©2019 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The takes us to Louisiana, Saturday, where will go to the starting gate as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the 47th running of the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2) at the Fair Grounds Race Course. Post time is 7:03 p.m. ET.
War of Will comes into this race with a 2-1-1 record in sox starts including a win in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) for trainer Mark Casse. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
WAR OF WILL went four wide early on the first turn then shifted into the five path, stalked the pace on the outside, made a bid in the three then four path on the far turn, was asked while in front at the top of the stretch and drew away under strong urging.
War of Will was my long shot upset pick in this race and he looked good stepping up in class to earn his first graded-stakes victory.
War Front, the sire of War of Will, was a graded-stakes winner of the 8½-furlong Princelet Stakes which he won by 8-lengths in a final time of 1:41.79. However, most of War Front’s other races were in sprints where he had a penchant for finishing second. However, he did win the 6-furlong Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders’ Cup Handicap (G2) by 2½-lengths.
At stud, War Front sired Soldat, winner of the 2010 With Anticipation Stakes (G2) and second-place finisher in the 8-furlong Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Stakes (G2), and 8½-furlong Pilgrim Stakes (G3). Soldat went on as a three-year-old to win the 9-furlong Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).
He also sired The Factor, a speedy colt who as a two-year-old won the 7-furlong San Vicente Stakes (G2) and went on as a three-year-old to win the 8½-furlong Rebel Stakes (G2).
War Front’s lifetime top runners include: Lines of Battle, Departing, Declaration of War, Warning Flag, Lancaster Bomber, Summer Front, War Dancer, Roly Poly, Avenge, Jack Milton, Air Force Blue, Data Link and Hit it a Bomb.
War of Will has an A+ and his profile ranks him second in this herd of runners. He’s been training well at Fair Grounds and I look for him to take another step forward in his second start of the season.
A long shot I like and potential sleeper in this race is LIMONITE (10-1) who comes into this race for trainer Steve Asmussen with 1-1-2 record in four starts including a third-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (2). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
LIMONITE raced back early on, swung into the six path in the far turn, rallied down the lane, made a bid four wide late and was gaining in the final stages.
Limonite came from last at the top of the stretch and made a big move down the stretch to get third-place honors – just two lengths shy of victory.
Lemon Drop Kid, the sire of Limonite, was a multiple graded-stakes winner and Classic Champion Thoroughbred who compiled a 10-3-3 record in 24 starts with $3,245,370 in career earnings.
As a two-year-old, Lemon Drop Kid was 2-2-1 in six starts with a win in the Futurity Stakes (G1) and a second-place finish in the Champagne Stakes (G1).
At the age of three, Lemon Drop Kid was 3-1-1 in nine starts with wins in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1). He finished second in the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and third in the Peter Pan Stakes (G2).
As a four-year-old, Lemon Drop Kid was 5-0-1 in nine starts with stakes wins in the Brooklyn Handicap (G2), Suburban Handicap (G2), Whitney Handicap (G1) and Woodward Stakes (G1). He finished third in the Pimlico Special Handicap (G1).
Limonite has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and he’s the best-bred colt in this herd of runners. He’s been training well at the Fair Grounds and if he takes a big step forward in his first start of the season he could, perhaps, upset at a nice price.
COUNTRY HOUSE (20-1) is another long shot I like. He comes into this race with a 1-1-0 record in three starts for trainer Bill Mott including a nice maiden win last out. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
COUNTRY HOUSE veered in and off slowly at the start, slow and unhurried in early stages racing along outside, fanned out entering far turn then made four wide run in final turn, responded willingly and roused forward reaching leader turning for home, hit once top stretch and took command then shown whip and drew off impressively being ridden out.
Country House looked good in just his third start to break his maiden by 3½ lengths.
Lookin at Lucky, the sire of Country House, was a multiple graded-stakes winner that compiled a 9-1-1 record in 13 starts with $3,307,278 in career earnings.
Undefeated in four starts, Lookin at Lucky scored impressive stakes victories as a two year old in the Best Pal Stakes (G2), Del Mar Futurity (G1) and Norfolk Stakes (G1), before suffering his first loss by a neck to Vale of York in the 2009 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1). He came back from that loss to close the season with a win in the CashCall Futurity Stakes (G1).
As a three year old, Lookin at Lucky won the Rebel Stakes (G2) and he finished third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) en route to a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Lookin at Lucky went on to earn Classic Champion Thoroughbred honors with a three-quarter length victory in the Preakness Stakes (G1).
Country House has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and he’s a yearling (Hip 2203) we profiled at the 2017 Keeneland September sale. However, the only yearlings I mentioned in my blog post were ones with an A+ or A grade ranking.
Country House is an improving colt and he has room to improve in his second start of the season.
