Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables’ multiple Grade 3 winner Warrior’s Charge will enter Saturday’s $100,000 Ack Ack (G3) at Churchill Downs as the 9-5 morning line favorite but will have to overcome the rail draw in the 13-horse field.
Warrior’s Charge, the 4-year-old son of Munnings, is a two-time Grade 3 winner in 2020 with victories in the $500,000 Razorback (G3) at Oaklawn and, most recently, in the $200,000 Philip Iselin (G3) where he was elevated to first following stretch interference by Pirate’s Punch. The speedy five-time winner will have to overcome the rail post in Saturday’s one-turn mile event.
“With drawing inside I’d expect him to be forward into the race,” trainer Brad Cox said. “I thought he ran a solid effort in the (Philip Iselin) behind Pirate’s Punch. That horse came back to win again at Monmouth this past weekend. He’s a really nice horse, too.”
Warrior’s Charge has been on the lead in seven of his last eight starts. The Florida-bred colt began his career in November 2018 at Churchill Downs and in his first three starts tracked from off the pace. When he broke his maiden on March 16, 2019, Warrior’s Charge was sent to the lead by jockey Jose Ortiz and bested a field by six lengths. The only start since then that Warrior’s Charge did not make the early lead was in the July 4, $500,000 Metropolitan Handicap (G1) where he bumped with rival Mr Freeze several times leaving the starting gate.
Saturday’s Ack Ack is carded as Race 9 with a post time of 4:53 p.m. (all times Eastern). The 10-race program has a first post of 12:45 p.m. The Ack Ack could serve as a prep for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), which will be run six weeks later on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.