War Dancer Has Just Enough for Virginia Derby Win; Kittens Come Up Short
War Dancer turned in a surprise victory in a thrilling finish to the Grade 2 Virginia Derby on Saturday at Colonial Downs. With just a head separating the first- and second-, as well as the second- and third-place finishers, War Dancer and rider Alan Garcia prevailed for Ken McPeek and Magdalena Racing.
Charming Kitten, one of three Kitten's Joy offspring in the race, finished the best of the feline trio in second. Favored Rydilluc faded to finish in a dead heat with Gefest for eighth.
The win is the first stakes victory for War Dancer, who has finished off the board in only one of his seven career starts. The 3-year-old colt was bred in Kentucky by Cherry Valley Farm and Stuart Janney III and is the son of War Front and Alydeed mare Deed I Do.
Jack Milton was third. The final time for the 1 ¼ miles on good turf was 2:03.57. See the full chart here.