War Front's Liguria Takes The Jimmy Durante

Liguria | Benoit

Whether it was the memory of her Grade I-winning full-sister just five years ago in California or the ability she showed in breaking her maiden in October before shipping across the country for the GIII Jimmy Durante S., Liguria (War Front–Lerici, by Woodman) was tabbed as the favorite and was spot on as she trumped a full field in the Del Mar stakes for 2-year-old fillies on the grass. The Alpha Delta Stables runner was one of five in the Jimmy Durante coming into the race fresh off a maiden victory and one of four previously ridden by Flavien Prat, three in their most recent starts. Decorated My Life (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), who recently shipped over from Ireland, and Sell the Dream (Munnings), second behind Comanche Country (Ire) (Highland Reel {Ire}) in the GIII Surfer Girl S. Oct 9, filled out the trifecta.

Sent from the 11th stall, Liguria settled outside and midpack. She was clear but four wide into the first turn and failed to save any ground as fractions ticked by in :22.52 and :47.33 while Ami Please (Goldencents) showed the way. Still clear, but five or six paths wide on the final turn, Liguria switched leads, pinned her ears, and reeled in Ami Please with ease. The bay kicked clear by 2 1/4 lengths as Decorated My Life closed from the back to chase her home and finish a nose in front of Sell the Dream in a tight photo.

“We always liked this filly,” said Chad Brown's assistant Jose Hernandez. “She came to Del Mar in good shape; training really well. She just did her thing today. I told [Prat] my boss said just warm her up really good and put her in a good position and go from there.”

Brown was winning his second Jimmy Durante after Fluffy Socks (Slumber {GB}) took the race for him in 2020.

Prat was winning his first Jimmy Durante. “She was traveling well and I was confident,” said Prat. “When I rode her in New York, she showed me a good turn of foot. I thought I'd get it again today and it worked out that way.”

A $275,000 Keeneland September buy for Steven W. Young–who also purchased her GISW full-sister Avenge for $650,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling–Liguria kicked off her career with a runner-up finish in a Sept. 11 maiden going a mile on the turf at Monmouth. She was back Oct. 22 in another maiden special weight at the Belmont at Aqueduct meet, stretching out another sixteenth and winning by a neck as the 3-1 choice with Prat aboard for the first time.

 Pedigree Notes:

Liguria is the fourth of Lerici's foals by War Front to start and the third black-type winner, following Avenge, twice winner of the GI Rodeo Drive S., and 'TDN Rising Star' Pistoletto, who is GSP in England. Lerici also has SW & GSP Lira (Giant's Causeway) and produced a filly by Tiz the Law this spring. Black-type runs rampant in this family and includes European champion Mark of Esteem (Ire) (Darshaan {GB}), as well as GSW & GISP Chimichurri (Elusive Quality)–a $2.1-million purchase at Keeneland November in 2005–and her descendants, which include Canadian champion Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d'Oro) and GISWs Hard Not to Love (Hard Spun) and Secret Spice (Discreet Cat). Lerici was covered by Uncle Mo for next term.

Claiborne's stellar War Front gets his 60th graded winner with Liguria's win, as well as his 109th black-type winner worldwide. His 13 stakes winners in 2022 include Keeneland's GI Coolmore Turf Mile S. winner Annapolis, GIII John Henry Turf Championship S. winner Masteroffoxhounds, GIII Seagram Cup S. winner War Bomber (Ire), and GIII Eatontown S. winner Stolen Holiday. Lerici's graded pair of Avenge and Liguria are Woodman's only two stakes winners as a broodmare sire by War Front, despite an eye-popping total of 235 black-type winners out of his daughters.

Saturday, Del Mar
JIMMY DURANTE S.-GIII, $103,500, Del Mar, 12-3, 2yo, f, 1mT, 1:36.16, fm.
1–LIGURIA, 120, f, 2, by War Front
                1st Dam: Lerici, by Woodman
                2nd Dam: Balinese, by Nijinsky II
                3rd Dam: Homespun, by Round Table
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($275,000
Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Alpha Delta Stables, LLC; B-Tada Nobutaka
(KY); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Flavien Prat. $60,000. Lifetime
Record: 3-2-1-0, $123,250. *Full to Pistoletto, GSP-Eng, SP-Ire,
$143,538; 1/2 to Lira (Giant's Causeway), MSW & GSP,
$163,669; Full to Avenge, MGISW, $868,341. Werk Nick
Rating: C. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Decorated My Life (Ire), 120, f, 2, Mehmas (Ire)–Doris Marie
(Ire), by Creachadoir (Ire). 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED
BLACK TYPE. (£82,000 Ylg '21 GOFFUK). O-CYBT & Michael
Nentwig; B-Tally Ho Stud (IRE); T-Simon Callaghan. $20,000.
3–Sell the Dream, 120, f, 2, Munnings–Enayat Alsalam, by
Run Away and Hide. O-Edward Rusty J. Brown, Alan P. Klein &
Philip Lebherz; B-PT Syndicate #1 LLC (CA); T-Brian J. Koriner.
$12,000.
Margins: 2 1/4, NO, NK. Odds: 1.40, 20.20, 6.40.
Also Ran: Ami Please, Ragtime Rose, Thebestisyettobe (Ire), Pallotta Sisters, Showgirl Lynne B, Quickly Park It, Bizzy Gal, Jordan, Lollipop Gumdrop.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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