War of Will Back to Winning Ways in Maker’s Mark

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War of Will | Coady

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Looking for his first trip to the winner’s circle since annexing the GI Preakness S. some 14 months ago, Gary Barber’s War of Will (War Front) did it toughest, but called on all his class and determination to scratch out a short-head success in the GI Maker’s Mark Mile as the Keeneland summer meeting reached its mid-point Friday.

Drawn widest in the field of 10, the handsome blaze-faced bay raced three off the fence leaving the stretch for the first time and punched the breeze from up close as High Crime (Violence) set sensible fractions of :23.19 and :46.91 in advance of fellow longshot Parlor (Lonhro {Aus}). High Crime carried a tenuous advantage into the final two furlongs, but Parlor raced under a long Florent Geroux hold as they reached the entrance to the straight and struck to the front an eighth of a mile from the line. Parlor led grimly into the final 50 yards and was looking for the line, but War of Will was kept to his task by Preakness-winning rider Tyler Gaffalione and got home half a head to the good. Favored Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}) sat a midfield trip and hit the line with good energy to be third, just in advance of his fast-finishing stablemate Without Parole (GB) (Frankel {GB}).

War of Will failed to regain the form that saw him score at Old Hilltop in four subsequent appearances last season, his best effort coming when a close third to upstart Math Wizard (Algorithms) in the GI Pennsylvania Derby in September. Ninth after setting the pace in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic, he resumed in the GI Shoemaker Mile S. at Santa Anita May 25, crossing the line fifth before being demoted to sixth behind Raging Bull.

“Coming into this race, if you’d asked me two weeks ago, I was a little bit nervous,” admitted David Carroll, assistant to trainer Mark Casse. “I didn’t think he was training quite as sharp as he could. But his last work was like, ‘OK he’s back.’ I felt a lot more confident. We’re happy to see him back on turf; he’s bred for it. Felt like today with the pace scenario he’d be laying close, and what a ride for Tyler. It was an unbelievable race.”

Pedigree Notes:

War of Will is the fourth of his tremendously successful sire’s offspring to win the Maker’s Mark Mile in the last nine years (Data Link–2012; Gary Barber’s Jack Milton–2015; American Patriot–2017) and was led out unsold at Keeneland September in 2017 before changing hands post-RNA. He fetched €250,000 from Justin Casse at the Arqana May Breeze-Up Sale the following spring.

War of Will is one of 21 top-level scorers for War Front, of which fully six are out of mares by Sadler’s Wells (3) or his prodigious son Galileo (Ire) (3). The stakes-winning Visions of Clarity is a half-sister to Spinning World (Nureyev), who carried the Flaxman silks and Cash Asmussen to a two-length victory in the 1997 GI Breeders’ Cup Mile at Hollywood Park. Visions of Clarity is also a half-sister to Rangoon Ruby (Kingmambo), the dam of 2007 G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe third Sagara (Sadler’s Wells). War of Will’s third dam includes Eclipse Award-winning sprinter and GI Met Mile hero Aldebaran (Mr. Prospector); GISW Good Journey (Nureyev); and Sea of Showers (Seattle Slew), who won the 2003 Jenny Wiley S. when it was contested as a Grade III.

War of Will has an unraced 3-year-old half-brother named Visionit (Tapit) and a yearling half-brother by American Pharoah. Visions of Clarity was bred back to War Front during the most recent breeding season.

Friday, Keeneland
MAKER’S MARK MILE S.-GI, $300,000, Keeneland, 7-10, 4yo/up, 1mT, 1:34.55, fm.
1–WAR OF WILL, 118, c, 4, 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
($175,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP; €250,000 2yo ’18 ARQMAY). O-Gary Barber; B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY); T-Mark E Casse; J-Tyler Gaffalione. $180,000. Lifetime Record: 16-5-1-2, $1,796,069. *1/2 to Pathfork (Distorted Humor), Hwt. 2yo Colt & G1SW-Ire, $237,871; and to Tacticus (A.P. Indy), MSW, $197,571. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Parlor, 118, g, 6, Lonhro (Aus)–My McIntosh, by Pulpit. ($60,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Michael M Hui, Hooties Racing LLC & WSS Racing LLC; B-KatieRich Farms (KY); T-Michael J Maker. $60,000.
3–Raging Bull (Fr), 123, h, 5, Dark Angel (Ire)–Rosa Bonheur, by Mr. Greeley. (€90,000 Ylg ’16 GOFORB). O-Peter M Brant; B-Dayton Investments Limited (FR); T-Chad C Brown. $30,000.
Margins: NO, NK, HF. Odds: 5.90, 24.50, 1.20.
Also Ran: Without Parole (GB), Emmaus (Ire), English Bee, Hembree, High Crime, Everfast, Next Shares. 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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