War Front Colt Runs to the Money in Lecomte

12th at FG , Gr. Stk, $200,000GIII Lecomte S. (1m70yds)Winner: War of Will, c, 3 by War Front

War of Will | Hodges Photography

By War Front, out of a mare by Sadler's Wells and bred by the Niarchos Family's Flaxman Holdings Ltd., War of Will is–on paper, at a minimum–meant to be a turf horse. With turf Grade I/Group 1 winners such as Spinning World (Nureyev), Good Journey (Nureyev), Chimes of Freedom (Private Account) and Denon (Pleasant Colony) in his immediate family, who would really argue otherwise? Runner-up in the GI Summer S. and a competitive fifth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, all as a maiden, the bay colt was switched to the main track and dismantled a Churchill maiden special weight group by five lengths Nov. 24, albeit over sloppy underfoot conditions many turf horses adapt to. Confronted with a dry strip while making his sophomore debut in Saturday's GIII Lecomte S. in the 'Breezy' Easy, War of Will stamped himself as one to keep an eye on over the coming months with a thoroughly dominating performance.

Well-backed into 8-5 off his morning line of 6-1, War of Will looked to bobble ever so slightly leaving gate seven, but he quickly had his feet back underneath him and was on the back of Sugar Bowl S. runner-up Manny Wah (Will Take Charge) at the first corner before checking off that one's heels and pulling into the three path for clear sailing passing the seven-furlong pole. Tugging for his head beneath Tyler Gaffalione, War of Will was almost a reluctant third punching the breeze through the middle stages, though he did appear to settle slightly better as the field hit the second turn with 3 1/2 panels yet to traverse. Allowed to creep quietly closer on the bend, War of Will drew alongside Manny Wah under a hold at the five-sixteenths, showed sharp acceleration to lead into the final furlong and a half and was punched out under hands-and-heels urging from Gaffalione through the wire. Hog Creek Hustle (Overanalyze) closed decent ground on a day where horses near the front excelled and lost no admirers in second, while Manny Wah held for third.

War of Will rounded out the trifecta on his seven-furlong grass debut at Woodbine Aug. 24 after showing good early speed, then completed a War Front exacta behind Fog of War (out of a Galileo {Ire} mare) in the Summer. He made the majority of the running before weakening to third in Keeneland's GIII Bourbon S. Oct. 7 and was an even fifth in that deep ground on Breeders' Cup day. The move to the dirt, suggested by Barber, did the trick and War of Will prepped for the Lecomte by outworking 142 horses Jan. 12, going a half-mile in :48 flat.

Barber enjoyed a particularly productive Saturday from coast to coast. His co-owned Needs Supervision (Paynter) took the Silverbulletday S. one race before the Lecomte, and his hot pink silks had already been carried to victory at Aqueduct earlier in the day by GIII Toboggan S. winner Solid Wager (Birdonthewire). Barber's Conquest Tsunami (Stormy Atlantic) finished off the day with a third-place run in the GII Palos Verdes S. for good measure.

Pedigree Notes:

Offered at the 2017 Keeneland September sale, War of Will was led out unsold on a bid of $175,000, but was knocked down to Justin Casse for €250,000 at the Arqana May Breeze-Up Sale (breeze video). He is one of six winners from eight to race for his stakes-winning dam, a half-sister to Flaxman's aforementioned four-time G1/GISW Spinning World (including the 1997 Breeders' Cup Mile). War of Will's Group 1-winning third dam produced G1SW Chimes of Freedom, the dam of Eclipse Award winner Aldebaran (Mr. Prospector), Good Journey, SW Tomisue's Indy (A.P. Indy), Denon and Sea of Showers (Seattle Slew), victorious in the GIII Jenny Wiley S. for Bobby Frankel. The 79th black-type winner and 43rd graded winner for War Front, War of Will is kin to a 2-year-old colt by Tapit. Visions of Clarity, barren to Honor Code for 2018, was most recently bred to American Pharoah.

Saturday, Fair Grounds
LECOMTE S.-GIII, $200,000, Fair Grounds, 1-19, 3yo, 1m 70y, 1:43.44, ft.
1–WAR OF WILL, 122, c, 3, by War Front
1st Dam: Visions of Clarity (Ire) (SW-Fr), by Sadler's Wells
2nd Dam: Imperfect Circle, by Riverman
3rd Dam: Aviance (Ire), by Northfields
RNA Ylg '17 KEESEP; €250,000 2yo '18 ARQMAY). O-Gary
Barber; B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY); T-Mark E. Casse;
J-Tyler Gaffalione. $120,000. Lifetime Record: 6-2-1-1,
$251,569. *1/2 to Pathfork (Distorted Humor), Hwt. Colt Irish
Free Hand & G1SW-Ire, $237,521; and Tacticus (A.P. Indy),
MSW, $184,250. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click
for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Hog Creek Hustle, 122, c, 3, Overanalyze–Candy Fortune, by
Candy Ride (Arg). ($150,000 Ylg '17 KEESEP). O-Something
Special Racing, LLC; B-Hargus Sexton, Sandra Sexton & Silver
Fern Farm, LLC (KY); T-Vickie L. Foley. $40,000.
3–Manny Wah, 122, c, 3, Will Take Charge–Battlefield Angel, by Proud Citizen. ($175,000 Ylg '17 FTKJUL). O-Susan Moulton; B-Martha Jane Mulholland & Modo Tesio Equine, LLC (KY); T-Wayne M. Catalano. $20,000.
Margins: 4, 2, HF. Odds: 1.60, 13.40, 9.90.
Also Ran: Wicked Indeed, Plus Que Parfait, Chase the Ghost, Roiland, Night Ops, Tackett, Tight Ten, Malpais, Mo Speed. Scratched: Admire, Mr. Money, West Texas. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

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