Peter M. Brant's Fog of War was the even money favorite for Sunday's Grade 1 Summer Stakes at Woodbine, and managed to deliver a one-length win despite some traffic problems in the stretch. The juvenile son of War Front, ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Chad Brown, covered a mile over the firm turf in 1:33.90. Fog of War's victory in the Breeders' Cup Win and You're In Challenge Series race earned the colt an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
Well-placed in the early going, Castellano and Fog of War kept a good spot at the rail in about fourth position down the backstretch. On the front end, Wallace led through fractions of :23.36 and :46.20 with about a two-length advantage over War of Will and Tricky Magician.
Tricky Magician kept Fog of War penned in against the rail around the turn, even as War of Will inherited the lead from Wallace nearing the head of the lane. Fog of War hesitated to go through traffic several times in the stretch, but Castellano eventually got the colt to push by War of Will. At the wire, Fog of War was a length the best. War of Will was second, Nashtrick got up for third and Avie's Flatter finished fourth.
“I put him behind the horses, covered up, and let him see the target all the way in the race,” said Castellano. “I liked the way he split horses at the quarter pole. He's really a smart horse. When I asked him, he finished really well. These are the kind of horses you want to ride. These kinds of horses have a lot of potential.
“I like the way he did it,” he added. “He's a very talented horse and I think the key was I tried to teach him something for the future, for the next race. It's the kind of horse that you don't want to be on the front with everybody chasing, you want to teach him something and let him win the race and go forward. I think he's got a lot of potential and he's coming around very well.”
A $400,000 yearling purchase, the War Front-Say colt stretched out to the mile distance with apparent ease after making a victorious career debut going 5-1/2 furlongs over 'good' turf at Saratoga on August 13.
“Chad Brown and I looked at this horse and we just liked the way he was made,” said Brant of the colt bred in Kentucky by Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt. “He was a choice of ours, and he's really come through. He's a wonderful horse. Chad and his whole team have done a great job with this horse.
“The fact that he's bred to go longer, and won at five and a half like that, and showed that burst of speed, that was very encouraging. But, you never know until you get further down the road like here and run in a Group 1… You always hope, and this is a game of great hopes and that's what keeps us all in.”
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