Declaration of War Colt Sets Tote Ablaze in Juvenile Turf


Fire At Will | Horsephotos

Three Diamonds Farm's Fire At Will (c, 2, Declaration of War–Flirt, by Kitten's Joy) sat the trip and powered clear in the stretch to post an eye-catching, 30-1 upset in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland.

Favored Battleground (War Front), the first foal out of 2015 GI Breeders' Cup Turf victress Found (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), was second; pacesetter Outadore (Outwork) was third.

Fire At Will, a last out upset wire-to-wire winner of Belmont's GII Pilgrim S. Oct. 3, sat a stalking trip on the inside in third as the two-for-two Outadore led through fractions of :23.64 and :48.12. Tipped out by Ricardo Santana, Jr. as they straightened for home, Fire At Will collared Outadore at the eighth pole and took off impressively from there to win going away by three lengths. Battleground, last seen capturing the G2 Vintage S. at Goodwood July 28 for Aidan O'Brien, rallied from far back after a wide trip to just get up for second.

Fire At Will, a debut sixth going two turns over the Saratoga lawn Aug. 8, graduated in the slop going seven furlongs in an off-the-turfer there Sept. 2. The $97,000 KEESEP yearling purchase set easy fractions of :25.58 and :50.35 in the Pilgrim and reported home a two-length winner at 13-1 that day.

This is third Breeders' Cup winner for trainer Mike Maker, who also won the 2009 GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile with Furthest Land and 2011 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile with Hansen.

“I tell you we have been high on him since day one, and with each race, he's gotten better,” said Maker, a former assistant to the legendary Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas. “It's very satisfying to get Three Diamonds Farm their very first Breeders' Cup win.”

As for future plans, Maker added, “We'll talk it over with the connections, but I'm going to say he's going to head to Bluewater here for a couple of weeks and go from there. But good thing with a good horse, you have plenty of options.”

Santana added, “I got a beautiful trip. I had plenty of horse in the tank. Thank God everything played out perfect. He put me where he wanted to be and that's why we won.”

Three Diamonds Farm is the nom-de-course of Kirk Wycoff. Wycoff is managing partner of the Philadelphia-based private equity firm Patriot Financial Partners. He has more than 25 years of experience in entrepreneurial banking and previously led Progress Financial Corp.

Three Diamonds Farm, a close second in last year's GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint with Chimney Rock (Artie Schiller), has also campaigned GISWs Bigger Picture (Badge of Silver) and Next Question (Stormy Atlantic). Three Diamonds has also won graded stakes with Cross Border (English Channel) and Field Pass (Lemon Drop Kid) this year.

Three Diamonds Farm, launched in 2008, also breeds to sell, breeds to race and pinhooks yearlings to sell as 2-year-olds, as well. Also active in the claiming game, Three Diamonds Farm can have anywhere between 25-45 horses in training, depending on the time of year.

“We brought the whole family here,” Wycoff said. “We love Kentucky. We love buying and selling and breeding horses. It was great to be in this race because Mike Maker wanted to enter him in the Juvenile, so we had that wrestling match about three weeks ago. But he's a lovely horse. He's good on both surfaces as we saw at Saratoga.”

Wycoff continued, “Thank you to Ricardo. He rode a beautiful race. He knew that you needed to be a little more forwardly placed than maybe the horse wanted to be, and when you watched the first eighth of a mile, he looked to his right, he was very careful, but he didn't stop after he got the horse out of the gate. He got to a great position and that's a credit to him. Good horse, good ride.”

Maker concluded, “Last year we were unlucky to lose with Chimney Rock and Fire At Will made us forget all about it.”

Pedigree Notes:

Declaration of War, who has stood on four continents in his seven seasons at stud, has 18 graded winners and 31 black-type winners from his four crops to race. From the second crop of top sire War Front, Declaration of War was the highweighted older horse in both England and Ireland in 2013 after a campaign that included Group 1 wins in the Juddmonte International S. and Queen Anne S., as well as a ship to North America good for third in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. He has stood at Coolmore in both Ireland and Kentucky, as well as in Australia. Declaration of War was moved to Japan's JBBA's Shizunai Stallion Station for the 2019 breeding season.

Flirt, a Kitten's Joy mare, brought $375,000 as a 2014 Keeneland September yearling, but was unplaced in only one start and resold three years later as a broodmare at the Keeneland November sale for just $8,000 carrying Fire At Will, her first foal. The family has already worked with this cross, as Flirt's half-brother is GISW Decorated Invader (Declaration of War). Flirt has a yearling filly by Distorted Humor, who brought $72,000 as a short yearling at Keeneland January this year, and a weanling colt by Mendelssohn. She was bred back to Lemon Drop Kid for next term. That foal will be inbred 3×5 to Seattle Slew, while Fire At Will is 3×5 to another great, Danzig. Kitten's Joy, recognized as one of the most significant influences among current sires on the grass in North America, has 13 black-type winners to date out of his daughters.

Flirt traces directly to some of the greatest blue hens in the stud book. Rough Shod II is her sixth dam, Moccasin her fifth dam, and Flippers her fourth dam.

Friday, Keeneland
BREEDERS' CUP JUVENILE TURF PRESENTED BY COOLMORE AMERICA-GI, $920,000, Keeneland, 11-6, 2yo, c/g, 1mT, 1:35.81, gd.
1–FIRE AT WILL, 122, c, 2, by Declaration of War
                1st Dam: Flirt, by Kitten's Joy
                2nd Dam: Gamely Girl, by Arch
                3rd Dam: Helstra, by Nureyev
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($97,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Three
Diamonds Farm; B-Troy Rankin (KY); T-Michael J. Maker;
J-Ricardo Santana, Jr.. $520,000. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-0,
$657,932. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Battleground, 122, c, 2, War Front–Found (Ire), by Galileo
(Ire). O-Derrocl Smith, Mrs. John Magnier & Michael Tabor;
B-Orpendale/Chelston/Wynatt (KY); T-Aidan P. O'Brien.
3–Outadore, 122, c, 2, Outwork–Adore You, by Tactical Cat.
($140,000 Wlg '18 KEENOV; $290,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP).
O-Breeze Easy, LLC; B-Deann Baer & Greg Baer DVM (KY);
T-Wesley A. Ward. $90,000.
Margins: 3, NK, HF. Odds: 30.20, 3.80, 9.70.
Also Ran: Cadillac (Ire), Sealiway (Fr), Gretzky the Great, The Lir Jet (Ire), Devilwala (Ire), Ebeko (Ire), Mutasaabeq, Go Athletico (Fr), Public Sector (GB), Abarta, New Mandate (Ire). Scratched: Barrister Tom, Harlan Estate.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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