Stall in No Hurray With Yockey’s Warrior

Stall in No Hurray With Yockey’s Warrior
Photo: Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire

Lost in a day enveloped with a sextet of stakes last Saturday was a breakout performance in the second race from first-time starter Yockey’s Warrior. After settling nicely behind the pace in the six-furlong maiden special weight event, the Al Stall, Jr. trainee galloped with authority down the stretch to score by 6 ¾ lengths in a hand ride over a field that included Stonestreet Farm’s highly regarded 8-5 morning line favorite Harvey. Guided by journeyman Francisco Torres, the son of Warrior’s Reward was sent off at 3-1 and won despite a reluctance to load and being bumped soundly at the start.

Owned by Stewart Madison and Steve Landry, Yockey’s Warrior won Saturday’s race with a final time of 1:10.33, while closing his last quarter in :24.59 – earning him a lofty 97 Beyer Speed Figure. Said rating is the highest of any sophomore in 2015 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and equals the best of his generation this meet, tying Cinco Charlie’s mark set in the $50,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes on Dec. 20. Such an exciting debut would have many connections chomping at the proverbial bit to move into stakes company this time of year – especially with a colt bred to go two turns – but such is not the case with the patient Stall.

“We’ll look for an allowance around one turn with him,” Stall said. “He came out good. Everything seems okay with him. There’s a race opening weekend at Keeneland we’ll look at. I bought him myself. I looked at quite a few Warrior’s Rewards and I was very surprised at how athletic they were as a group, so I tracked all of them out of the sale and found him. He had great balance and his walk was unbelievable, so I had to have him.”

Yockey’s Warrior sold for $140,000 at Keeneland’s September Sale in 2013. He is a half-brother to stakes-placed turf runner Beatnik (by Kitten’s Joy) and track record-setting speedball Silence (by Quiet American). His second dam is Group I winner Silver Fling (by The Minstrel), one of the best turf sprinters of her generation in Europe. 



The late Jim Tafel’s homebred Street Spice has returned to the worktab just three weeks after being vanned off following a rousing victory in an allowance event on Feb. 1. Jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. dismounted the son of Street Sense about a quarter mile after the 5-year-old gelding had crossed the wire first by a neck in the 1 1/16-miles event, suspecting that something may be amiss. Luckily the Kentucky-bred was okay after being examined by Louisiana State University veterinarians and returned to the worktab on Saturday. Trained by Greg Geier, Street Spice went an easy half-mile in :50.60 and is going to be eased into a summer campaign.


The gray sophomore filly duo of L. T. B. Inc. and Hillerich Racing’s Mizz Money and Tommy Ligon and Michael Pressley’s Divine Dawn are likely to renew their rivalry after a tough battle in a Feb. 8 allowance in the $60,000 Allen Lacombe Memorial over 7½ grassy furlongs on Mar. 7. 

In the aforementioned allowance, Divine Dawn latched herself onto Mizz Money from the beginning and the two led the field of nine around the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots turf course until the top of the stretch when Divine Dawn drew adjacent to her rival and fought her the length of the stretch. Mizz Money, after soft fractions of :25.52 and :49.18, had enough in reserve to repel that challenge and win by a hard-fought three-quarters of a length. While Mizz Money – perfect in two grass starts – is likely to stay on the turf no matter the outcome on Saturday, Divine Dawn is possible to come back in a month in the Grade I $500,000 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, granted she performs exceptionally. 
Likely to join the top two contenders are a pair of fillies, each, from the hot barns of young trainers Brad Cox and Joe Sharp. Cox, who is 31% in grass races this season, has JBL Thoroughbreds and Dianne Hutcherson’s Arabian Queen and Miller Racing’s King’s Ghost – each maiden winners in their last starts over the Stall-Wilson turf course. While King’s Ghost, a daughter of Ghostzapper, won the lesser of the two races when taking a $30,000 maiden claiming event on Feb. 15, she has been more impressive in the mornings than her Desert Party-sired stablemate who won a maiden special weight event on Feb. 1. Of the two, King’s Ghost is currently more likely to make the race. 
Sharp has a pair of late-running candidates in Dede McGehee’s Eufaula and Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch’s Tachiello. Both fillies ran in the aforementioned Feb. 8 allowance event won by Mizz Money, with Tachiello running on very well to finish third, 3¼ lengths from victory. Eufaula beat the boys in a maiden claimer over a turf mile earlier in the meet and has shown enough class – including a third behind Divine Dawn and subsequently stakes-placed Bossy in a Dec. 11 allowance at the Lacombe’s trip – to suggest she could return to form and be a real player. 

An intriguing Lacombe probable is Raul Bahena’s Happy to Go, who exits a second in the $50,000 OBS Sprint Stakes at Ocala Training Center on Jan. 27. A stakes winner and three times stakes-placed, the daughter of Saint Anddan will be attempting the grass and two turns for the first time after six consecutive synthetic sprints to commence her career. Trained by Armando De La Cerda, the Pennsylvania-bred has the pedigree to suggest she can be a major player in this spot, as she has already proven her class in stakes company. 

Source: Fair Grounds Barn Notes

Top Stories

A horse trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. showed sympto...
Bob Baffert horses are not be eligible to race in...
Beverly Park , the wonder horse with 28 starts thi...
Kazushi Kimura, Woodbine’s leading rider the last...
Repo Rocks , a 4-year-old gelded son of Tapiture,...