War Of Will Heading West For 2020 Debut In Shoemaker Mile

Gary Barber’s War of Will, who has not raced since finishing ninth behind Vino Rosso in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2, will return to the Arcadia, Calif., racetrack to make his 2020 debut in the G1 Shoemaker Mile on turf.

Trainer Mark Casse had entered War of Will in Saturday’s Sunshine Forever Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Florida but scratched the 4-year-old War Front colt from that spot to ship him west.

Winner of the G1 Preakness at Pimlico last May, War of Will began his career on the grass as a 2-year-old, finishing second in the G1 Summer Stakes at Woodbine while still a maiden in his second career start. He then ran fourth in the G3 Bourbon at Keeneland and fifth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf before breaking his maiden in his fifth start on a sloppy sealed dirt track at Churchill Downs.

All nine of War of Will’s races as a 3-year-old were on dirt. He began the year with victories at Fair Grounds in the G3 LeComte Stakes and G2 Risen Star, then finished a disappointing ninth in the G2 Louisiana Derby.

War of Will was placed seventh in the G1 Kentucky Derby after being involved in the incident that caused Maximum Security to be disqualified from the win. He came back to win the Preakness two weeks later, then was winless in his final four starts of the year.

Casse has given War of Will a series of works at Palm Meadows training center in Florida this spring on both turf and dirt. Among them is a five-furlong turf work in :57.65 on April 12.

Flavien Prat will ride War of Will in the Shoemaker, replacing regular rider Tyler Gaffalione.

The Shoemaker MIle, a Win and You’re In Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race for the Mile on Turf, is part of a blockbuster Memorial Day holiday program at Santa Anita that also includes the G1 Gamely and G2 Monrovia.

Santa Anita, which has not raced since March 22 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, plans to resume racing this Friday, May 15.

The post War Of Will Heading West For 2020 Debut In Shoemaker Mile appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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