Golden Artemis)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-12-12-2-0 (32) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 23, 2016

$410,000 Keeneland November 2016
$525,000 RNA Keeneland September 2017


JOCKEY: Mike Smith

Bourbon War debuted with an impressive 2 1/4-length win on Nov. 14 at Aqueduct in a one-mile race moved off the turf on a track rated fast. Bourbon War, who was stabled at Belmont Park, stumbled at the start and stayed off the pace before a strong finish earned him a trip to the winner's circle.

Trainer Hennig said later, “There was a good chance for it to come off the turf, but he had a lot of turf pedigree. It was that time of year when you enter those kind of races because you’re running out of chances to get started on the grass if you want to. We weren’t alarmed that it came off."

Nov. 28 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, "He's doing well. We discussed it Tuesday morning and came to the conclusion that we'd fit with this group (in the Remsen Stakes). The timing is a little less than ideal, but he seems like he's been sharp and bright since his race, so we figured we'd take a chance. He's a horse who all along I thought would need to run and need more ground. I never anticipated that he's the horse who would run the race of his life in his first start. I think there's plenty of upside. The timing is a question mark, but he's acting like he's up to it. I think he'll be up to the challenge. I would think that he would relish more ground. I don't think distance is an issue. I don't anticipate him being on the lead. He seems like a horse who wants to settle a little bit."

In Aqueduct's Dec. 1 Remsen Stakes at 1 1/8 mile, 7-5 second choice Maximus Mischief won by 2 1/4 lengths under Frankie Pennington with Network Effect taking second with a late effort. After breaking sharply, Maximus Mischief dueled outside Gladiator King through a quarter-mile in 25.12, then gained an edge over that one while fending off Tax from his outside, posting a half-mile mark of 50.67. Tax was still there coming out of the final turn afterf six furlongs in 1:14.60, but Maximus Mischief responded to Pennington's left-handed encouragement and opened up his lead before hitting the furlong marker in 1:38.48 and the wire in a final time of 1:51.34. Network Effect was second by a half-length over Tax. The fourth-place finisher, another 6 1/4 lengths back, was Bourbon War, who was last but only four lengths off the pace after the first half-mile. More than 10 lengths further in arrears were Jungle Warrior, Gladiator King and Chinomado, in that order.

Jan. 17 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, “He’s done very well since he got here. We ran him back in the Remsen. It wasn’t ideal probably, but he handled it well and he came out of it well. He’s shipped well to South Florida. I think the race was a learning experience for him for a less-than-ideal trip. I didn’t necessarily expect him to be a first-out winner. He had spotty works – kind of a typical Tapit. The interesting thing about him is that since he ran his first start, he’s been all business as a work horse, which he wasn’t before.”

In a 1 1/16-mile, entry-level allowance on Jan. 18 at Gulfstream Park, 3-2 favorite Bourbon War and Irad Ortiz, Jr. registered a dominant 2 1/4-length victory over 2-1 second choice Cutting Humor, ridden by John Velazquez. Both those two came from off the pace to overtake pacesetter and 6-1 third choice Award Winner, who did a lot of early heavy lifting under Jose Ortiz with fractions of 23.93, 47.45 and 1:11.97 while taking heavy pressure from Everfast and Whitecap Bay. The race was timed in 1:43.54. Leaving the far turn, Bourbon War found a seam between Award Winner and a hard-charging Cutting Humor and split those horses before drawing off to win by 2 1/4 lengths. It was another four lengths back to Award Winner, and 6 1/2 more to Everfast. Archidust, Borracho, Art G Is Back, Whitecap Bay and He's a Macho Man rounded out the order of finish.

Mark Hennig: “I was glad he kind of got through that little hole. I was like, ‘Is there a hole here turning for home, or not? Don’t get stopped.’ It worked out good. I think you’d have to (point to the Fountain of Youth). We’re going to see how it stacks up, but we’ll nominate him up to all these 3-year-old races. I think he’s ready to take the step back into graded stakes company. He got some schooling in the Remsen, and I think Irad made a point of schooling him a little bit (today). I asked him if he did anything wrong today, and he said, ‘Not a thing,’ so that’s good.”

Jan. 24 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said to DRF on Jan. 21, “All and all I thought it was a good workmanlike and professional effort. He also got a lot of valuable schooling out of the race as well. Now all you can ask for is that he continues to keep moving forward. (The Fountain of Youth) is here, it’s around two turns, the timing is good, and he seems to like this track, so right now it’s the most obvious of all the choices we’ve got."

Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, “He has a competitive nature. But also he has a good mind. Since he ran that first time, it’s like he’s just waiting for the rider to tell him what to do next. I think Irad rode him that way. If you go back, he gave him a little extra education in the Remsen, which benefited us in the last race. We’d like to see another move forward and pick up some points in the process. That would be the goal."

In the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 2, Code of Honor and John Velazquez bided their time in fifth place early on, some eight lengths off the pace, but blew by pacesetter Hidden Scroll at the top of the stretch and took it on home to win in 1:43.85, prevailing by 3/4 length. Hidden Scroll, ridden by Joel Rosario, led through fast fractions of 22.80, 45.69 and 1:10.42, and it turned out to be too much for him, although he did hang on to finish fourth. Bourbon War, who was seventh, 10 lengths off the pace after the first half-mile, finished second with a monster late run while guided outside by Irad Oritz, Jr. Vekoma, with Manny Franco up, finished third by 2 3/4 lengths after being in fourth position early, challenging Hidden Scroll leaving the far turn and then narrowly outrunning that one to the wire. Hidden Scroll, fourth, was beaten three lengths. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to fifth finisher Global Campaign.

Mark Hennig, trainer of Bourbon War: “He ran very well. Irad said, ‘I don’t like that first wire.’ He said he kind of had to wait a little at the quarter pole for some room, but he said he didn’t want to ask him and have to check. So he said he waited and waited and he was just humming down the stretch. He’s going to appreciate more ground, that’s for sure.”

March 3 NOTE: Trainer Hennig told DRF Live that Bourbon War "looks great, came out it unscathed, cold and tight. He ate pretty much everything, left a little bit, but it was a hot, humid day. The way he cooled out, the Florida Derby makes sense." Hennig left room for the Wood Memorial a week later if Bourbon War needs more time.

March 22 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said,  "He's made great progress. I think that first race really woke him up a lot. He's a horse that was never really enthusiastic as a training horse prior to running. Once he ran, the light came on for him. It's been quite a wake up for him. He's a typical Tapit that was bored of all the training and was ready for some race experience. He's very relaxed. He's not in any rush. The effort (in the Fountain of Youth) didn't surprise me. The only thing that surprised me was that last sixteenth when he was really finishing very quickly. We're trying to earn points. He needs a good effort in the Florida Derby to warrant going forward. He's been happy here and trained well. The timing is good, and we get five weeks to the Derby, provided he moves on."

March 22 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, “He did well. He came home in 49.88, I think they caught him in. I was looking for a little quicker than that, but the track was not real sharp this morning. I told my rider I’d rather you err on the side of too slow than too fast. The horse is fit. We just want to get him safely over there next Saturday.”

March 27 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, “The gallop-out – some people put emphasis on that, and some people don’t – I thought his gallop-out (in the Fountain of Youth) was much stronger than the rest of the field. It really gave us some confidence. I know Irad has a lot of confidence. His daily gallops, he’s putting a lot into them, which is great to see. He’s matured a lot. He’s eating tremendously right now. He’s a horse that’s needed to fill out and grown up as the spring comes on, and he’s doing that. Hopefully, that keeps going as we transition to the next town and he does as well as he’s done here.”

In the Florida Derby on March 30, the other 10 horses in the field left the early speed alone, which was in the form of Maximum Security, ridden by Luis Saez. He set moderate early fractions of 24.42, 48.98 and 1:12.90, led at every call, and won the 1 1/8-mile contest in race horse time of 1:48.86. Bodexpress, a four race maiden ridden by Nik Juarez, finished second by 3 1/2 lengths at 70-1 odds. He tracked the leader throughout the carousel. Neither of those two had run two turns before. Meanwhile, Code of Honor and Bourbon War, both experienced at routing, rounded out the superfecta. Confirmed closers, they were compromised by the soft early fractions. Code of Honor settled for third under John Velazquez, beaten 6 3/4 lengths, and Bourbon War was fourth under Irad Ortiz, Jr., another three-quarters of a length back.

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Hennig said, “He’s doing great. I don’t think there’s any doubt (the pace) had a large impact on us at least not being third, for sure. I’m not saying we were going to win the race or anything, but I’d like to think with a little pace we could have been a little closer. And a little better trip, too, having to go around the whole way. If you look at his trip versus Code of Honor’s, I think that made a big difference. We’d love to be able to get into the Kentucky Derby on points. If we have the points, we’d be confident going forward because he’s a horse you’d like to think leaving here would be good for him to get off a track where it’s hard to close. Right now we don’t know what that status is. It doesn’t look great, but we’re just going to stand pat and watch how the races run next weekend in the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass and Wood and see where the points stand after that. I think it’ll help indicate to us a little more about where we are.”

April 12 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said, "He is doing wonderful. We're just going to kind of sit back this week and watch what happens in the Arkansas Derby and the Lexington and just see how much further we've dropped in the standings. We'll figure it out after that."

April 28 NOTE: Belmont Park public relations department says the Peter Pan is the likely next start for Bourbon War, but the Preakness hasn't been ruled out. Trainer Hennig said, We'll see how the Peter Pan and the Preakness come up. I'll talk it over and discuss it with all of our clients."

In the 144th Preakness, Bourbon War finished eighth, beaten 9 1/2 lengths by War of Will, after running eighth or 10th the first three calls.

Mark Hennig: “He looked like he was in the bridle early and I was really happy. When he went outside into the clear, he dropped the bridle and then picked it up again.”

Irad Ortiz Jr.: “No excuses. Had blinkers first time, and I tried to get him going but he's still learning."

May 31 NOTE: Bourbon War worked without blinkers today after having them added for the Preakness. Trainer Hennig said, "I was happy with him. I thought he did well, looked sharp and galloped out strong." Mike Smith has been named to ride Bourbon War.

In the Belmont Stakes, Bourbon War never ran a step and finished last of 10, beaten 12 lengths. The chart says he was "unhurried during the initial stages sitting at the back of the pack in the two path, failed to reach a contending position."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 3, Bourbon War 1.00:86 Breezing 2/8 at GP
Jan. 10, Bourbon War 49:54 Breezing 4/13 at GP
Feb. 1, Bourbon War 48:44 Breezing 14/49 at GP
Feb. 8, Bourbon War 48:03 Breezing 5/42 at GP
Feb. 15, Bourbon War 1.02:38 Breezing 12/22 at GP
Feb. 22, Bourbon War 48:68 Breezing 15/43 at GP
March 15, Bourbon War 50:50 Breezing 29/33 at GP
March 22, Bourbon War 49:88 Breezing 19/30 at GP
April 17, Bourbon War 47:75 Breezing 2/22 at GP
April 25, Bourbon War 48:33 Breezing 9/53 at BEL
May 2, Bourbon War 49:31 Breezing 16/38 at BEL
May 9, Bourbon War 1.01:67 Breezing 3/16 at BEL
May 31, Bourbon War 48:74 Breezing good 3/7 at BEL

 

 

 

EVERFAST (KY)
Trainer: Dale Romans
Owner: Calumet Farm
Breeder: Extern Developments
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Take Charge Indy (A.P. Indy, Take Charge Lady)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Awesome Surprise (Awesome Again (CAN), Native Roots (IRE))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-13-12-0-0 (28) 3.67
Foal Date: Feb. 20, 2016

$47,000 Keeneland January 2017


JOCKEY: Luis Saez
 
Everfast won his debut at Ellis Park last summer, then lost five consecutive races, hitting the board only once. He finished 14th in the Kentucky Jockey Club in November.

In his last outing before the Holy Bull Stakes, he finished fourth in an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18, beaten 12 1/2 lengths by Bourbon War.

