TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

War of Will

WAR OF WILL (c, War FrontVisions of Clarity {Ire}, by Sadler’s Wells)
O-Gary Barber. B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY). T-Mark Casse. Sales History: $175,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP; €250,000 2yo ’18 ARQMAY. Lifetime Record: GSW, 6-2-1-1, $251,569.
Last Start: 1st, GIII Lecomte S., FG, Jan. 19
Next Start: Possible for GII Risen Star S., FG, Feb. 16
Equineline PPs. Caulfield on War of Will. KY Derby Points: 10.

Even though it’s already February, War of Will is the only horse to have raced in 2019 to be ranked within the first seven positions of the Top 12. The season so far has been lacking in eye-catching sophomore debuts, but there is little doubt that this turf-pedigreed $298,550 ARQMAY War Front colt belongs in the top tier based on his four-length manhandling of a decent crew in the Jan. 19 GIII Lecomte S. The impressive effort is likely to act as a deterrent to some wannabe Derby contenders whose connections might have thought the New Orleans prep route would be a path of least resistance, and War of Will will start as the deserving favorite if he runs as anticipated in the Feb. 16 GII Risen Star S. Remember, this was a juvenile whose first four races were all on grass, and he was beaten only 3 1/2 lengths as a maiden in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. “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,” trainer Mark Casse said last week. “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.”