War of Will blazes from the gate in Kentucky Derby 2019 breeze

Keeneland Barn Notes
April 13, 2019 12:15pm
Gary Barber’s Kentucky Derby 2019 hopeful War of Will breezed five furlongs from the starting gate in :59 over a fast track Saturday morning at Keeneland with his time the best of 44 works at the distance.

Trained by Mark Casse, the War Front colt has 60 qualifying points and a guaranteed place in the Derby, but will enter having lost his footing and suffered a minor injury on March 23 in his final prep, the Louisiana Derby (G2).

With jockey Tyler Gaffalione aboard Saturday, War of Will clocked splits of :22.80, :34.60 and :46.20 and galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:11.60.

“He broke sharp and had running on his mind,” Gaffalione said. “He did everything very easy. Mark said he wanted a good five-eighths, so I just let him do his thing. He cruised along and pulled up great and came back happy. He is really proud of himself.”

“Horses sometimes get more (conditioning) from working from the gate,” Casse’s Keeneland assistant, David Carroll, said. “He broke very sharp, worked beautifully and the gallop out was tremendous. He cooled out really well, and we are very happy.”

At Fair Grounds earlier this year, War of Will won the Lecomte Stakes (G3) in January and the Risen Star (G2) in February before running ninth in the Louisiana Derby. 
The colt arrived at Keeneland four days later.

Carroll said War of Will likely will have another work next week at Keeneland and a final tune-up at Churchill Downs in the days leading to the May 4 Derby.

Connections are encouraged by the extra energy War of Will has displayed at Keeneland.

“He is a kind horse to be around, and in the past week he has really been on his toes and is very sharp,” Carroll said. “He told us coming into (today) that he is ready for a good workout. In the Paddock on his way to the track, he was very playful.”


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