In the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 2, two horses that weren't supposed to perform made up the exacta. Harvey Wallbanger and Everfast were sent off at 29-1 and 128-1 odds, respectively. Somehow the $2 exacta only paid $2,203.40. Epic Dreamer, sent off at 12-1, set the pace all alone under Irad Ortiz, Jr. with fractions of 23.18, 46.76 and 1:10.89 while 4-5 favorite Maximus Mischief and Jose Ortiz tracked a couple of lengths back in second. The latter one edged closer in the far turn and got to even terms with about a furlong left in the race. Meanwhile, Harvey Wallbanger and Brian Hernandez, Jr. broke slowly and were in last place, about 10 lengths off the pace the first half-mile. They just kept coming to win by a length in 1:43.69 after cutting the corner into the stretch. Everfast, ridden by Chris Landeros, didn't have any obviojus trouble but was was fifth by five lengths at the first call, third by two lengths at the second call, fourth by four lengths at the third call, still fourth and three lengths back with a furlong remaining, and then snuck in to get second, a neck in front of Maximus Mischief. Epic Dreamer held on for fourth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths.
 
Feb. 23 NOTE: Trainer Romans said, “He’s just a little push-button horse. He goes out there and takes care of business. He doesn’t wow you, but he just does things right.”
 
Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer Romans said, “He surprised me. He surprised me that he lost. That was the only surprise that I saw. I was disappointed coming out of it. I thought he would win. He just seems good. He acts like he’s better than the races beforehand, and I thought he’d run a big race, and he did.”
 

In the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 2, Everfast finished eighth, beaten 18 1/2 lengths by Code of Honor. He was 10th midway through the race and lost ground after that.

In the Florida Derby on March 30, Everfast finished ninth, beaten 15 lengths by Maximum Security, after starting out in seventh and then steadily losing ground.

In the Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on May 4, Everfast finished fifth, beaten 10 1/4 lengths by Mr. Money and a time of 1:35.21.

May 15 NOTE: Trainer Romans said, “It’s a wide-open field, take a shot. He jumped up and ran big in the Holy Bull. When he runs big, he runs big. We’re hoping he throws in one of those big races. Some of the top contenders are missing, so we’ll take a chance. He’s training like he did before the Holy Bull. We’re going to try to wheel him back off the sprint and see if we can get a piece of it. You’ve got a future Hall of Fame rider, so we might as well take a shot.”

In the 144th Preakness, War of Will won, Everfast was second, Owendale finished third and Warrior's Charge was fourth. Warrior's Charge set a brisk pace of 22.50, 46.16 and 1:10.56. For the first half-mile, Market King was in closest pursuit, followed by Anothertwistafate and War of Will. At the third call, Market King was starting a major retreat, Anothertwistafate had moved into second, and local hero Alwaysmining loomed on the outside in third. Warrior's Charge and Javier Castellano continued to lead through the far turn and came into the stretch well off the rail. War of Will came up the rail to take charge and led by a length with a furlong remaining. Meanwhile, Anothertwistafate and Alwaysmining had retreated. War of Will prevailed by 1 1/4 length. Longshot Everfast, sent off as the second longest shot in the 13-horse field at 29-1 odds, came up the inside behind War of Will after entering the second turn in 11th place, almost 10 lengths in arrears, to nab second with Joel Rosario aboard. Owendale and Florent Geroux finished a nose back in third after hitting that turn in ninth, almost seven lengths off the pace. Warrior's Charge hung on for fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths.

Dale Romans: “Second in any classic is great. I thought the whole race he looked comfortable. When he wanted him to start picking up horses, he did. You could see he had the momentum. I thought we were going to win for a minute.”

Joel Rosario: “We almost had it. He ran great. We have a great shot at the Belmont.

In the Belmont Stakes, Everfast finished a nose behind Spinoff in seventh, beaten just over three lengths. The chart says he "loosely pocketed to the half mile pole, was wedged in between rivals two wide on the second bend, swung into the lane, failed to make thenecessary headway and retreated in the last eighth."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 6, Everfast 1:02.77 Breezing 20/28 at GP
Jan. 13, Everfast 1:03.53 Breezing 24/34 at GP
Feb. 23, Everfast 1.02:52 Breezing 30/44 at GP
March 23, Everfast 1.01:96 Breezing 20/40 at GP
April 27, Everfast 1.03:20 Breezing 36/43 at CD
May 29, Everfast 50:20 Breezing 23/35 at CD
June 3, Everfast 1.01:00 Breezing 7/16 at CD

 

 



INTREPID HEART (KY)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: Robert and Lawana Low
Breeder: WinStar Farm LLC & Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tapit (Pulpit, Tap Your Heels)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Flaming Heart (Touch Gold, Hot Lear)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-9-14-1-0 (28) 2.50
Foal Date: May 10, 2016

$750,000 OBS April 2018
From his dam also came Commissioner and Laugh Track

JOCKEY: John Velazquez

Intrepid Heart debuted on Feb. 18 after being shipped in from south Florida to Oaklawn Park and was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in a one-mile maiden special weight. That worked out, and he won impressively. After sparring for the lead with Better Charge It through splits of 23.11, 47.28 and 1:12.63, with the other seven runners strung out three and more lengths back, he shook off his only early foe and drew off in the stretch to win by 7 3/4 lengths under a confident John Velazquez in 1:38.08. Speed App was second after being 10 lengths off the pace early.

Feb. 21 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher is non-commital about Intrepid Heart's next race and said early this week, “I think it’s a wait and see. I’m not sure that we’ll jump into a stake just yet, but at the same time we won’t rule anything out. Very, very pleased (with his win). It’s not something we usually do, shipping an unstarted maiden somewhere, but just felt like he was getting ready to go and the Gulfstream options were going to be six furlongs, which I felt like were a little too short. It’s either that or you wait a couple of weeks until a mile and a sixteenth. With the one-mile race there, we felt like he was ready to go. Since we had some other horses ship in, decided to go forward with that. (He) put himself in a good position early on. He’s a horse that’s very well bred. Lot of stamina on the bottom side, so we felt like a mile was a good starting point for him and hopefully that propels him on to some bigger and better things down the road.”

In a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claimer at Keeneland on April 5, Intrepid Heart got by High Crime in the shadow of the wire to win by one-half length in a nice time of 1:43.39. Frolic More finished another 2 1/2 lengths back in third. High Crime and Luis Saez led through fractions of 24.14, 48.28 and 1:12.40, and at the stretch call were up by 2 1/2 lengths. John Velazquez, after being fanned five wide in the turn, kept after the rallying Intrepid Heart to get up in time. Frolic More ran evenly in fourth or fifth and stayed on to get the show money under Corey Lanerie.

In the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park on May 11, Global Campaign was first, Sir Winston second and Intrepid Heart third. After sitting close off fractions of 23.19 and 46.00 set by Federal Case, Global Campaign and Luis Saez took charge, leading just after six furlongs in 1:10.16. There was no competition for the win from that point forward with Global Campaign opening up by three lengths at the furlong marker. The 1 1/8-mile race was timed in a swift 1:46.71. Sir Winston, who has no early speed, trailed the field by 10 or 11 lengths for the first four to six furlongs, then launched a bid under Joel Rosario to finish a non-threatening second, beaten 1 1/4 length. Post-time favorite Intrepid Heart broke in a tangle and was bumped by stable mate Federal Case. After the first half-mile, he was in fourth position and being asked by John Velazquez. He never contended and finished third, another 4 3/4 lengths back. Final Jeopardy and Federal Case rounded out the order of finish.

May 26 NOTE: Intrepid Heart worked with blinkers last time and will wear them for the first time in a race in the Belmont Stakes.

June 1 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, "I thought he went well. He seemed very relaxed and got into a good comfortable rhythm. He stayed steady all the way around and put in a nice seven-eighths gallop out. He had a really strong workout last week, so we didn't have to do quite as much today. He seemed happy and moving well. It looked like he never really appreciated the off going in (the Derby). Since then he's seemed to continue to move forward and he's been training well, so we're expecting a better effort."

In the Belmont Stakes, Intrepid Heart finished eighth, beaten five lengths. The chart says he "brushed at the start after losing his footing, raced two to three wide to the quarte rpole, stepped into the stretch under a ride and had no rally."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 7, Intrepid Heart 49.74     Breezing 1/5 at PBD
Jan. 13, Intrepid Heart 1:03.16 Breezing 5/6 at PBD
Jan. 21, Intrepid Heart 1:01.70 Breezing 1/2 at PBD
Jan. 28, Intrepid Heart 1:00.80 Breezing 2/8 at PBD
Feb. 3, Intrepid Heart 50.22 Breezing gate 33/37 at PBD
Feb. 10, Intrepid Heart 1:00.87 Breezing 1/3 at PBD
March 17, Intrepid Heart 49:51 Breezing 8/15 at PBD
March 23, Intrepid Heart 1.02:35 Breezing 7/14 at PBD
March 29, Intrepid Heart 1.01:35 Breezing 3/6 at PBD
April 18, Intrepid Heart 49:78 Breezing 15/36 at BEL
April 25, Intrepid Heart 1.02:90 Breezing training track 9/13 at BEL
May 3, Intrepid Heart 1.02:69 Breezing 5/11 at BEL
May 25, Intrepid Heart 49:16 Breezing 26/56 at BEL
June 1, Intrepid Heart 1.00:92 Breezing 9/28 at BEL

 

 

 

 

JOEVIA (KY)
Trainer: Greg Sacco
Owner: Michael and Jeff Fazio
Breeder: Ikhana Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Shanghai Bobby (Harlan's Holiday, Steelin')
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Peace Process (War Front, Ballyclare)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-5-5-0-0 (12) 3.80
Foal Date: Feb. 12, 2016

$34,000 Keeneland November 2016
$50,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July 2017
$32,000 OBS April 2018

LATE-NOMINATED TO THE TRIPLE CROWN


JOCKEY: Jose Lezcano

Joevia won in his debut on July 15 sprinting at Monmouth Park.

Following a seven-month layoff, the colt stretched out from five furlongs to seven, finishing second by a neck to the closing Haikal in the Jimmy Winkfield on Feb. 9.

In his third career start, Joevia went two turns for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms on March 16 at Laurel Park. He ran a distant second to Alwaysmining and earned a career-best 85 Beyer Speed Figure

March 29 NOTE: Joevia will make his graded stakes debut in the Wood Memorial. Trainer Sacco said, "I think he handled two turns at Laurel well. He came out of his last race great and worked super today. He has to step it up in the Wood and we feel he will."

In the Wood Memorial, Joevia and Nik Juarez broke from the far outside post 11 and cut off the paths of several horses to their inside as they headed straight to the rail. It was very embarrasing for trainer Sacco. Joevia and Not That Brady dueled for the lead for six furlongs, when both gave way. Joevia finished seventh of 11. Stewards flashed the inquiry sign and disqualified Joevia, deeming him unplaced.

Joevia rebounded from that poor effort to win the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park on May 12. He was sent off at 6-5 favoritism in a field of only four and was timed in 1:44.61 for 1 1/16 mile under Nik Juarez. He led through contested fractions of 23.80    47.84    1:12.4 before shaking loose to win by 2 3/4 lengths. The Right Path came from fourth to place second.

In the Belmont Stakes, Sir Winston won, Tacitus was second, Joevia was third and Tax was fourth. Joevia, a longshot, was allowed to run through leisurely opening fractions of 48.79, 1:13.54 and 1:38.27, while Tax, Spinoff and Everfast were in closest pursuit. War of Will was a wide fifth after the mile, and Tacitus, the 9-5 favorite, was eighth and wider still. All that time, Sir Winston, ridden well by Joel Rosario, saved ground on the rail as he was eighth, then seventh after a mile. Rounding the far turn, Tacitus was asked to go as he and War of Will began an advance on the leaders, but they were still wide while Sir Winston was negotiating a shorter route inside and was just a length off the lead leaving the turn. Just inside the furlong marker, Sir Winston siezed the lead. Tacitus continued his surge, but it was too little too late, and he was beaten a length. Joevia and Tax, the early leaders, had enough left to check in third and fourth, beaten 1 3/4 and 2 3/4 lengths, respectively. The winning time was 2:28.30.

