Declaration of War

This Side Up: It's Elementary as Fire Tests Water on Dirt

On the day that the leading grass juvenile of 2020 rolls the dice on the GI Kentucky Derby trail, here's a really important question for every American horseman. Just what was it about European turf star Mishriff (Ire) that qualified him to run down as irresistible a dirt runner as Charlatan (Speightstown) for the richest prize in our sport last weekend? The answer is so straightforward that it condenses into a single word, yet the implications continue to elude almost everyone in our industry. And that word is: opportunity. There...

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Fire At Will Likely to Return in Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth

Three Diamonds Farm's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Fire At Will (Declaration of War) breezed five furlongs at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning in preparation for a likely start in the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Feb. 27. He was timed in 1:01.71 (27/51) in his fifth breeze in anticipation of his 2021 debut. "He went super," trainer Michael Maker said. "I think we're going to the Fountain of Youth." After finishing sixth on turf in his Aug. 8 debut at Saratoga, Fire At Will broke his maiden in the...

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Rankins Cash In on Flirt Find

Taken a chance on a cheap mare at the November sale? What are your thoughts, now, as you lean against the fence and watch her figuring out the hierarchy among her new companions? Did you really see something, when she stood up on that rostrum, that everybody else missed? Turn back the clock three years, and that was just what Troy Rankin and his son Cody were asking themselves, after taking a 4-year-old daughter of Kitten's Joy up the road from Keeneland to their home on Paris Pike. Tollgate Farm...

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Declaration of War Colt Sets Tote Ablaze in Juvenile Turf

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...

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Decorated Invader Turns Back for Hill Prince

West Point Thoroughbreds, William Sandbrook, William Freeman and Cheryl Manning's Decorated Invader (Declaration of War), a close fifth as the 4-5 favorite in the 1 3/16-mile Saratoga Derby last time Aug. 15, resurfaces in Sunday's GII Hill Prince S. at Belmont Park. Last term's GI Summer S. winner and unlucky GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf fourth-place finisher kicked off his sophomore campaign with three straight ultra-impressive victories, including Belmont's GII Pennine Ridge S. at this same one-mile distance June 20 and Saratoga's GII National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame...

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Gufo Flies Home to Belmont Derby Score

Gufo (Declaration of War), favored at 7-5 in Saturday's GI Belmont Derby Invitational, a 'Win and You're In' for the GI Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland, came storming down the stretch to deliver a smart, one-length victory over No Word (Silent Name {Jpn)). Mo Ready (Uncle Mo) was third. Gufo capped a four-race winning streak with come-from-behind scores in Gulfstream's English Channel S. May 2 and Delaware's GIII Kent S. July 4. He established a new course record in the latter. He rallied from seventh to finish a very close...

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Declaration of War Colt Graduates in Rained-Off With Anticipation

Three Diamonds Farm's Fire At Will (Declaration of War) came from off the pace to win his main track debut in an off-turf renewal of the GIII With Anticipation S. at Saratoga Wednesday. Sent off the 3-1 second choice behind the Wesley Ward-trained Blame the Booze (Blame), Fire At Will was allowed to ease back to last of four, well behind the favorite, who carved out opening splits of :22.60 and :45.61 on the sloppy and sealed track. Kicking into another gear passing the five-sixteenths marker, the colt gained the...

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'Invader' Building On Deep Foundations

We're all guilty of it. A horse shows talent; we seek its source in the pedigree; and, however discouraging the initial sifting, eventually we pluck out some plausibly glinting nugget to brandish triumphantly aloft. "See! This proves there is a seam of gold!" And that's fair enough. We all have a stake in the viability of selective breeding, albeit we don't actually want its outcomes to become too predictable. If the mysteries of pedigree were entirely transparent, the guy who buys the sale-topper would win the Derby every year and...

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Declaration of War Filly a First-Out Winner at the Spa

5th-Saratoga, $62,000, (S), Msw, 8-6, 2yo, f, 5 1/2fT, 1:03.82, fm. GUARDIAN MOON (f, 2, Declaration of War--Elatha, by Malibu Moon) recorded a professional 1 1/4-length debut victory over the Saratoga lawn Thursday. The 7-5 favorite pressed the pace through an opening quarter in :22.27. The bay filly stuck her head in front at the top of the stretch and was clear through a quarter in :45.98. She turned back a mild challenge from Herald Angel (Exaggerator) late to win with authority. Guardian Moon is the first foal out of...

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Cheri Manning Enjoys a Decorated Start to Ownership

   For red hot trainer Christophe Clement, there's much to look forward to as his blossoming turf star Decorated Invader (Declaration of War) progresses through his sophomore season. But for owner Cheri Manning, the talented colt has already given her the ride of a lifetime. In partnership with West Point Thoroughbreds, William Freeman and William Sandbrook, Manning has watched her horse cross the wire first in a juvenile maiden race at Saratoga, then the GI Summer S., the Cuter Bay S., the GII Pennine Ridge S. and most recently, the...

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Decorated Invader Continues Perfect Season in Hall of Fame

The uber-talented Decorated Invader returned to the scene of his graduation last summer to earn his third graded victory from as many tries this season. He was reined in to sit second as Get Smokin zipped to the front and opened up a double-digit advantage. The favorite began to creep closer after six panels in 1:13.52, and looked to have the frontrunner in his sights as they straightened for home. Get Smokin wasn't done yet, and offered up some resistance to midstretch, but Decorated Invader found more in reserves and...

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'Invader' Looks Imposing in Hall of Fame

Four-for-six Decorated Invader (Declaration of War) appears awful tough to beat in Saturday's GII National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S. at Saratoga. Second to subsequent MGSW Field Pass (Lemon Drop Kid) on local debut here a year ago, he broke through convincingly next out before notching a big win in Woodbine's GI Summer S. in September. He could only manage fourth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf after a tough trip that had many arguing that he might've been best, and he's lent support to that claim...

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