By Ryan Martin
• War of Will ‘Could Not Have Looked Any Better’ in Penultimate Louisiana Derby Work
• Keeneland’s Palisades Turf Sprint a Possibility for Allowance Winner Real News
• Limari Pleases Cox in Friday Allowance Win
• McGee Happy With Oaklawn Allowance Winner Go Google Yourself
WAR OF WILL ‘COULD NOT HAVE LOOKED ANY BETTER’ IN PENULTIMATE LOUISIANA DERBY WORK
Not a thing has changed with the way two-time Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots graded stakes winner War of Will has trained and the connections wouldn’t have it any other way. In his most important work in preparation for the Grade II $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby on March 23, trainer Mark Casse’s assistant David Carroll was beyond happy with his move.
Owned by Gary Barber, the 3-year-old son of War Front went to the track at 5:45 a.m. under Declan Carroll and worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 over a fast main track at Fair Grounds. War of Will recorded eighth-mile fractions of :12.40, :24.60, :37.80 and :50.20 and galloped out in 1:13.80. The breeze was his second work since a victory in the Grade II Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford on February 16, where he earned 50 qualifying points on the Road To The Kentucky Derby. Last Saturday, he went a half-mile in :50.20.
“We just wanted to keep him focused and have a target today,” Carroll said. “Once he had his target and it was time to go, he just kept on going. I thought last time maybe he eased up a little bit but today he was totally focused and Declan was very, very happy with him. He’s just a beautiful piece of work. Every time he works it’s just that way with him. He’s very push button and is in a great place mentally and physically. The horse is just a privilege to be around and has been this way from the word ‘go’ last year.”
As the final Fair Grounds prep on the Road To The Kentucky Derby series, the Louisiana Derby (100-40-20-10) has a tendency to attract quality horses from across the country wishing to garner points towards the Run for the Roses.
“At the end of the day, we’re all going to be respectful of the opposition regardless of who comes,” Carroll said. “Our focus is on him and him only, just making sure that he’s happy and healthy. After that it’s up to him. Hopefully we’ll have a good couple of more weeks and get there safe and win his race.”
Purchased from the Arqana Breeze Up Sale in Deauville, France War of Will is out of the Sadler’s Wells broodmare Visions of Clarity (Ire.) who is a half-sister to 1997 Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Spinning World. Visions of Clarity also produced 2010 Group 1 Vincent
O’Brien National Stakes victor Pathfork. Other members of his family include North American Grade I turf winners Good Journey and Denon.
War of Will is currently atop the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with a total of 60 points.
Also making appearances on the Saturday morning work tab were Fair Grounds stakes winners Silver Dust and Needs Supervision, who also are slated for graded stakes action on Louisiana Derby Day.
Owned by Tom Durant, Silver Dust worked half-mile in 48.40 for trainer Bret Calhoun in preparation for the Grade II $400,000 New Orleans Handicap with regular rider Jack Gilligan up. The 5-year-old gelded son of Tapit won the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap last time out and has won or placed in his last six starts.
“The most impressive thing about the work was the gallop out, he looked like a monster galloping out,” Calhoun said. “We’re very happy with the work and he’s doing very well. I’m sure the water will be a little deeper in his next race but the good thing is that he’s run here and hasn’t had to ship around. Hopefully that will be an advantage for us.”
Originally trained by Randy Morse, Silver Dust arrived in Calhoun’s barn last winter and has developed a nice pattern of consistency since. However, Calhoun admits that there were some difficult times in training him.
“He’s been a bit of a challenge to say the least,” Calhoun said “Frustrating at times and rewarding at times, but we always knew that he had a lot of talent. He hasn’t shown up in the afternoon as much as we thought he should but he finally broke through in the Mineshaft.”
Bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation, Silver Dust was purchased for $510,000 from the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s March Sale of Two-Year-Olds In Training, where he was consigned by DeMeric Sales. He is out of the stakes-winning Hard Spun broodmare Filare l’Oro and is from the same family as four-time graded stakes winner Gouldings Green and Grade I winner Cross Traffic – last year’s leading first crop sire.
Following the renovation break during Saturday morning training hours, trainer Jerry O’Dwyer breezed Silverbulletday Stakes winner Needs Supervision a half-mile in her first work back since a troubled fifth in the Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes on February 16.
With her trainer aboard for the work, the 3-year-old daughter of Paynter completed her four-furlong journey in a time of :48.40 and will target the Grade II $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks Presented by Twinspires.com.
“We put her in behind a horse going a half-mile,” O’Dwyer said. “That just gave us a guide and we just went up to the inside of that horse and stayed together for the last furlong home. I didn’t let her gallop out too much today, it was her first work back since the Rachel. She seemed to move fine and do everything fine.”