Gregory Sacco: "That was quite a thrill. He's a really talented colt. We knew the Wood wasn't any indication of his ability. He's a 3-year-old improving at the right time of the year. I didn't think he'd cave with those fractions. He showed a lot of tenacity. Maybe about the eighth pole, I think my blood pressure went through the roof. We knew he had to improve. We thought he would. Of course, training is one thing, but he put it all together last time in the Long Branch. It was in lesser company, but he did it effortlessly. He had to step up to the plate today and he did."

Jose Lezcano: "My horse broke very well. I let him go to the lead because the inside felt very good to me, especially today. He tried hard. I think he's become a very nice colt. He's coming around."

WORKOUTS

Feb. 3 Joevia 1:02.02 Breezing 3/19 at BEL
Feb. 23, Joevia 49.91 Breezing 44/137 at BEL
March 1, Joevia 59.81 Breezing 2/20 at BEL
March 8, Joevia 1:01.55 Breezing 3/25 at BEL
March 29, Joevia 48.00 Breezing 1/37 at BEL
April 2, Joevia 48.20 Handily 13/61 at MTH
May 3, Joevia 1:15.20 Breezing 1/1 at MTH
May 25, Joevia 48.80 Breezing 12/56 at MTH
June 1, Joevia 1.00:00 Handily 3/20 at MTH

 

 

 

MASTER FENCER (JPN)
Trainer: Koichi Tsunoda
Owner: Katsumi and Yasuyo Yoshizawa
Breeder: Mishima Bokujo
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Just A Way (JPN) (Heart's Cry (JPN), Sibyl (JPN))
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Sexy Zamurai (Deputy Minister (CAN), Powder)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-4-6-1-0 (14) 2.50
Foal Date: Feb. 21, 2016

Not sold at auction.


JOCKEY: Julien Leparoux.

Master Fencer's first two races were at  about 1 1/4 mile on turf. He finished second at Hanshin on Sept. 23 and fourth at Chukyo on Dec. 2.

He was switched to dirt and won twice going about 1 1/8 mile, a Dec. 23 maiden race at Hanshin by 3 1/2 lengths, and again in a Jan. 14 allowance at Kyoto.

He registered a fourth-place effort in the Hyacinth Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse on Feb. 17.

Most recently, he finished a wide closing second to an even wider Der Flug in the Fukuryu at Nakayama Racecourse on March 31.

He was declared in the Kentucky Derby on April 6. He would become the first horse bred in Japan to run in the Kentucky Derby.

April 6 NOTE: Owner Katsumi Yoshizawa said, “It is an honor to be able to participate in one of the world’s greatest races. In Japan, kids in grade school have a yearly athletic competition that the whole family and close friends all get very excited about. They hope when their children perform they do well but, of course, parents most of all want their children to come back safely. That is how I feel about Master Fencer. I hope he comes back from the race safely most of all. I feel lucky to be able to race my horse in Kentucky.”

Yoshizawa’s training operation has been responsible for six-time Grade I winner Gold Ship, 2014 Longines World Best Racehorse and three-time Grade I-winning Just a Way, and prominent Japanese sire Tanino Gimlet. Yoshizawa has been a prominent buyer at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale for more than a decade including purchasing Master Fencer’s dam, Sexy Zamurai, for $110,000 in 2005.

Two horses based in Japan have run in the Kentucky Derby: Ski Captain (14th in 1995) and Lani (ninth in 2016).

April 13 NOTE: Master Fencer is scheduled to travel to the U.S. on April 23, according to Kate Hunter,  the Japan-based representative for Churchill Downs. He would spend 42-48 hours in quarantine in Chicago prior to vanning to Keeneland on April 25 and continuing to Churchill Downs on April 30.

April 15 NOTE: Julien Leparoux will ride Master Fencer in the Kentucky Derby.

April 26 NOTE: Master Fencer's at Keeneland for the time being, in light training. Shipping agent/manager Mitsuoki Numamoto said, “(Exercise rider Yosuke Kono) wants him to get used to the American circumstances – horses, track and so forth." Kate Hunter, a Japan-based recruiter for Churchill Downs, said, "He’s surprisingly laid back, given the fact he’s never traveled abroad before."

In the 145th Kentucky Derby, Master Fencer was last of all up to the point he left the far turn but finished seventh, moved up to sixth via the disqualification of the winner, beaten four lengths.

Koichi Tsunoda: “He didn’t break that well, but we knew he’d break slowly. He made a huge effort in the stretch. I’m really pleased with how we finished so close to the other quality horses in the race. Great effort by horse and rider. If he comes out of this well, I want to take him to the Belmont next.”

Julien Leparoux: “I very much appreciate the connections of this horse for allowing me the opportunity to ride in the Derby.”

The chart call: "Master Fencer veered out to get away behind his field, was  crowded from heavy  outside pressure at the start, went along striding a bit  awkwardly far back early inside, moved  out up the backstretch, began taking better hold of the track in the two-path into the stretch, moved back inside and finished willingly."

May 26 NOTE: Racing manager Mitsuoki Numamoto, translating on behalf of training assistant Yosuke Kono, said the day after shipping, "Master Fencer had one lap of jogging on the training track, with a jog and light gallop at the main track as his schooling. The horse was very fresh and energized because of his day off yesterday, and shows no tiredness from shipment. Since the surface is pretty similar to Japan dirt, he seems okay for this surface."

May 27 NOTE: Assistant trainer Yosuke Kono said via translator Mitsuoki Numamoto, "Today, he was still fresh. I felt that his stride has changed in a good way, and it has become longer. I'm very satisfied. Because of the shipping from Japan to Churchill Downs, it took a while (to regain strength). He lost some weight. Because of that, we are trying to keep his condition, and because of the days after the Derby up until now there is plenty of time. He eats fair now and we can give him more pressure compared to before the Derby."

May 29 NOTE: Julien Leparoux was unable to breeze Master Fencer this morning because his flight to New York was canceled. During his workout this morning, Master Fencer stumbled in the stretch but completed the work. Per David Grening, Master Fencer was walking alright at his barn but was set to be examined by a veterinarian.

May 29 NOTE: Regular exercise rider Yosuke Kono handled today's breeze. He said, via translator Mitsuoki Numamoto, "Up until the eighth pole, he was breezing really well and I was so satisfied. All of a sudden, he stumbled, and gradually shifted to the left by the rail. I switched my whip to make him aware and focus to the end of the breeze. We then recovered, but it was feeling a little weird so I tried to stop him as soon as possible. After the work, he had a light jog and there were no problems. I don't think it's something that will cause a major issue. After the Derby, his appetite has been really good and he's been working really good. At the same time, his body is growing and changing. I felt his running stride has been getting longer than before, which is a good sign for us, but maybe that was causing him a little trouble today. He has a big heart and big lungs and is better suited to the longer distance. He is not the type to make crazy speed. He has a long, strong late kick. For him, the mile and a half will be a lot better."

May 30 NOTE: Master Fencer was pronounced in good order this morning when it was disclosed X-rays did not show any issues. Training assistant Yosuke Kono said via his translator, "He got a little inflammation because of the breezing, which is normal. The X-rays came back totally fine. The vet is not concerned about anything. Today, he walked for an hour, which is normal for us the day after a breeze. Tomorrow, we will go to the paddock for paddock schooling first and then to the main track for a light jog."

May 31 NOTE: Master Fencer paddock schooled at 6:30 a.m. before heading out to the Belmont main track with the accompaniment of a pony, then went to the training track and jogged once around. "On the training track, I confirmed that he was changing leads well and just had a light training session. He was so energized today," said training assistant Yosuke Kono via translator Mitsuoki Numamoto. A workout is planned for Wednesday.

In the Belmont Stakes, Master Fencer finished fifth, beaten 2 3/4 lengths and a head. The chart says he "rode the rail until the half mile pole, responded when let out a notch, working his way into path three by midpoint, paused at the five-sixteenths pole then proceeded to shift six wide from that station to the three-sixteenths pole,  rallied mildly mainly improving position."

WORKOUTS

May 1, Master Fencer 1:05.20 Breezing 15/15 at CD
Master Fencer, May 15, 52.80 Breezing 42/44 at KEE
May 22, Master Fencer 52:00 Breezing 31/32 at KEE
May 29, Master Fencer 1.01:48 Breezing 2/2 at BEL
June 5, Master Fencer 1.01:28 Breezing 3/3 at BEL

 

 

 

 

SIR WINSTON (KY)
Trainer: Mark Casse
Owner: Tracy Farmer
Breeder: Tracy Farmer
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Awesome Again (CAN) (Deputy Minister (CAN), Primal Force)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): La Gran Bailadora (Afleet Alex, Affirmed Dancer)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-8-14-0-0 (26) 2.71
Foal Date: April 8, 2016

$50,000 RNA Keeneland September 2017


JOCKEY: Joel Rosario

To begin his career, Sir Winston finished well off the board in a June race at Churchill Downs and a July race at Saratoga.

It was a dead heat, but a win is a win, and he did it at third asking on Sept. 12 at Woodbine going a mile and 70 yards on the Tapeta track. Inclusive arrived at the wire simultaneously with Sir Winston. The race was timed in 1:44.29. Jerome Lemyte was aboard Sir Winston. Sir Winston overcame being steadied in tight quarters on the far turn.

Next time out, which was on Oct. 21, with Lemyte again aboard, Sir Winston finished third in the 1 1/16-mile Grey Stakes on the Woodbine synthetic, beaten four lengths by Solidify and 3 1/2 lengths by the ill-fated Tripwire. He was mid-pack of eight early, dropped back some, was wide on the far turn and swung out wide for a game stretch run -- however, he lost about 1 1/2 length on the leader in the final 5/16 mile. The race was timed in 1:43.90

In his final outing of the year, Sir Winston got a one-length score in the 1 1/16-mile Display Stakes on the Woodbine synthetic, again ridden by Lemyte. His time was 1:45.02. This time, he was put into the race early and was never worse than second and always within 1 1/2 length of the lead. He got the lead running into the stretch, led by two at the furlong marked and prevailed by one length over Inclusive. Global Access was two more lengths back in third. Nine ran.

Dec. 31 NOTE: Sent to Florida, he's put in two workouts at the Casse Training Center in Ocala.
 
Jan. 25 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, "He didn't show a lot early on, but with his pedigree you wouldn't expect it. He's gotten better as he's gotten older. We've had some time with him now, and he's had four solid works over the dirt at our training center, and he's a bit of a mystery horse. I don't think the mile and an eighth will be a problem. Tracy Farmer is a new client of ours, and it was exciting for us to win a stakes with him at Woodbine, especially with a homebred. Tracy and his wife Carol are longtime Thoroughbred owners, but they slowed down for a while. They're getting back into the game now and getting back in a big way. We're excited to have them as owners."

Jan. 31 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, "Sir Winston is a mystery horse for us. He's performed well on the synthetic. He's been training over the dirt in Ocala and training well. We're not really sure how we'll run on the dirt. We just want to see if he can handle the dirt and if he can't, we know he'll probably like the grass, he's run there before. It's all part of the puzzle and trying to figure out what pieces fit where."

In the 1 1/8-mile Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on Feb. 2, Tax was the 2-1 morning line and 2-1 post-time favorite after some late money came in on him. He wasn't part of the early pace after stumbling at the start, but he got the best of it late after coming up the rail following a somewhat troubled trip under Junior Alavarado to narrowly win in a time of 1:50.27. Not That Brady, who was always prominent and on the lead for over six furlongs while ridden by Reylu Gutierriz, finished a game second, holding off a surging Our Braintrust, who was never worse than third and appeared to hang a bit in deep stretch despite urging from Jose Lezcano. Tax's winning margin over Not That Brady was a head, and he was a neck better than Our Braintrust. Sir Winston came from last of seven to finish fourth, beaten five lengths.

March 8 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, “I think Sir Winston is a bit of a sleeper. He has gotten better as a 3-year-old, and his last race was probably a little better than it looked. It was his first start on dirt since (his debut), and the jockey said he kind of jumped up and down early before he leveled off and made a run. One thing about him: distance is not a problem."

In the 1 1/16-mile Tampa Bay Derby on March 9, Sir Winston finished fifth, beaten four lengths by Tacitus after he was 11th of 11, 15 lengths off the pace, after six furlongs, so he finished well.

