TDN Rising Star War Dancer (c, 3, War Front--Deed I Do, by Alydeed) sat a midpack trip beneath Alan Garcia, took aim on front-running Redwood Kitten (Kitten's Joy) and Rydilluc (Medaglia d'Oro) in the stretch and prevailed in a wild, three-way photo in Saturday's GII Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. Three wide out of the stretch for the first time, War Dancer traveled about three off the inside and raced in the slipstream of Penn Mile winner Rydilluc as they approached the final sweeping turn at Colonial. Three wide into the stretch, he was full of run, but so too were Charming Kitten (Kitten's Joy), who was gifted a rails run by his weakening stablemate, and Jack Milton (War Front), who had to wait off heels before delivering his challenge on the wide outside. Those three came to the wire together, with War Dancer in the middle just getting his nose down first. Charming Kitten just missed up the fence, while Jack Milton was perhaps unluckiest of all and settled for third. War Dancer became a TDN Rising Star with a remarkable first-level allowance tally at Keeneland Apr. 10, when he was totally unprepared for the start and trailed by as many as 16 lengths in the middle portion before storming home late. He was subsequently third in the GII American Turf S. May 3 and second in the Centaur S. at Indiana Downs June 15. Lifetime Record: 7-3-2-1, $433,569. O-Magdalena Racing et al. B-Cherry Valley Farm LLC & Stuart Janney III LLC (KY). T-Kenneth G McPeek.
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