Owned by Howling Pigeon Farms, Madaket Stables, Gary Barber and Wachtel Stables, Needs Supervision entered the Rachel Alexandra Stakes off of a three-race win streak. Prior to winning the Silverbulletday Stakes, she was a second out maiden winner over the main track at Laurel Park over three next out winners, including stakes winner Fashion Faux Pas. She then defeated graded stakes-placed fillies Meadow Dance and Lightscameraaction at Churchill Downs by five lengths on November 24.
KEENELAND’S PALISADES TURF SPRINT A POSSIBILITY FOR ALLOWANCE WINNER REAL NEWS
Following a nice first level allowance victory over Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ Stall-Wilson Turf Course on Friday afternoon, Town and Country Racing and Gary Broad’s Real News could target stakes action in his next start.
Trainer Al Stall, Jr. mentioned the $100,000 Palisades Turf Sprint at Keeneland on April 4 as a possible spot for the son of The Factor, who defeated winners on grass after breaking his maiden over a sloppy Fair Grounds main track on January 24.
Stall also trains Real News’ full-brother Bam Bam Bryan, a two-time winner at Fair Grounds. Both horses are out of the stakes-placed Tactical Advantage broodmare Missy’s Advantage.
“He and his full brother are two completely different types of horses,” Stall said. “It’s funny how they’re full brothers but they don’t act like or look like full brothers. As a yearling we looked at him because of his brother and Town and Country bought him. He was a big strong colt, we took our time with him. Yesterday he overcame a lot, lengthened his stride the last part and we were all impressed by that.”
Co-owner Gary Broad purchased Real News for $85,000 from the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale where he was consigned by Blackburn Farm. He was bred in Kentucky by Georgia Farms.
Stall could be looking at another nice allowance victory this weekend when he sends out Bobby’s Wicked One in a second level allowance race over the main track. The 4-year-old stakes-placed son of Speightstown was an impressive seven-length winner of his last start, which also took place at Fair Grounds. He is owned by Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables.
“It’s a tough spot because it’s his race to lose,” Stall said. “He’s ready to go. We’re happy the race filled for him. He’s in good shape and it’s time for him to run.”
Bobby’s Wicked One was purchased for $130,000 from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016 from the consignment barn of Claiborne Farm. Bred in Kentucky by Ramona Bass, he is out of the Ghostzapper broodmare Wicked Charm who is a half-sister to six-time Grade I winner and 2007 Champion Turf Male English Channel.
LIMARI PLEASES COX IN FRIDAY ALLOWANCE WIN
Don Alberto Stable’s Limari has kept up her pattern of consistency with a second level allowance victory over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course on Friday afternoon, which was her third consecutive victory for trainer Brad Cox.
The 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro is unbeaten over the Fair Grounds’ Stall-Wilson Turf Course and will likely race at Keeneland or Churchill Downs next out, according to Cox.
“She’s very sound,” Cox said. “She got the mile and an eighth yesterday and did it the right way. She shows that she has speed and she’s gotten a lot better over the winter. We picked her up late last summer (from Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer) and she’s done well with us. We think a lot of her. The logical step is a three other than at Keeneland or Churchill, but we’ll shop for some black type with her this summer.”
A Don Alberto homebred, Limari is out of the Dansili (GB) broodmare Elbe (GB).
MCGEE HAPPY WITH OAKLAWN ALLOWANCE WINNER GO GOOGLE YOURSELF
The faith that trainer Paul McGee has always had in Go Google Yourself never seemed to wavered and with a sharp allowance victory at Oaklawn Park over Canadian Champion Wonder Gadot certainly did not hurt his confidence level in the daughter of Into Mischief.
Owned by Jay Em Ess Stable, Go Google Yourself sat right off the pace and began making her move around the far turn. When contested by Wonder Gadot, she was able to keep her at bay and went on to win by 1¼ lengths.
“It was a great race, we were excited,” McGee said. “She came out of her allowance win here really well so we ended up landing at Oaklawn. To beat a good filly like (Wonder Gadot) was nice. That was a three other than and basically a money allowance race.”
Go Google Yourself has now won over four different main tracks, including Fair Grounds where she won a second level allowance event December 29, which was her start prior to her triumph at Oaklawn Park.
McGee stated that she would likely race back in early April or late May. A Kentucky homebred, Go Google Yourself is out of the Deputy Minister broodmare Taunt who is a half-sister to Grade II winner and two-time Grade I placed Acting Happy. Both are out of two-time Grade I winning broodmare I Ain’t Bluffing.