March 22 NOTE: Trainer Casse told VSIN Sir Winston could go next in the Toyota Blue Grass, saying, "Sir Winston's just crying and crying for more ground. Julien came back after the Tampa Bay Derby, and I've never seen Julien so excited. Julien's not an excitable guy, and he said if he'd known the horse a little better, he said he would've been right there. He said he figured him out about the top of the lane, and if you'll see he closes almost 10 lengths down the lane and was running over top of horses at the wire, which suggests that the further distance is going to be better for him. That's the good news. The bad news is that type of running style you need a little luck, you need everything to go your way, you need some pace."

March 30 NOTE: Assistant trainer David Carroll said from Keeneland, “I had him here last fall. He just got here two days ago and looks well.”

April 3 NOTE: Assistant trainer Carroll said, “Sir Winston is a horse who comes from off the pace, so he’ll break and be able to drop on over and get to the outside and make his run."

In the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 6, Sir Winston finished seventh, beaten 19 1/4 lengths by Vekoma. He was ninth through the first six furlongs and lost ground from there.

In the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park on May 11, Global Campaign was first, Sir Winston second and Intrepid Heart third. After sitting close off fractions of 23.19 and 46.00 set by Federal Case, Global Campaign and Luis Saez took charge, leading just after six furlongs in 1:10.16. There was no competition for the win from that point forward with Global Campaign opening up by three lengths at the furlong marker. The 1 1/8-mile race was timed in a swift 1:46.71. Sir Winston, who has no early speed, trailed the field by 10 or 11 lengths for the first four to six furlongs, then launched a bid under Joel Rosario to finish a non-threatening second, beaten 1 1/4 length. Post-time favorite Intrepid Heart broke in a tangle and was bumped by stable mate Federal Case. After the first half-mile, he was in fourth position and being asked by John Velazquez. He never contended and finished third, another 4 3/4 lengths back. Final Jeopardy and Federal Case rounded out the order of finish.

Joel Rosario: "It was a nice finish. He put a good run toward the end. The horse that went to the lead never came back. Speed seems to be playing well out there."

May 25 NOTE: Trainer Casse said after a breeze in company with Catch a Thrill, "I was very happy with Sir Winston this morning. He's never been much of a work horse, but since he's started running better recently he's become a better workhorse. I would call that an A+ work for him this morning - it might be a 'B' for most horses, but for him it's an 'A+'."

May 31 NOTE: Assistant trainer Jaime Begg said,  "He worked an easy half-mile with a good gallop out. He did it the way he likes to do it, and he did it the right way. Joel (Rosario) was very happy with the breeze."

In the Belmont Stakes, Sir Winston won, Tacitus was second, Joevia was third and Tax was fourth. Joevia, a longshot, was allowed to run through leisurely opening fractions of 48.79, 1:13.54 and 1:38.27, while Tax, Spinoff and Everfast were in closest pursuit. War of Will was a wide fifth after the mile, and Tacitus, the 9-5 favorite, was eighth and wider still. All that time, Sir Winston, ridden well by Joel Rosario, saved ground on the rail as he was eighth, then seventh after a mile. Rounding the far turn, Tacitus was asked to go as he and War of Will began an advance on the leaders, but they were still wide while Sir Winston was negotiating a shorter route inside and was just a length off the lead leaving the turn. Just inside the furlong marker, Sir Winston siezed the lead. Tacitus continued his surge, but it was too little too late, and he was beaten a length. Joevia and Tax, the early leaders, had enough left to check in third and fourth, beaten 1 3/4 and 2 3/4 lengths, respectively. The winning time was 2:28.30.

Mark Casse: "He's an amazing little horse. If at this time last year, if you had asked me to rate our top-20 2-year-olds, he would have been about 16th or 17th. But I'm very proud of him because he's kind of what our operation represents, and that is I feel like we develop horses. I have this philosophy. I start every horse out thinking that they are going to win the Kentucky Derby, or the Oaks. That's what I do. And I will try different surfaces; I will try different methods. With a horse like Sir Winston, you know, it paid off there. I tell you what, they all better watch out going to a mile-and-a-quarter because Sir Winston will come running, too. Sir Winston is a pretty serious horse, so don't count him out. I'll talk to Mr. Farmer but I don't think there's much out there he would enjoy more than winning the Travers, so I'm sure he'll be all for that."

Joel Rosario:  "He's a very nice horse, and you have to let him do his thing. I'm really happy. It seemed like he didn't mind the inside. I just took my time with him. For the distance, he broke very good. Today, he was a little closer, so I let him be where he was comfortable."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 7, Sir Winston 49.40 Breezing 1/2 at CAA
Jan. 19, Sir Winston 1:02.80 Breezing 2/6 at CAA
Jan. 26, Sir Winston 49.70 Breezing 11/13 at CAA
Feb. 23, Sir Winston 1.02:00 Breezing 1/5 at CAA
March 2, Sir Winston 49:00 Breezing 2/6 at CAA
March 23, Sir Winston 49:70 Breezing 5/12 at CAA
March 30, Sir Winston 49:00 Breezing 22/48 at KEE
April 24, Sir Winston 1.02:02 Breezing 3/7 at BEL
May 3, Sir Winston 50:54 Breezing 18/20 at BEL
May 25, Sir Winston 1.01:48 Breezing 14/28 at BEL
May 31, Sir Winston 50:16 Breezing good 5/7 at BEL

 

 

 

SPINOFF (KY)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: Wertheimer and Frere (Alain & Gerard Wertheimer)
Breeder: Wertheimer et Frere
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Hard Spun (Danzig, Turkish Tryst)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Zaftig (Gone West, Zoftig)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-10-18-0-0 (34) 2.78
Foal Date: Feb. 18, 2016


JOCKEY: Javier Castelllano

Spinoff debuted on June 23 sprinting at Gulfstream Park and won. Among those he beat were Garter and Tie in third.

In his second and final start at age two, Spinoff finished third of only four runners in the August 12 Saratoga Special, beaten 2 3/4 lenggths and coming in behind Call Paul and Tight Ten. Meade was fourth. Trainer Pletcher later said Spinoff had a "little setback" that kept him away from the races the remainder of the year.

He made his 2019 debut on Feb. 22 in a mile and 40 yard allowance optional claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs. With John Velazquez aboard at 3-5 odds, Spinoff won by 11 3/4 lengths in a field of 5. Cave Run finished second. The winning time was 1:40.25. Early splits, with Spinoff never more than a length back, were 22.68 and 45.88. Spinoff was ahead after six furlongs in 1:10.97. Per the chart, Spinoff was "was bumped soon after the start, vied inside for the early lead, eased back off the pace on the backside, re bid outside of Mercusio entering the far turn, took charge at the quarter pole, responded when roused under right handed urging in upper stretch and drew away for the win."

Todd Pletcher by phone: “It looked like he was still figuring things out coming down the lane and running a little green, but what was impressive was that he finished well and had something left in the tank. This is a colt we’ve always had high hopes for, and we thought we had him fit enough to go two turns today and that it could benefit him for something bigger and better down the road. Tampa Bay Downs has worked well for us; it’s a good, safe surface, and getting two-turn experience is very important looking ahead.” The Tampa Bay Derby “probably would be bringing him back a little quicker than what’s ideal. Whatever we do next, it probably will be in a graded stakes somewhere."

John Velazquez: “He passed the other horses and got to the quarter-mile pole, and then he started waiting. Then he saw the gate (at the top of the stretch) and he went to pull up and I said ‘Aargh, come on, pay attention.' Once he passed the gate, the other horse (Cave Run) kind came to him a little bit and he went on again. So it was a good effort. I was trying to let (Mercusio) go, but he kind of slowed down around the first turn and got me in a little bit tight. So I forced him to go a little bit faster and then on the backstretch, I took back and went around him just to be in a comfortable position with my horse, and after that it was pretty easy."

March 20 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, “We’ve always had high hopes for him. He had a little setback after the Saratoga Special, and we felt the two-turn race at Tampa was the best starting point to the path moving forward. He was so much the best in that race. He was looking around at the starting gate and idling a bit. Johnny had to keep him to task. He’s trained like we had hoped since the Tampa race, and the timing of the Louisiana Derby is good for him. With six weeks before the Kentucky Derby, we can still run back in the Arkansas Derby, or if he runs really well on Saturday, I feel very comfortable just training him up to Louisville. War of Will has been very impressive. We are drawn outside of him (post 10), so Johnny should be able to keep tabs on where he’s at. Spinoff has a lot of natural early speed, so we expect to be forwardly placed. We’d like to save some ground, but we can be on the lead or targeting. Maybe we will be targeting War of Will, it all depends on how it plays out.”

In the Louisiana Derby on March 23, By My Standards, ridden by Gabriel Saez, crossed the finish line first. The race wasn't a carousel in the strictest sense, but the top three finishers, By My Standards, Spinoff and Sueno, were fourth, third and second, respectively, at each of the first three calls. Only pacesetter and 64-1 longshot Lemniscate, who led at each of those calls, wasn't around at the finish. The timer malfunctioned. Equibase reported hand-timed splits of 23.63, 47.68 and 1:11.54. The four early leaders were never separated by more than 3 1/2 lengths during that time. Lemniscate still led into the stretch, only to virtually stop running. Spinoff, with John Velazquez aboard, led by a length with one furlong remaining in the race but was overtaken by By My Standards late for a three-quarter length win. Sueno, with Corey Lanerie up, finished third, beaten 5 3/4 lengths. Country House was the only horse to make an impression with a late run. With Luis Saze aboard, he placed fourth, another three quarters of a length back.

John Velazquez: “We had a good trip. He was drifting away from the horses inside of me a bit, and I had to fight him to keep him with the others. Down the stretch. I thought he was home free and then the other horse came to him.”

THE NEXT DAY: Spinoff will be shipped back to Palm Beach Downs on Monday and is likely to be trained up to the Kentucky Derby, per a DRF Live post quoting trainer Pletcher.

April 7 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said Spinoff will train up to the Kentucky Derby at Palm Beach Downs. He is due to breeze on either Thursday or Friday of this week.

April 9 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher, at Keeneland, said of Cutting Humor and Spinoff, “They are both doing well at Palm Beach Downs and they will have a couple of works there. I have not decided on shipping. We will keep an eye on the weather, but recent history shows it is not necessary to have a work over the track (at Churchill Downs before the Derby).”

April 19 NOTE: Connections told jockey Franco they wanted him to work Spinoff, so after racing at Aqueduct on Thursday he flew to Florida, worked the horse Friday morning, then flew back to New York for six mounts Friday afternoon.

In the 145th Kentucky Derby, Spinoff never really got traction and finished 18th, beaten 18 lengths.

Todd Pletcher:  Spinoff was forwardly placed and Cutting Humor was following behind him. Spinoff just hated the track, though. He didn’t really want any part of it. I had a hint about that earlier in the week when he galloped on the ‘off’ and showed us he didn’t care for it. When Manny (Franco) went to riding him today, he just backed right out of there. Both colts seemed to come back fine. We’ll be back another day.”

Manny Franco: “I didn’t think my horse handled the track very well. He felt uncomfortable. From the half-mile pole, I started to ask him for run but he was struggling.”

The chart call: "Spinoff raced five wide early, moved further out around the far turn and was empty by the quarter-pole."

May 21 NOTE: Thinking Spinoff didn't handly the sloppy going in the Kentucky Derby, he's now a candidate for the Belmont Stakes.

May 25 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, "I thought he worked well I think the main track was a bit fast, but he galloped out in 1:24 and change and a mile in 1:37 and change, so it was the kind of big work we were looking for from him today."

June 1 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, "I thought he had another good work and strong gallop out. I had him finish a mile in 1:38 and change. I think we got a solid work out of him. He seemed to be happy and moving well. He worked on the outside last time, so I just wanted to work him again with the blinkers on and have him on the inside this time, and thought it went smoothly."