HENLEY’S JOY (10-1) comes into this race with a 3-2-0 record in six starts for trainer Michael Maker including a second-place finish in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes last out. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
HENLEY’S JOY steadied slight entering first turn then rated off comfortable pace being set on top, made move taking closer order late final turn, shifted out wider top stretch and set down for drive, kicked in determinedly and gained to wire.
Henley’s Joy made a big move at the top of the stretch and closed ground but came up a neck short of victory.
, the sire of Henley’s Joy, was an outstanding router and multiple graded stakes winner who, in three racing seasons, compiled a 9-4-0 record in 14 starts with $2,075,791 in career earnings.
As a two year old, Kitten’s Joy was 2-1-0 in four starts with wins at 8½ and nine furlongs.
At the age of three, Kitten’s Joy was 6-2-0 in eight starts with wins in the Tropical Park Derby (G3), Palm Beach Stakes (G3), Crown Royal American Turf Stakes (G3), Virginia Derby (G3), Secretariat Stakes (G1) and the 12 furlong Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (G1).
As a four year old, Kitten’s Joy was 1-1-0 in two starts with a win in the Firecracker Breeders’ Cup Handicap (G2) and a second-place finish in the Arlington Million Stakes (G1).
Henley’s Joy has a D Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® but his Behavior Index makes him potentially competitive in this race.
Honorable mention goes to Gun It (10-1), Dunph (20-1) and Plus Que Parfait (10-1. Both Gun It and Dunph were yearlings we profiled at the 2017 Keeneland September sale. However, the only yearlings I mentioned in my blog post were ones with an A+ or A grade ranking.
A total of 35 prep races comprise the USA Road to the Kentucky Derby. In addition, there are seven races on the European road and four races on the Japan road to Derby glory.
2019 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Game Winner, 30, Bob Baffert, $1,460,000
2. Knicks Go, 18, Ben Colebrook, $656,085
3. Signalman, 18, Ken McPeek, $392,840
4. Gunmetal Gray, 18, Jerry Hollendorfer, $210,000
5. Long Range Toddy, 14, Steve Asmussen, $330,000
6. Mucho Gusto, 14, Bob Baffert, $210,000
7. Maximus Mischief, 12, “Butch” Reid, Jr., $171,100
8. Tax, 12, Danny Gargan, $167,500
9. Mind Control, 10, George Sacco, $295,000
10. Improbable, 10, Bob Baffert, $239,520
11. +Harvey Wallbanger, 10, Kenny McPeek, $208,320
12. War of Will, 10, Mark Casse, $200,840
13. Well Defined, 10, Kathy O’Connell, $172,970
14. Gray Attempt, 10, Jinks Fires, $135,000
15. Our Braintrust, 6, Cathal Lynch, $147,000
16. Code of Honor, 4, Shug McGaughey, $100,000
17. Network Effect, 4, Chad Brown, $90,000
18. Bankit, 4, Steve Asmussen, $80,000
19. Everfast, 4, Dale Romans, $74,635
20. Sueno, 4, Keith Desormeaux, $65,000
+ = Profiled as an A+ yearling on our 2017 Fasig-Tipton July Yearling Sales .
EUROPEAN ROAD LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Royal Marine (IRE), 10, Saeed bin Suroor, $264,968
2. Magna Grecia (IRE), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $185,000
3. Mohawk (IRE), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $128,702
4. Japan (GB), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $75,316
5. Phoenix of Spain (IRE), 4, Charlie Hill, $157,944
6. Broome (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $140,871
7. Sydney Opera House (GB), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $40,956
8. Mount Everest (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $24,254
9. Anodor (FR), 2, Freddie Head, $99,215
10. Western Australian (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $43,084
11. Cape of Good Hope (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $41,515
12. Power of Now (IRE), 2, Michael O’Callaghan, $11,489
13. Boitron (FR), 1, Richard Hannon, $44,917
14. Victory Command, (IRE), 1, Mark Johnston, $35,108
15. Circus Maximus (IRE), 1, Aidan O’Brien, $24,368
16. Sovereign (IRE), 1, Aiden O’Brien, $5,106
JAPAN ROAD LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Earnings
1. Nova Lenda (JPN), 20, Takashi Saito, $446,285
2. f-Make Happy, 12, Koichi Shinkai, $184,181
3. Derma Louvre (JPN), 8, Hirofumi Toda, $447,672
4. Gal Vihara, 4, Kiyoshi Hagiwara, $216,271
2. Kingen (JPN), 4, Kunihide Matsuda, $97,867
3. Johaan (JPN), 2, Yasuyuki Takahashi, $72,900
4. Romantico (JPN), 1, Kazuo Fujisawa, $91,245