TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

War of Will

WAR OF WILL (c, War FrontVisions of Clarity {Ire}, by Sadler’s Wells)
O-Gary Barber. B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY). T-Mark Casse. Sales History: $175,000 RNA Ylg ’17 KEESEP; €250,000 2yo ’18 ARQMAY. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 8-3-1-1, $501,569.
Last Start: 9th, GII Louisiana Derby, Mar. 23
Equineline PPsCaulfield on War of Will. KY Derby Points: 60.

War of Will has now fired two consecutive bullet workouts at Keeneland, and both have served as “convincers” to his connections that the €250,000 ARQMAY War Front colt is physically ready to pick up where he left off prior to a scary slipping incident leaving the gate in the GII Louisiana Derby. That misstep caused him to lose his action and he was never truly in that race to win it. But to see the bigger picture, rewind War of Will’s career arc back to a solid foundation of five 2-year-old races (four at a mile or longer), including a trip-troubled fifth in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Trainer Mark Casse then transitioned him to dirt just before the start of his sophomore season, and War of Will responded with three high-impact wins (one in the slop at Churchill and two in stakes at Fair Grounds). Purely from a visual perspective, War of Will catches the eye as a sharp gate-breaker who can fluidly assert himself near the fore of large fields, and the way he advanced upon and inhaled overmatched competition in his first two New Orleans races stamped him as the most authoritative prep-race victor of 2019-until Omaha Beach came along. Right now I’m leaning toward War of Will being the most value-conscious Derby bet, probably somewhere in the 12-1 range.