In the Belmont Stakes, Spinoff had a perfect stalking position early but finished sixth, beaten three lengths. The chart says he was "strung out three wide on both turns, lacked the necessary stretch response."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 11, Spinoff 38.51 Breezing 1/6 at PBD
Jan. 18, Spinoff 37.33 Breezing 1/7 at PBD
Jan. 25, Spinoff 49.91 Breezing 7/10 at PBD
Jan. 31, Spinoff 50.05 Breezing 10/16 at PBD
Feb. 6, Spinoff 1:02.42 Breezing gate 3/4at PBD
Feb. 11, Spinoff 1:00.61 Breezing 1/6 at PBD
Feb. 17, Spinoff 1:00.78 Breezing 1/7 at PBD
March 9, Spinoff 1.00:89 Breezing 5/11 at PBD
March 16, Spinoff 1.00:59 Breezing 1/4 at PBD
April 3, Spinoff 48:85 Breezing 1/6 at PBD
April 12, Spinoff 1.01:48 Breezing 3/4 at PBD
April 19, Spinoff 59:99 Breezing 3/4 at PBD
April 26, Spinoff 1.00:77 Breezing 3/6 at PBD
May 19, Spinoff 48:72 Breezing training track 5/48 at BEL
May 25, Spinoff 59:91 Breezing 2/28 at BEL
June 1, Spinoff 1.02:16 Breezing 20/28 at BEL

 

 

 

 

TACITUS (KY)
Trainer: Bill Mott
Owner: Juddmonte Farms, Inc. (Khalid Abdullah)
Breeder: Juddmonte Farms, Inc.
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tapit (Pulpit, Tap Your Heels)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Close Hatches (First Defence, Rising Tornado)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-10-11-1-0 (28) 3.31
Foal Date: Feb. 21, 2016

JOCKEY: Jose Ortiz

His debut came at Belmont Park on Oct. 4, and he finished a good fourth to King for a Day, Felix the Fox and Kentucky Wildcat, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. There were mere heads separating the two-three-four finishers. With Jose Ortiz up, Tacitus stayed within 1 1/2 length of the lead into the stretch after going three wide on the turn, but he lost a length thereafter. Eight ran.

Tacitus broke his maiden in his second and final start of the year, a Nov. 10 one-mile maiden race at Aqueduct. The track was rated good. He got up to win by a neck over Erlich in 1:38.69 at 3/5 odds, once again ridden by Ortiz, after rating a couple of lengths behind splits of 23.45 and 46.91 set by Skyline Surprise. The third finisher, Motagally, was beaten 3 1/4 lengths. Seven ran.

Jan. 28 NOTE: On Jan. 27, trainer Mott told TDN: "I have no doubt that Hidden Scroll is a really nice horse. But I am also fortunate enough to have another really nice colt for Juddmonte, a Tapit colt named Tacitus. He’s coming back and will be ready to run pretty soon. Last November, he was our Derby hope."

In the 1 1/16-mile Tampa Bay Derby, Tacitus ran up the rail to win in 1:41.90, a stakes record and just .15 second off the track record. The race unfolded with Zenden and Samy Camacho zipping from the outside post 11 and setting fractions of 22.79 and 45.85, with Sam F. Davis Stakes winner Well Defined and Pablo Morales in closest pursuit, just a length back. Outshine, ridden by Joel Rosario, was in third, 4 1/2 lengths off the pace after a half-mile. After six furlongs in 1:09.57, the same two still led the field, but Outshine was bearing down on them. Meanwhile, Tacitus and Jose Ortiz were in seventh place, eight lengths back. In the lane, Zenden still led by 1 1/2 length after Well Defined retreated. Outshine looked like a winner as he was grinding down Zenden, but Tacitus, ridden by Jose Ortiz, had mounted a rally throughout the stretch and ran past on the inside to prevail over Outshine by 1 1/4 length. The 7-5 favorite Win Win Win, who was threatening in upper stretch under Irad Ortiz, Jr., settled for third, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. Zenden held on for fourth, another half-length back, at 19-1 odds.

Bill Mott: “We’ve always liked this horse and thought he could be a horse that would be on the Derby trail. I liked him a lot better today at the 3/8 pole than I did at the 5/8 pole, because it looked like when he was trying to get between horses, I couldn’t tell if he was maybe fighting with the racetrack. He was climbing a little bit but once he got through between those horses, he really got some confidence and got some momentum. Jose said he actually finished with something left. He got to the lead and maybe started to dog it a little bit, but I thought it was a very good race and a very good education for him.”

Jose Ortiz: “He broke very well and gave me a lot of choices by the first turn. When the 9 horse (Dunph) went out, I decided to go in and follow the 1 (Admire) because I thought he had a good chance to win. I took a lot (of dirt), but the dirt doesn’t stick as much here as some other tracks, so I think it was good for my horse. He’s a little green still but we got a rail trip and it opened up for us. He’s a big horse and when he made the lead, he didn’t keep going; he kind of waited a little bit. He does everything so easy and I don’t know if he’s given me 100 percent yet – I don’t think so.”

March 10 NOTE: Trainer Mott said, “He’s run in New York, so it’s very possible we could go there. He stepped up to the plate, and it looked like he has moved forward from his 2-year-old year. He has certainly matured and is going in the right direction. The stakes record was a good thing, and I think Tampa was a good place for him to get a race in. It’s a good, safe racetrack and that should be a good conditioner for him. We really didn’t know what we had until we got into September and started putting a little more pressure on him and asking him, and I said, well, we’ve got to find out, let’s ask him the question, and he started to respond. The tougher the training got, the better he got. Then we got two races in him and got a win out of him in the fall, and for the size of horse he is and the type of horse he is, I thought it was a big accomplishment to get that completed that early in the season. This horse is a big, tough horse, and if we had to, we could run him twice more (before the Kentucky Derby), but with this win under his belt, maybe that won’t be necessary. We’ll keep all the options open."

In the Wood Memorial on April 6, Tacitus overcame early bumping and clipping of his rear heels to win from off the pace. Ridden by Jose Ortiz, Tacitus finished the 1 1/8 mile in 1:51.23 after after laying six to eight lengths off contested early fractions of 23.62, 46.91 and 1:11.46 set by Joeiva, then Not That Brady.  Joeivia sprinted to the front when, after breaking from the outside post 11 under Nik Juarez, he accordioned several horses to his inside upon veering in extremely sharply. He and Not That Brady were seven lengths ahead of the runners next in line halfway down the backstretch. At that point, Tax, ridden by Junior Alvarado, and Tacitus were in third and fourth positions. Entering the far turn, the lead built by the early leaders was evaporating as Tax and Tacitus closed in. In the lane, Tacitus, on the outside, was shoulder to shoulder with Tax. Inside the furlong marker, Tacitus came in a bit, leading Tax to do the same, and Tacitus finished best by 1 1/4 length. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back to the belatedly closing Haikal, who was eighth in the early going with Ravij Maragh aboard. Longshot Math Wizard, ninth after the first half-mile, finished a half-length back of Haikal in fourth at odds of 64-1 under Eric Cancel.

Bill Mott: "I thought it was a very good effort. It was very rough on the first turn, but fortunately he came out of it in good order. When he got down the backside, I thought he had a nice, clear run by himself. He kind of got his feet back under him and regrouped a little bit. When it was time to run he started to wear them down. It's not a surprise, but you always hope they show up. He's a young horse and you never know what's going to happen in any race. Some horses would have been discouraged with what happened on the first turn. They could have backed out of it or decide they didn't want any part of it after getting roughed up like that. He does take after his dam. She was ready from the word 'go'. She was one that was very aggressive and very fast. He's a little different type of horse. She was good up to a mile, a mile and an eighth. This horse, with the Tapit genes, seems like he's willing to go on, but he also seems to have enough speed to get him up and involved early in a race. He's certainly not a speed horse, but he has tactical speed and we know he's got talent and we know he's willing to overcome a little adversity.

"He'll probably stay here for another week and then go to Churchill Downs. I think the race sets him up well. I think the timing is fine. I think we've got a month to go back to the Derby. He's had two races, and a lot of handicappers think the third race off the bench is the best, so I hope that group of handicappers is absolutely right. I think this effort puts him at or near the top of the list."

Jose Ortiz: "I was pleased with his effort. I don't know about the other horses behind me, it was kind of crazy around the first turn. After that, he got a little bumped and he's a big horse. He managed to take that and go on and win the race. A mile and a quarter will suit him. The mile and an eighth didn't bother him, so I think going a little bit longer can be good too."

Garrett O'Rourke, Racing Manager: "We've been there five times now and came out of them all with our tail between our legs. We had two good runs, a huge disappointment with Empire Maker (second in 2003), because he was the horse that I felt was the best horse in the field and should have won. But it's not easy and we know that, so were going to go into it again knowing that it's not easy. We have a legitimate contender now that's bred to be a Derby horse and he's now proving that, hopefully, he is up to that standard."

THE NEXT DAY: Assitant trainer Leana Willaford said, "He came out of it very well/ He was a little tired, but that's to be expected. It's nice to see him overcome. He'll go back to the track here in three days, and we'll train him lightly and send him over there when Bill gets to Churchill. He's changed a lot from July. Then to not see him over the course of the winter, he's matured a ton. He's definitely filling out. He still has some more growing to do, he's only three. He's a big old horse."

April 15 NOTE: Jose Ortiz will stay with Tacitus in the Kentucky Derby and jump off Improbable. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride Improbable.

April 18 NOTE: Jockey Ortiz said, “I have been with him all along. He was green his first two races; Tampa Bay was OK and the Wood was OK. I think he will be better next time.”

In the 145th Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security was much the best but was disqualified and placed 17th by stewards. He won by 1 3/4 length in a time of 2:03.93 on a sloppy-sealed track. Country House was elevated to first. He was followed by Code of Honor, beaten 2 1/2 lengths by Maximum Security and three-quarters of a length by Country House. Tacitus was elevated to third, beaten 3 1/4 lengths by Maximum Security and 1 1/2 length by Country House. Improbable, who finished fifth, a head behind Tacitus, was moved up to fourth.

Bill Mott: I was second and fourth, and I’m proud of my horses. My horses ran well. I’m pleased. It took Tacitus a little while to get on track but he came flying at the end.”

Jose Ortiz: “My horse ran a huge race. We were a little unlucky since the pace didn’t collapse. Those were good horses in the lead. Country House ran a huge race, too. My horse was digging in late. I had no excuse. In the Belmont, he will be much better running 1 1/2 miles.”

The chart says, "Tacitus steadied while unsettled behind horses first time through the stretch, found a better rhythm through the middle stages, came five wide off the far turn, exchanged brushes with GAME WINNER late and finished with good courage."

May 26 NOTE: Trainer Mott said of today's workout, "It was very good, very even; I liked the rhythm of it - 12, 12, 12, 12. Each furlong was in about 12 seconds and he went out six furlongs in about 1:12, so I thought it was a very steady, solid work."

May 31 NOTE: Assistant trainer Leana Willaford said, "He's doing very well. He galloped on the training track the past couple mornings."

June 2 NOTE: Tacitus, with Jose Ortiz up, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.42 on the main track at Belmont in company with maiden Tide of the Sea, who was timed in 1:01.50., Tacitus finished well in front of his workmate. Trainer Mott said, "He was moving very good, very level and very even. He went along in '12s' every furlong and went out strong enough. It was very similar to last week. Once he gets in his rhythm, he moves very nicely. I haven't weighed him, but visually it looks like he's in good flesh. I think he's done well. He's a good eater."

In the Belmont Stakes, Sir Winston won, Tacitus was second, Joevia was third and Tax was fourth. Joevia, a longshot, was allowed to run through leisurely opening fractions of 48.79, 1:13.54 and 1:38.27, while Tax, Spinoff and Everfast were in closest pursuit. War of Will was a wide fifth after the mile, and Tacitus, the 9-5 favorite, was eighth and wider still. All that time, Sir Winston, ridden well by Joel Rosario, saved ground on the rail as he was eighth, then seventh after a mile. Rounding the far turn, Tacitus was asked to go as he and War of Will began an advance on the leaders, but they were still wide while Sir Winston was negotiating a shorter route inside and was just a length off the lead leaving the turn. Just inside the furlong marker, Sir Winston siezed the lead. Tacitus continued his surge, but it was too little too late, and he was beaten a length. Joevia and Tax, the early leaders, had enough left to check in third and fourth, beaten 1 3/4 and 2 3/4 lengths, respectively. The winning time was 2:28.30.

