Gufo Puts Them to the 'Sword'

Gufo | Sarah Andrew


Otter Bend Stables LLC's Gufo (Declaration of War) employed his oft-decisive turn of foot to find daylight at a crucial stage of Saturday's GI Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Invitational S. at Saratoga and kicked home smartly to peg back the progressive Mira Misson (Noble Mission {GB}) in the waning strides and successfully defend his title in the 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland Nov. 5. Soldier Rising (GB) (Frankel {GB}) closed off well from the back of the pack to complete a 1-3 finish for the Christophe Clement stable.

“He's been a very good horse these past three years,” said Clement, who also won the Sword Dancer with Honor Glide in 1999 and with Winchester in 2011. “Today, he had a great trip. He was never that far back and he was travelling well. When [jockey] Joel [Rosario] asked him, he exploded in the stretch. I'm delighted. I thought the horse deserved the win.”

While favored Broome (Ire) (Australia {GB}) missed the break and was immediately under a Ryan Moore ride, Gufo left there running and settled in about seventh position, as the free-wheeling Tribhuvan (Fr) (Toronado {Ire}) set a moderate pace from 2020 Sword Dancer hero Channel Maker (English Channel).

Gufo, blinkered for the first time this season, continued to travel covered up and slightly behind midfield and was ridden quietly by Joel Rosario passing midway, but those who swallowed the 3-2 about this year's G2 Hardwicke S. hero were beginning to sweat, as the 6-year-old was up and down and making very hard work of it approaching the final half-mile. Broome was back into the bridle by the time the Sword Dancer field had reached the final turn and traveled better three wide, but Rosario asked Gufo for some acceleration and beat Broome to the spot, floating the Aidan O'Brien runner wide as they neared the stretch. In the meantime, Mira Mission, who raced one out and one back in the slipstream of Channel Maker for a good portion of the journey, eased out and easily claimed Tribhuvan in upper stretch. For a few strides, it appeared that he had pinched a winning break, but Gufo leveled out and attacked the line to score narrowly. Broome could do no better than fourth.

“It was a good trip,” said Rosario. “He really came with [a] run when asked and we're lucky to get it today. He really responded well but you never know if the horse in front will keep going, but he responded to everything I asked him to do. He looked like he likes it here, he won it last year and did it again this year.”

Never a factor when 10th in last year's Turf, Gufo resumed as good as ever when whooshing home by two lengths in the GII Pan American S. at Gulfstream Apr. 2. Runner-up in Belmont's GI Man o' War S. over a mile and three furlongs May 14, he was simply left too much to do when third to Tribhuvan in the GI Resorts World Manhattan S. over 10 panels downstate June 11 and when fifth to Adhamo (Ire) (Intello {Ger}) in the 11-furlong GI United Nations S. at Monmouth July 23.

Pedigree Notes:

Gufo is one of seven worldwide top-level scorers for Declaration of War, who has also accounted for winners of prestigious events such as the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, Poule d'Essai des Poulains, Queensland Oaks and Melbourne Cup from just a handful of crops to race. The stallion currently calls Japan home, where he has been represented (through Aug. 26) by seven individual winners from his first local crop of runners.

A half-brother to the versatile fan-favorite Hogy, Gufo is bred on a variant of the Danzig cross over Seeking the Gold mares that has resulted in the likes of Omaha Beach–also a son of War Front–as well as Pomeroy (Boundary), Eclipse Award winner Questing (GB) (Hard Spun) and Signs of Blessing (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}).

Floy is the dam of a yearling Preservationist filly named Poet, did not conceive to Hard Spun for 2022 and was most recently served by both the latter and Oscar Performance.




Saturday, Saratoga
RESORTS WORLD CASINO SWORD DANCER S.-GI, $750,000, Saratoga, 8-27, 4yo/up, 1 1/2mT, 2:28.92, gd.
1–GUFO, 122, h, 5, by Declaration of War
               1st Dam: Floy, by Petionville
               2nd Dam: Risen Miss, by Peteski
               3rd Dam: Eddie's Star, by Risen Star
O-Otter Bend Stables, LLC; B-John Little & Stephen Cainelli
(KY); T-Christophe Clement; J-Joel Rosario. $400,000.
Lifetime Record: 19-9-3-5, $1,983,030. *1/2 to Hogy (Offlee
Wild), MGSW-USA, SP-Can, $1,339,782. Werk Nick Rating:
D+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for
the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Mira Mission, 118, g, 4, Noble Mission (GB)–Kazamira, by
Dynaformer. O-Mary Abeel Sullivan Revocable Trust;
B-Mary A Sullivan (KY); T-Ian R. Wilkes. $140,000.
3–Soldier Rising (GB), 118, g, 4, Frankel (GB)–Sahrawi (Ger),
by Pivotal (GB). (240,000gns RNA Ylg '19 TATOCT).
O-Madaket Stables LLC, Michael Dubb, Morris Bailey,
Wonder Stables and Michael J. Caruso; B-Dayton
Investments Ltd. (GB); T-Christophe Clement. $75,000.
Margins: HF, HF, HF. Odds: 4.40, 18.60, 13.70.
Also Ran: Broome (Ire), Cross Border, Tribhuvan (Fr), Cold Hard Cash, Adhamo (Ire), Rockemperor (Ire), Channel Maker.
Click for the chart or the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. Mission Breeders' Cup: Stephen Foster Leads Saturday Graded Racing
  2. Do Deuce Faces Tough Task In Takarazuka Kinen
  3. Colonial Downs Barn Area Prepped For 2024 Season
  4. Luttrell's Tisbury Stud Purchases Springland Farm
  5. Peter Pan Headlines Saturday's Stacked Belmont at Aqueduct Card

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.