War Front's Seal Team Proves Narrowly Best in Twilight Derby

Seal Team | Benoit

ARCADIA, CA – The lightly raced Bass family homebred Seal Team (GB) (War Front) sliced his way through traffic at the top of the stretch and made his graded stakes debut a winning one in Saturday's GII Twilight Derby at Santa Anita.

The 7-1 shot broke sharply and was a bit headstrong while racing in tight quarters heading into the clubhouse turn. He began to settle beneath Umberto Rispoli from there and raced on the inside in eighth through fractions of :23.56 and :47.18. Traveling well with a wall of horses in front of him at the top of the stretch, the bay threaded the needle beautifully as they straightened and produced a powerful run down the center to score by a half-length in the nine-furlong affair.

First-time gelding Silver Knott (GB) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), beaten just a nose as the favorite in last fall's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, nosed out unlucky favorite Webslinger (Constitution) for second.

“We have always had big hopes for this horse,” winning trainer Richard Mandella said. “We thought he would be a good one. I didn't tell Umberto (Rispoli) a thing in the paddock. I just wished him luck.”

Seal Team, a debut second sprinting on the Del Mar lawn last November, got his picture taken in two of his previous three starts this term, including an optional claimer over this same course and distance last time Oct. 8.

Pedigree Notes:

Seal Team becomes the 64th graded/group winner (115th stakes winner) worldwide for leading sire War Front.

The two-time graded winner Mrs McDougal, a sales-topping $1.6-million purchase by agent Steve Young on behalf of the winner's connections at the 2018 KEEJAN sale, is also represented by the unraced 2-year-old colt Gun Barrel City (Frankel {GB}); a yearling colt by Curlin who RNA'd for $175,000 at KEESEP; and a Connect colt of this year. She was bred back to Charlatan.


Saturday, Santa Anita
TWILIGHT DERBY-GII, $254,000, Santa Anita, 11-4, 3yo, 1 1/8mT, 1:47.29, fm.
1–SEAL TEAM (GB), 124, c, 3, by War Front
                1st Dam: Mrs McDougal (MGSW & GISP, $496,736),
                                by Medaglia d'Oro
                2nd Dam: Distorted Passion, by Distorted Humor
                3rd Dam: Arianna's Passion, by Unbridled's Song
and Ramona S. Bass II; B-Bass Stables, LLC (GB); T-Richard E.
Mandella; J-Umberto Rispoli. $150,000. Lifetime Record:
5-3-1-1, $260,960. Werk Nick Rating: A.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Silver Knott (GB), 124, g, 3, Lope de Vega (Ire)–God Given
(GB), by Nathaniel (Ire). (725,000gns Ylg '21 TATOCT).
O-Godolphin, LLC; B-St Albans Bloodstock LLP (GB); T-Charles
Appleby. $50,000.
3–Webslinger, 124, g, 3, Constitution–Arana, by Hard Spun.
($45,000 RNA Ylg '21 KEESEP; $25,000 Ylg '21 FTKOCT; $45,000
RNA 2yo '22 OBSAPR; $50,000 2yo '22 OBSOPN). O-D. J. Stable
LLC; B-Kenneth L. & Sarah K. Ramsey (KY); T-Mark E. Casse.
Margins: HF, NO, NO. Odds: 7.30, 3.30, 2.50.
Also Ran: Reiquist, Almendares (GB), Watsonville, Panic Alarm (Ire), Be Your Best (Ire), Reincarnate, Packs a Wahlop, Maltese Falcon (Ire), Mondego (GB), California Bay.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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