Bill Mott: "I've got to watch the rerun. It looked like he kind of ducked in a little bit in mid-stretch at the eighth pole. He came running and finished up the race good, but it looked like he just got going too late. I probably shouldn't comment too much without seeing the rerun, but it was a little bit of a wide trip. We did have a bit of a wide trip, which you never like. He came running and looked like he was traveling better than anybody. We planned to try and be in contention at the quarter-pole and he was. He just couldn't get there. I thought he was moving well enough at the quarter-pole that he was going to get there, and then when he switched leads, he kind of ducked in a little bit and then he had to come back out. He didn't really keep a straight line all the way through the lane. He kind of veered in a little bit, which doesn't help. I can't give any other excuses other than we'll see how much ground we lost "

Jose Ortiz: "He broke fine. I followed War of Will. I think if War of Will had a little bit, Sir Winston would have never come out of there, but unfortunately War of Will was a little bit flat on the turn. I think I was following the right horse. When Rosario came out, (Sir Winston) gave him a great kick and that made it tougher for me. My horse kept grinding. He kept coming, but Rosario gave him a great ride."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 6, Tacitus 38.60 Breezing 8/12 at PAY
Jan. 13, Tacitus 36.60 Breezing 1/2 at PAY
Jan. 21, Tacitus 50.20 Breezing 6/23 at PAY
Jan. 29, Tacitus 1.03:40 Breezing 6/12 at PAY
Feb. 9, Tacitus 49:40 Breezing 3/24 at PAY
Feb. 15, Tacitus 50:00 Breezing 10/26 at PAY
Feb. 22, Tacitus 1:01 Breezing 2/3 at PAY
March 3, Tacitus 49:60 Breezing 14/32 at PAY
March 22, Tacitus 49:00 Breezing 2/39 at PAY
March 31, Tacitus 49:80 Breezing 11/31 at PAY
April 22, Tacitus 50:00 Breezing 50/79 at CD
April 28, Tacitus 1.00:00 Breezing 4/25 at CD
May 18, Tacitus 48:57 Breezing 9/33 at BEL
May 26, Tacitus 1.00:16 Breezing 3/11 at BEL
June 2, Tacitus 1.00:42 Breezing 1/16 at BEL

 

 

 

 

TAX (KY)
Trainer: Danny Gargan
Owner: R. A. Hill Stable (Randy Hill), Reeves Thoroughbred Racing (Dean & Patti Reeves), Hugh Lynch & Corms Racing Stable (Lucas Stritsman)
Breeder: Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Arch (Kris S, Aurora)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Toll (Giant's Causeway, Yell)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-5-23-1-0 (32) 1.56
Foal Date: April 20, 2016

A gelding.

JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz, Jr.

On Oct. 21 at Keeneland, Tax broke his maiden in his second start, running for $50,000 in a claiming race, winning at 1 1/16 mile by 2-1 odds by two lengths under Brian Hernandez, Jr.  Seven ran. The time was 1:45. 25. In the early going, Tax attended the pace set by Clipboard Money, a couple of lengths behind 23.96, 48.16 and 1:12.57. That one stayed on to finish second. Tax was claimed by Hugh Lynch.

In Aqueduct's Dec. 1 Remsen Stakes at 1 1/8 mile, 7-5 second choice Maximus Mischief won by 2 1/4 lengths under Frankie Pennington with Network Effect taking second with a late effort. After breaking sharply, Maximus Mischief dueled outside Gladiator King through a quarter-mile in 25.12, then gained an edge over that one while fending off Tax from his outside, posting a half-mile mark of 50.67. Tax was still there coming out of the final turn afterf six furlongs in 1:14.60, but Maximus Mischief responded to Pennington's left-handed encouragement and opened up his lead before hitting the furlong marker in 1:38.48 and the wire in a final time of 1:51.34. Network Effect was second by a half-length over Tax. The fourth-place finisher, another 6 1/4 lengths back, was Bourbon War, who was last but only four lengths off the pace after the first half-mile. More than 10 lengths further in arrears were Jungle Warrior, Gladiator King and Chinomado, in that order.

Jan. 16 NOTE: Assistant trainer Rolando Quevedo reportedly told trainer Gargan, "This is the best work he has ever had. He’s getting better and better and stronger.” This was reported at DRF.com. Quevedo was aboard for the workout.

Jan. 24 NOTE: "He's a well-bred horse and bred to run long. He'd only run the one race going short (before we claimed him), and I didn't expect him to be a sprinter. He's a big, strong horse. On replays, he looked like a good mover, so we took a shot on him. When we claimed him, we thought he would be a real good grass horse, but when we started working him on the dirt, he worked really well. So, we decided to give him a shot in the Remsen (when he finished third to Maximus Mischief). The effort is a little better than it looks because we went after the winner. We tried to win the race, and if we would have tried to be second, we could have been second. On the turn, we went after the horse that was in front. That was our game plan, to see if we could eyeball him and beat him. Obviously, he's a really nice horse and a little more seasoned than our horse. We were aggressive, and I like being aggressive in a race. We might work him again on Friday, depending on the weather, if not, he'll go Saturday. I think he got a lot out of his last race, and he's doing really well right now."

Jan. 31 NOTE: Trainer Gargan said, "He's bred to run all day, he's a well-bred horse. Last time, we kind of chased the pace a little bit. This time, there should be enough pace in the race where we'll be able to sit off of it. Hopefully, we finish a little better. If we can get an effort like last time, we think we'll be all right."

In the 1 1/8-mile Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on Feb. 2, Tax was the 2-1 morning line and 2-1 post-time favorite after some late money came in on him. He wasn't part of the early pace after stumbling at the start, but he got the best of it late after coming up the rail following a somewhat troubled trip under Junior Alavarado to narrowly win in a time of 1:50.27. Not That Brady, who was always prominent and on the lead for over six furlongs while ridden by Reylu Gutierriz, finished a game second, holding off a surging Our Braintrust, who was never worse than third and appeared to hang a bit in deep stretch despite urging from Jose Lezcano. Tax's winning margin over Not That Brady was a head, and he was a neck better than Our Braintrust. Sir Winston came from last of seven to finish fourth, beaten five lengths.

Danny Gargan: "He ran really good today. I think down the backside, he got a really good education. Junior said he was really impressed with him. He said he kind of got stuck down in there and clipped heels a couple of times. I'm happy with the fact that he learned and got in there and got an education. We're going to get into bigger fields as this goes down the road further. As far as our next spot, we'll look at the Tampa Bay Derby, also the Jeff Ruby at Turfway Park. Somewhere like that, a two-turn race. I don't want to back him up, the Gotham is a one-turn mile and I think that's a sprinter's race. So, we'll probably come out of this race and go somewhere like that and probably come back here for the Wood. He's definitely going to run between now and the last prep so I can get three races in if we get lucky enough to get to the Derby."

Junior Alvarado: "I was hoping the hole would open up, and I got lucky and got through. He responded right away when we got the space, it was just enough for him. When we got to the lead at the sixteenth pole he started waiting again for the horses. He's a big guy, but mentally he's not 100 percent in the game yet. He's still learning and today was a great learning experience for him. We had the inside post and he stumbled out of the gate a little bit. I had to help him get into a good position. It wasn't going as smooth as I wanted it to, but he's such a nice horse that he overcame all that. He wouldn't have any problem going a mile and a quarter. The company will definitely be tougher, he'll have to step up his game, but I think he still has more there."

The very comprehensive chart for the top three runners says, "Tax stumbled at the start and came under coaxing to be forwardly placed along the inside through the first turn and into the backstretch, tracked in the loose pocket patiently handled until placed to coaxing three furlongs from home, spun just off the inside into upper stretch, got forced to be taken in hand and paused at the three-sixteenths when placed in tight inside as Not That Brady drifted in, had that rival be corrected outwards and rallied up the inside to take narrow command a furlong out, dug in under threat from a pair through to the finish and repelled the duo gamely on the wire. Not That Brady broke  out at the start and came under coaxing in correction to be forwardly placed,  got  floated five wide into the opening bend by Our Braintrust, ranged up four then three wide through the first turn to seize command with seven furlongs to run tucking to the two path at that station, showed the way through moderate splits in hand just off the inside down the backstretch before tucking along the inside into the far turn, came under coaxing  at  the  five-sixteenths,  spun  just  off  the  inside  for  home  under  growing  threat,  drifted  in  forcing  Tax  to  be  taken  in  hand  in  tight  at  the three-sixteenths under threat from flanking challengers, got corrected and came out bumping Our Braintrust inside that station and was displaced from command, dug in trading leans with Our Braintrust under a near sided stick as that rival got directed under an off sided stick while latched on the leader through to the finish fighting on between foes but was ultimately rebuffed to the end. Our Braintrust broke on top and yielded command nearing the first turn while four wide into that bend floating Not That Brady five wide, had that rival clear outside and tucked three wide midway settling three wide in aim of the front, tucked to the two path half a mile from home, came under coaxing at the three-eighths, swung three to four wide into upper stretch, rallied the outermost of a trio latched on at the three-sixteenths, got bumped by Not That Brady just inside that station, dug in battling on to the finish trading leans under an off sided stick as Not That Brady employed a near sided stick but could not get by the top pair while clear of the rest."

April 3 NOTE: Trainer Gargan said, "He's training tremendous; he looks good. We're just hoping we get a clean trip. He's a nice horse and we're just hoping we can run top-three, so we can go to the Derby. He's a warrior. You have to get lucky and get a horse who wants to win as much as you want to win, and that's the kind of horse he is. He wants to win. He wants to run competitive, and he trains like that. He's real competitive in the mornings, so we just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for good things going forward because the big goal is to be lucky enough to run him in the Derby. Junior has a lot of insight into him. If it's working well, why change it? When a rider has confidence like that, it can only help."

In the Wood Memorial on April 6, Tacitus overcame early bumping and clipping of his rear heels to win from off the pace. Ridden by Jose Ortiz, Tacitus finished the 1 1/8 mile in 1:51.23 after after laying six to eight lengths off contested early fractions of 23.62, 46.91 and 1:11.46 set by Joeiva, then Not That Brady.  Joeivia sprinted to the front when, after breaking from the outside post 11 under Nik Juarez, he accordioned several horses to his inside upon veering in extremely sharply. He and Not That Brady were seven lengths ahead of the runners next in line halfway down the backstretch. At that point, Tax, ridden by Junior Alvarado, and Tacitus were in third and fourth positions. Entering the far turn, the lead built by the early leaders was evaporating as Tax and Tacitus closed in. In the lane, Tacitus, on the outside, was shoulder to shoulder with Tax. Inside the furlong marker, Tacitus came in a bit, leading Tax to do the same, and Tacitus finished best by 1 1/4 length. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back to the belatedly closing Haikal, who was eighth in the early going with Ravij Maragh aboard. Longshot Math Wizard, ninth after the first half-mile, finished a half-length back of Haikal in fourth at odds of 64-1 under Eric Cancel.

Danny Gargan: "He ran huge. The horses laying up close all day have been running really well. I told Junior, let's just break out of there and get a good position. I didn't want to take back. Let's make them run into the first turn and make your move turning for home. If we get run down, it's okay. I don't mind running second today, I just wanted to make sure we got enough Derby points to get in. We might have moved a little early today, but we get to go to Louisville, Kentucky now."

Junior Alvarado: "I had a great trip. I knew that Not That Brady had speed and he likes to fight. I was second guessing myself by the three-eighths pole if I should go and attack him, so he doesn't get brave on the lead. At the same time, I wanted to wait a little longer because I know they were rolling up front. It was a decision I had to make, but if I had it to do again I would have waited a little longer to have a better kick at the end. But that's horse racing. He gave me everything turning for home and he never quit."

