by Jerry Shottenkirk
February 16, 2019
Few horses carry the intrigue that War of Will brings to the Triple Crown trail, and it only gets more interesting today as he rolls into the Grade 2 $400,000 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds.
His four-length win the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes has to rank as one of the more impressive performances by a 3-year-old this season. He was a moderately talented 2-year-old, but he could be a dynamite sophomore. He’s by War Front and was purchased at an Arqana sale at Deauville, France. He was bought for just under $300,000 by Gary Barber, and trainer Mark Casse chose Woodbine as the place he would begin his career. He was 2nd in the Grade 1 Summer Stakes and then went to Keeneland and was 4th in the Grade 3 Bourbon.
Then his life changed. War of Will made his 1st non-turf start at Churchill Downs and the result was an impressive scamper through the slop going two turf. He won by five to end the year. So, in bringing him out for the 2019 campaign, it wasn’t shocking that he began on the dirt in the Le Comte. What may have been more of a surprise, even though he was favorite, was his dominance. He ran off by four at the end and because of it is the 5-2 morning line choice today.
Now the biggest question: Can he win from the No. 14 post? He drew the far outside, and if he continues his front-running style should be able to overcome at least some of ground lost from the end of the gate. It’s a chance for Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard both wins, to carve out a better trip than most would get from that post. Still, a single on War of Will in the $200,000-guaranteed Pick 4 isn’t an easy thing to do, so we won’t. Mr. Money comes out of the No. 3 post and makes his 1st of the year. The Bret Calhoun-trained Goldencents colt has trained exceptionally well in New Orleans. He broke his maiden at Churchill in September and five weeks later ran a credible 4th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
The Pick 4 begins with 9th race and the Risen Star tops it off as the 12th.
Here’s the suggested ticket for the $200,000-guaranteed all-stakes Pick 4 at Fair Grounds:
Race 9) #2 Harlan Punch, #5 Lone Sailor, #9 Flameaway, #13 Quip.
Race 10) #1 Tiz a Slam, #6 First Premio, #7 Combatant, #9 Synchrony.
Race 11) #3 Serengeti Empress, #8 Eres Tu, #9 Needs Supervision, #10 Chasing Yesterday.
Race 12) #3 Mr. Money, #14 War of Will.
50-cent Pick 4: 2-5-9-13 with 1-6-7-9 with 3-8-9-10 with 3-14 ($64).
Plus, bet the Risen Star today, and you could get your Money-Back! Check out the Money-Back Guarantee on the Preps and register today.