War Front’s Halladay all the Way in Fourstardave; Brown Foursome Strike Out

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Halladay | Sarah Andrew

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When last seen, Harrell Ventures LLC’s Halladay (War Front) was wrangled back off the pace and ultimately ran fourth in the GII Bernard Baruch H. July 26, allowing Somelikeithotbrown (Big Brown) to post a relatively hassle-free, front-running victory. With that failed experiment in the rear view, it was back to pedal-to-the-metal tactics in Saturday’s GI Fourstardave H. and the gray colt repelled a late bid from defending champion Got Stormy (Get Stormy) to land the spoils. Casa Creed (Jimmy Creed) rallied to complete the trifecta. The victory earns Halladay a fees-paid berth into the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland Nov. 7.

Not the quickest away from the machine, Halladay was asked to pick up the bit and secured the front passing under the wire for the first time, as Got Stormy, Without Parole (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and Emmaus (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) did the early chasing. The opening quarter-mile was up in a manageable :23.85 with Luis Saez, fresh off a five-timer earlier in the week, sitting hard against Halladay. In the meantime, Got Stormy had fallen into the box seat stalking Halladay through the half-mile that was up in :47.19. The 4-year-old still held the call approaching the lane and was forced into an internal two furlongs in :22.96 and things began to look dicey, as Tyler Gaffalione had Got Stormy ready to pounce after popping off the inside in upper stretch. The mare, who’d been off form in three starts this season, had aim entering the final eighth of a mile and got to the saddle towel of Halladay, but the latter pulled out extra and scored going away. Champion Uni (GB) (More Than Ready), favored at 2.15-1 raced well back and failed to make any late impact in seventh, while second choice Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}) finished best of the Chad Brown quartet in fifth.

“We thought we were the speed in the race and we wanted to go ahead and let him do his thing, but he actually didn’t break cleanly and it took him four or five strides to get his legs underneath him,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, winning the Fourstardave for the third time (Red Giant, 2008; Sidney’s Candy, 2011). “Once he was able to get there, he pricked his ears and settled and relaxed nicely and kicked strong coming for home. At the three-sixteenths pole, Got Stormy made a big run at him and I thought it was going to be a close finish from there, but he was able to find a little more.”

Winner of last year’s Tropical Park Derby, Halladay couldn’t find the front and settled for fourth in the GIII Tampa Bay S. Feb. 8 before wiring a Gulfstream allowance over a mile Apr. 4. He accounted for future GI United Nations S. hero Aquaphobia (Giant’s Causeway) in the May 9 Sunshine Forever S. in Hallandale ahead of his Baruch effort.

Pedigree Notes:

With the victory, Halladay–who was purchased privately by bloodstock agent Steve Young after he RNA’d as a Keeneland September yearling–becomes the 22nd G1/GISW and 51st graded/group winner for his hugely successful stallion. He is the first North American Grade I winner bred from a daughter of Tapit and third top-level winner overall out of one of the Gainesway inmate’s producing mares (Gran Alegria {Jpn}; Qafila {Aus}). Tapit is now the broodmare sire of 17 GSWs overall.

Halladay’s dual Grade III-winning dam hails from her sire’s first crop that also included Grade I-winning fillies Stardom Bound, Careless Jewel and Laragh. Hightap was led out unsold on a bid of $130,000 when offered in foal to Gun Runner at Keeneland November in 2018 and produced a filly in 2019. She changed hands for $85,000 in foal to Union Rags at KEENOV last year, foaled a filly earlier this year and was bred to Hard Spun and Arrogate this breeding season.

Saturday, Saratoga
FOURSTARDAVE H.-GI, $400,000, Saratoga, 8-22, 3yo/up, 1mT, 1:33.32, gd.
1–HALLADAY, 118, c, 4, by War Front
                1st Dam: Hightap (MGSW, $300,345), by Tapit
                2nd Dam: Don’tellmichelle, by Regal Classic
                3rd Dam: L’Insatiable, by Caveat
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN, 1ST GRADE I WIN. ($225,000 RNA
Ylg ’17 KEESEP). O-Harrell Ventures, LLC; B-Gainesway
Thoroughbreds Ltd. & Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY);
T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Luis Saez. $220,000. Lifetime Record:
14-6-2-4, $517,485. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Got Stormy, 118, m, 5, Get Stormy–Super Phoebe, by
Malabar Gold. ($23,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $45,000 2yo ’17
EASMAY). O-Gary Barber; B-Mt. Joy Stables, Pope McLean,
Marc McLean & Pope McLean Jr. (KY); T-Mark Casse. $80,000.
3–Casa Creed, 118, c, 4, Jimmy Creed–Achalaya, by Bellamy
Road. ($15,000 Ylg ’17 OBSWIN; $105,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP).
O-LRE Racing LLC & JEH Racing Stable LLC; B-Silver Springs
Stud, LLC (KY); T-William I. Mott. $48,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, 1 1/4, 1 1/4. Odds: 5.30, 10.70, 10.60.
Also Ran: Emmaus (Ire), Raging Bull (Fr), Without Parole (GB), Uni (GB), Valid Point, Chewing Gum. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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