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Gargan said, "Everything was good this morning. I thought he ran a tremendous race and can move forward off that effort. His last three races, he's improved tremendously. He learned a lot in the Remsen, and then he moved forward in the Withers. We gave him almost nine weeks between those races, and yesterday, he showed up. He got a little tired and got pushed down on the rail late, which was a little dead. But it was his first race in a while. I think we're set to move forward off this now. The goal all along was the Derby. That's why we passed on the Gotham.  It was a risk to only run twice because with these point systems, you have to run well every time if you aren't running. We were lucky enough to win one prep and do well in another. To pass on a race in between, it was a gamble, but it's going to pay off in the long run. He breaks good out of the gate. If he breaks good, he can sit forwardly placed. He can also sit in the middle of the pack, he's a cool horse that way. If everything goes as planned and we get to the Derby, we have a chance. His numbers line him up with anyone. As of now, there doesn't seem to be any Justify in there or any monsters. No one has really been better than anyone else yet. So, we're just hoping to get blessed and get a good trip."

April 10 NOTE: Trainer Gargan said at Keeneland, where he has a string of horses stabled, “He is an exciting horse, and he came out of the Wood great. He would not come here. He would go straight to Churchill, and I haven’t decided whether he’ll have one or two works. I will keep him in New York (for now), but I have some horses to ship next week, and I will work that out in the next few days.”

April 26 NOTE: Jockey Alvarado said of yesterday's workout, "I thought it was great and I loved the way he started; it's really important when you're getting ready to ride a mile-and-a-quarter race that your horse can be in the bridle but won't try and run off. Coming down the lane, he has such a beautiful, long stride. I was paying attention to his gallop out and it was outstanding. He showed me everything I wanted to see. He did it nice and strong, pretty much on his own. He's a great gate horse. Even when he won with me, he stumbled and still had the ability to be near the lead. It helps. When you go to a 20-horse field, having a horse who can break out of there and get you to a good position helps. It's very important, and that's something that he's done with me. It doesn't matter what part of the race, when you need him to make a move, he's always there for you. It's always quick. He's not a plodding horse who takes time to get going. He's pretty much a push-button horse. If you need to make a little move to get in a better spot, I know he'll be there for me."

In the 145th Kentucky Derby, Tax was never better than ninth and finished 15th, moved up to 14th via the disqualification of the winner, beaten 15 lengths.

Danny Gargan: Had no comment

Junior Alvarado: “My horse was bothered by the splash in his face. He was not happy about that. He kept trying but he was focused on the mud being kicked in his face.”

The chart call: "Tax saved ground throughout and was no factor."

May 25 NOTE: Trainer Gargan said, "It was just a maintenance work, I wanted a nice easy work. He gallops out like he always does, nice and strong. We worked him by himself so he wouldn't go too fast. When he was in company, he grabs the bridle and works more impressive but today we just wanted to keep him going forward. We'll come back next week and work him and get a stronger breeze in him. Hopefully we can work on Saturday next week. I'll work him with another horse next week, so he gets a lot more out of it." The Belmont remains the plan. "That's what we're pointing for; we're aiming for that. If everything goes as planned that's where we'll run."

June 1 NOTE: Trainer Gargan said today he's 50-50 about Tax going in the Belmont.

In the Belmont Stakes, Sir Winston won, Tacitus was second, Joevia was third and Tax was fourth. Joevia, a longshot, was allowed to run through leisurely opening fractions of 48.79, 1:13.54 and 1:38.27, while Tax, Spinoff and Everfast were in closest pursuit. War of Will was a wide fifth after the mile, and Tacitus, the 9-5 favorite, was eighth and wider still. All that time, Sir Winston, ridden well by Joel Rosario, saved ground on the rail as he was eighth, then seventh after a mile. Rounding the far turn, Tacitus was asked to go as he and War of Will began an advance on the leaders, but they were still wide while Sir Winston was negotiating a shorter route inside and was just a length off the lead leaving the turn. Just inside the furlong marker, Sir Winston siezed the lead. Tacitus continued his surge, but it was too little too late, and he was beaten a length. Joevia and Tax, the early leaders, had enough left to check in third and fourth, beaten 1 3/4 and 2 3/4 lengths, respectively. The winning time was 2:28.30.
 
Danny Gargan: "I'm real proud of him. He ran big. He'll move forward off this race. Obviously, when you run fourth in the Belmont, the Travers is in the back of your mind. This horse does his best running when he has eight weeks between starts, so we'll see where we're at."

Irad Ortiz, Jr.: "I had a perfect trip. We sat second. He ran huge today, everything came out perfect. He's a nice horse. I got beat by a nice horse, too. Congrats to Mark Casse."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 7, Tax 48:77 Breezing training track11/86 at BEL
Jan. 16, Tax 49:23 Breezing training track 11/35 at BEL
Jan. 25, Tax 50:00 Breezing training track 21/51 at BEL
Feb. 23, Tax 51:24 Breezing training track 107/132 at BEL
March 1, Tax 48:40 Breezing training track 16/84 at BEL
March 9, Tax 59:60 Breezing training track 2/23 at BEL
March 16, Tax 49:60 Breezing training track 85/110 at BEL
March 28, Tax 47:80 Breezing training track 3/31 at BEL
April 25, Tax 47:80 Breezing training track 1/49 at BEL
May 25, Tax 49:87 Breezing training track 26/88 at BEL
June 1, Tax 49:03 Breezing 33/68 at BEL

 

 


 

WAR OF WILL (KY)
Trainer: Mark E. Casse
Owner: Gary Barber
Breeder: Flaxman Holdings Limited
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): War Front (Danzig, Starry Dreamer)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Visions of Clarity (Sadler's Wells, Imperfect Circle)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-8-17-4-0 (34) 1.72
Foal Date: April 17, 2016

$175,000 Keeneland September 2017
$298,550 Arqana May 2018
His dam is a half-sibling to multiple grade I winner Spinning World

JOCKEY: Tyler Gaffalione

War of Will didn't win in his first four starts, but he was competitive in stakes company.

After finishing third in a Woodbine maiden special weight, on Sept. 15 he finished second to by less than a length to Fog of War after having a stretch lead in the Grade I Summer Stakes.

He was shipped to Kentucky, and on Oct. 7 he ran fourth in the Dixiana Bourbon Stakes won by Current, with Henley's Joy and Salvator Mundi getting second and third.

He finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf as a maiden.

Then, on Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs, he broke his maiden in his fifth start going 1 1/16 mile on a sloppy sealed track under Tyler Gaffalione. Eleven ran. His time was 1:45.45. He engaged in a stalking trip and cleared the field going away by five lengths under a hand ride. The chart says he "stalked the pace early, shifted into the three path in the far turn then drew off down the lane while ridden out to the wire."

Jan. 16 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, “He’s a horse that we loved as soon as my brother (Justin Casse) bought him. Our assistant Jamie Begg had him for about two weeks at Belmont and said that he was special. We kind of rushed him into his maiden race and I thought he would have a good chance to win the Summer Stakes. Finally, in the Breeders’ Cup, he had a really wide trip so he ran an exceptionally well fifth considering the hand that was dealt to him. Early on, we felt like he needed to stay on grass, but he trains as good as a horse can train on the dirt. I personally don’t think he could’ve won any more impressive and it was a solid field. He ran ten one hundredths of a second slower than the Kentucky Jockey Club. Tyler geared him down in the last sixteenth, so no doubt he could’ve run faster than the Kentucky Jockey Club. All that said, we like our chances. Weather could play a factor (in the LeComte) even though I think a little moisture in the track won’t hurt our feelings. This is a heck of a race, it’s going to be a trip. It’s a mile and 70 yards with a big field and quick run to the first turn. You’re going to need luck, and it can’t be bad.”

Ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, 8-5 favorite War of Will stalked, pounced and drew off to win the LeComte Stakes on Jan. 19 going a mile and 70 yards at Fair Grounds in a field of 12. He got home in a time of 1:43.44 on a track rated fast, which is 1.9 second faster than Needs Supervision won the Silverbulletday one race prior. Hog Creek Hustle closed from eighth, four or five lengths off the early pace, to finish second. Third was Manny Wah, who was hustled from the far outside post by Channing Hill to grab the lead while dueling with Maplpais going up the backstretch, the half-mile going in 49.22. Manny Wah easily shook off Malpais in the far turn but was immediately engaged by the three-wide War of Will, who was never more than 1 1/2 length off the pace. War of Will hit the six-furlong mark barely in front in 1:14.63. In the stretch, War of Will got away from Manny Wah, and Hog Creek Hustle came by too. War of Will beat that one by four lengths going away, with Manny Wah another two lengths back in third. Wicked Indeed finished fourth, beaten 6 1/2 lengths, and a head in front of Plus Que Parfait, who was a neck in  front of Chase the Ghost.

Mark Casse: “This was about a month ago, but I had some friends over and I said ‘We have a big chance to win the Derby this year.' I don’t usually say things like that, so that tells you what I think of him. I’ll talk to Gary, but (the Risen Star Stakes) would make the most sense, it’s why we’re here. We love this place, and it’s a great place to get a horse ready. I don’t know that there would be a real reason to leave.”

Tyler Gaffalione: “My horse broke sharp. It looked like (Manny Wah) had a little more speed going into the turn, and I took him back and went to his outside to try and get the best trip possible. He relaxed for me on the backside and when they came down to run, he really turned it on.”

Jan. 21 NOTE: Trainer Casse told DRF.com on Jan. 20: “He acts like he didn’t even really run. What I didn’t notice right away was his gallop-out yesterday, which was really strong. He ran to his works and his gallops. He’s an impressive horse to watch train.”

Jan. 24 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, "He's doing extremely well. I can't say enough great things about him, and I think he's an absolute superstar. I think he's a better dirt horse, although with a better trip in the Breeders' Cup, he could have been a Breeders' Cup winner. But it was probably a blessing because had he won the Breeders' Cup, it would have been much tougher to try him on the dirt. Sometimes things happen for a reason."

Feb. 10 NOTE: Trainer Casse said on Feb. 9, “I don’t think that he could have worked any better, so that was good. It’s pretty well the same bunch that he’ll be up against (in the Risen Star). Obviously the post is outside, but we’d rather be out there than inside. He’s got enough speed so he’ll get over and if he’s as good as we think he is, it shouldn’t matter.”

Feb. 14 NOTE: Bloodstock agent Justin Casse, brother of trainer Casse, said “I always call Gary (Barber) when I find something that I like. I didn’t really run it by Mark because he trusts me, so I called Gary because one of the first horses I bought for him was Jack Milton, who also was by War Front. I bought him two other stakes horses by War Front, so he knew that the sire worked. I called him only 30 minutes before he went through the ring. Told him he’d be reasonably priced. He breezed well at the sale, he was a good mover, had a good turn of foot and speed for his size. The rest is history, Gary got him. He didn’t look like a dirt horse, but he didn’t strike you as one that’s all turf either. He was just a real good looking horse, but I didn’t really classify him as one or the other. In pedigree, he’s instantly classified as turf because of who a lot of his relatives are, but if you look deeper into his pedigree he’s related to horses like Tacticus and Aldebaran. The horse that beat him in the Summer is debatably the best now 3-year-old turf male, Fog of War. To run second to him in only his second start in a Grade I spoke volumes for him. Obviously everyone was buzzing about how he worked on the dirt. With horses that I buy, I feel like I own a piece of them because I get really excited and get really into it. I feel like they’re my own to a certain extent, and to be there with my brother, family and girlfriend would be special too. Trying to take it one step at a time and appreciate having such a nice horse. It’s hard to not get caught up thinking about the Derby and it’s fun to daydream. There are too many things that can happen between today and tomorrow.”

In the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 16, War of Will won, Country House was second, longshot Roiland third and Hog Creek Hustle fourth. War of Will broke well from post 13 and pursued front-runner Gun It -- who broke from post 14 -- and Dunph leaving the first turn, and the first quarter-mile run in 23.71. Up the backstretch, Gun It continued to lead the way, with War of Will in closest pursuit, followed by Dunph, Mr. Money and 10 others and the half-mile  gone in 47.36. Far back of those four were Country House, Roiland and Hog Creek Hustle. Into the far turn, War of Will took charge and led with six furlongs timed in 1:12.20 with Gun It, Mr. Money and Dunph about to fall away. War of Will opened a clear lead in the stretch. Country House, ridden by Luis Saez, came on strong to finish 2 1/4 lengths back of the winner after being in 11th position, almost 10 lengths off the lead, after the first half-mile and ninth on the far turn. Roiland, third by a total of 3 3/4 lengths under James Graham, was able to accomplish that at 69-1 odds when he came from dead last, 16 1/2 lengths off the pace, at the second call. Hog Creek Hustle ran his second straight credible two-turn race to come fourth, 2 1/4 lengths behind Roiland. He was 13th after the first half-mile.

Mark Casse: “For a big horse, he has tremendous speed. He had to hit the gas a little to get over, so that got him a little riled up. It’s like hitting the gas and trying to hit stop. They’re not as easy to stop as a car. He got him rolling and probably made the lead a little earlier than we would have liked. He’s done this a few times early on. When he gets the lead, he starts wandering. If he keeps winning there will be some big targets for him to chase. As long as he’s happy and healthy, that’s where we’ll go and then we’ll talk about it from there I think (Fair Grounds) is a wonderful place to get a horse ready for the classics. We have right now four or five Derby horses and our two major Derby horses are here right now. I think a lot of that. I have (assistant) David Carroll, who I have utmost respect for, so that’s important for me. Last year we almost won the Kentucky Oaks with Wonder Gadot, and she stabled here. It’s a great place, it’s nice and the weather isn’t bad. Horses stay happy and safe here for the most part.”

Tyler Gaffalione: “The horse broke well today. I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane, but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there. Mark and his team have done a great job. They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Feb 17 NOTE: Assistant trainer David Carroll said, “He looked wonderful (this morning). He cleaned up his feed last night and cleaned up his breakfast this morning.  Just had a little jog this morning and jogged beautifully. He seems very bright and not tired. We’re thrilled to death with him. He likes it here, and I don’t see Mark or Mr. Barber wanting to change anything, so as long as he stays healthy and sound it is the game plan (to stay for the Louisiana Derby). With the outside post, we needed to get a forward position, and once we did that he was on the bridle. Tyler took over a little sooner than he had liked. He said yesterday was the first time he waited on horses. Once he got after him I thought that he finished up very nice and his gallop out was very strong. I like to think there’s plenty left in the tank.”

March 2 NOTE: Assistant trainer David Carroll said, “We had a sealed racetrack this morning but it gives you such confidence because it’s a superior surface. It has a great bottom on it, so we were very comfortable breezing today. War of Will went beautifully. Just finished up the last eighth and galloped out on his own steam. We never did ask him for anything today, it was just nice to see him back stretching his legs. He looked as great as ever and cooled out beautifully. I don’t think he has to improve a whole lot at this stage. We know that he’s very talented, and we’re just going to keep him happy and healthy, which are the two most important things. If he’s happy and healthy, then we’ll let his talent do the talking.”

March 10 NOTE: After War of Will's workout yesterday, assistant trainer David Carroll said, “We just wanted to keep him focused and have a target today. Once he had his target and it was time to go, he just kept on going. I thought last time maybe he eased up a little bit, but today he was totally focused and Declan was very, very happy with him. He’s just a beautiful piece of work. Every time he works, it’s just that way with him. He’s very push button and is in a great place mentally and physically. The horse is just a privilege to be around and has been this way from the word ‘go’ last year.  At the end of the day, we’re all going to be respectful of the opposition regardless of who comes. Our focus is on him and him only, just making sure that he’s happy and healthy. After that, it’s up to him. Hopefully we’ll have a good couple of more weeks and get there safe and win his race.”

In the Louisiana Derby on March 23, War of Will, the 4-5 favorite, was in sixth place at each of the first three calls, and leaving the far turn he was only 2 1/4 lengths off the lead. He clearly struggled in the stretch and finished ninth, beaten a dozen lengths.

Mark Casse: “We think what happened was about four jumps out of the gate. He actually broke in front, and if you watch he buckles on his right hind. And we believe, maybe it was stumble of some sort. But when he did, we think he strained maybe a muscle or whatever. But he was significantly off after the race. He’s significantly off. I’ve just been on the phone with Dr. Robert McMartin, he’s my main guy. He thinks he might have caught his stifle or something. We feel like he’ll probably be a little better tomorrow and we’re going to further evaluate him. I would not absolutely rule him out (of the Kentucky Derby) because this is something that he can get over very quickly. We’ll see. The good news is he hasn’t broken anything. It’s a muscle strain of some sort. We’re confident of that.”

THE NEXT DAY: War of Will shipped out to Keeneland shortly. Following trainer Casse's comment yesterday that the horse was "significantly off" after the race, today Casse told Alicia Hughes he is "feeling a lot better." The Kentucky Derby hasn't been ruled out.

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Casse said, “It’s amazing how much better he was today. I just feel fortunate that he’s okay first and foremost. We’re fairly certain that he probably caught his patella a little bit right at the start. So what we’ll do is we’ll do some exercising and probably laser treatment to strengthen the patella muscle. But we feel optimistic that we can still make the Derby.”

March 30 NOTE: Assistant trainer David Carroll said, “He got here Wednesday and had a full evaluation Thursday with X-rays and ultrasound. He got the go-ahead to train. We will jog him for a few days and ease him back into it.”

April 13 NOTE: After War of Will's workout from the gate, jockey Gaffalione sadi, “He broke sharp and had running on his mind. He did everything very easy. Mark said he wanted a good five-eighths, so I just let him do his thing. He cruised along and pulled up great and came back happy. He is really proud of himself.” Assistant trainer Carroll said, "Horses sometimes get more from working from the gate. He broke very sharp, worked beautifully and the gallop-out was tremendous. He cooled out really well, and we are very happy. He is a kind horse to be around, and in the past week he has really been on his toes and is very sharp. He told us coming into it that he is ready for a good workout. In the paddock on his way to the track, he was very playful.” Carroll said War of Will likely will have another work at Keeneland and a work at Churchill Downs in the days leading to the Kentucky Derby.

April 19 NOTE: Assistant trainer David Carroll said, “He trained beautifully all week, and he definitely has progressed from his last breeze. All indications were that he would go exceptionally good today, and we saw that. We couldn’t be any happier. All systems are go at the moment. Each day he seems to be getting better. He cooled out beautifully this morning. They put a good seal on the track, and it had a really good bottom on it today.”

April 19 NOTE: War of Will is scheduled to ship late this coming week from Keeneland to Churchill Downs, where he will have his final workout for the Kentucky Derby.

In the 145th Kentucky Derby, War of Will was fourth after a half-mile, stayed in contention, made a move leaving the far turn, had to check when Maximum Security came out, got going again and then flattened out in the stretch. He finished eighth, moved up to seventh via the disqualification of the winner, beaten 4 1/2 lengths.

Mark Casse; “Yeah, we got bothered too. We almost clipped heels with (Maximum Security). We got excited. The horse ducked out and that’s when we nearly clipped heels. Tyler (Gaffalione) said he felt great. He said if he could have gotten him to relax a little he thought he would finish a little better. I have to talk to Gary (Barber) about (the Preakness) but maybe.”

Tyler Gaffalione: “I really thought I was going to win the Derby. I checked pretty hard when the seven (Maximum Security) came out as far as he did.”

The chart call: "War of Will  found a good spot saving ground off the leaders under a firm hold, continued along reserved waiting for room into the far turn, shifted outside MAXIMUM SECURITY leavingthe three-eighths pole, was forced out by that rival into LONG RANGE TODDY, checked hard off heels, remained prominent in the three-path to upperstretch and weakened."

In the 144th Preakness, War of Will won, Everfast was second, Owendale finished third and Warrior's Charge was fourth. Warrior's Charge set a brisk pace of 22.50, 46.16 and 1:10.56. For the first half-mile, Market King was in closest pursuit, followed by Anothertwistafate and War of Will. At the third call, Market King was starting a major retreat, Anothertwistafate had moved into second, and local hero Alwaysmining loomed on the outside in third. Warrior's Charge and Javier Castellano continued to lead through the far turn and came into the stretch well off the rail. War of Will came up the rail to take charge and led by a length with a furlong remaining. Meanwhile, Anothertwistafate and Alwaysmining had retreated. War of Will prevailed by 1 1/4 length. Longshot Everfast, sent off as the second longest shot in the 13-horse field at 29-1 odds, came up the inside behind War of Will after entering the second turn in 11th place, almost 10 lengths in arrears, to nab second with Joel Rosario aboard. Owendale and Florent Geroux finished a nose back in third after hitting that turn in ninth, almost seven lengths off the pace. Warrior's Charge hung on for fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths.

Mark Casse: “It was so important to win it. I just wanted him to get his chance to show everyone how good he is because he is a super horse. We thought we were going to win it two years ago (with Classic Empire) and we got beat at the wire so I kept trying to figure out where the wire was. It was exciting, just unbelievable.”

Tyler Gaffalione: “I’m just so happy for Mark and his team, they do a fabulous job. Barber has given me so many opportunities and I’m just so happy for them. I’m very happy for Mark to get his first Classic win. Very happy for the horse, he deserved it more than anything. He’s so special.”

“It really hasn’t even hit me yet. I can’t even put it into words. I can’t thank my family enough for all the support. Of course my valet down in Florida, Jay Glass, and my agent, Matt Muzikar. Great team effort, I’m just so thankful.”

“He’s got so much heart. We always knew he had the ability, we just had to get a little bit lucky and today was our day.”

May 23 NOTE: Today at Keeneland, War of Will went back to the track for the first time since his Preakness triumph, turning in an easy jog. Assistant trainer David Carroll said, "He was happy to jog, and right now we're just building up his energy. He was good. He felt great soundness wise. I'm sure in a couple days he'll be wanting to do a bit more. But it was good to get him back under tack." Plans are to ship to Belmont Park middle of nex week.

May 25 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, "The plan is for him to breeze on Friday or Saturday  the week prior to the Belmont at Keeneland. If all goes as planned, he'll get on a van Sunday night or Monday afternoon to New York to arrive for the week of the Belmont. We've had pretty good luck doing it that way, not only with him, but with others. I talked it over with Gary Barber and David Carroll, and that's the way we're going to do it."

May 29 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, "He's not going to breeze. We kind of feel like he's in a very happy place and relaxed right now, and we want him to be that way going 1 1/2 miles, so I don't really see any reason to. We know his Preakness was good, and I didn't breeze him into that. We are going to do it our way. So he is not going to breeze."

June 2 NOTE: Per a tweet by Alicia Hughes, War of Will is definite to be shipped to New York for the Belmont Stakes.

In the Belmont Stakes, War of Will was sent off as the second choice but finished ninth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths. The chart says he "made light contact with Tacitus after losing his footing as the field was sent offand running, was in path four making his way on the first turn, was still in same path in pursuit of the front runners, the widest of all, and without benefit ofcover, departed the backstretch once again stationed in the four path, got cued up approaching the quarter pole, turned into the lane in tight quarters with the second place finisher, resulting in a solid bump between them, kept up its pursuit for a little while longer before faltering."

Mark Casse: "First we'll have a couple days and make sure how he is, probably send him back to Kentucky, give him a little break. The plan would be, and I would have to discuss it with Gary Barber, but we're going to aim him for the Travers."

Tyler Gaffalione: "I had a beautiful trip, he relaxed so nicely. He got caught a little bit wide, but he was just so comfortable.  He was in a nice rhythm and approaching the quarter pole, I squeezed on him a little bit and he just didn't have that punch like he normally does. Today just wasn't his day. It's hard to say (if the three races in five weeks) took its toll, but I would definitely take that into account. He ran hard the last few races. Today just wasn't his day."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1

Jan. 5, War of Will 59.60 Breezing 2/77 at FG
Feb. 2, War of Will 52:40 Breezing 157/169 at FG
Jan. 12, War of Will 48.00 Breezing 3/145 at FG
Feb. 9, War of Will 47:20 Breezing 2/135 at FG
March 2, War of Will 50:20 Breezing good 63/87 at FG
March 9, War of Will 1.01:60 Breezing 19/48 at FG
March 15, War of Will 47:60 Breezing 3/31 at FG
April 6, War of Will 48:80 Breezing 33/106 at KEE
April 13, War of Will 59:00 Breezing gate 1/44 at KEE
April 19, War of Will 1.00:20 Breezing muddy 1/9 at KEE
April 27, War of Will 47:60 Breezing 1/78 at CD

 

 

 

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