Gary Barber's War of Will, under exercise rider Amy Mullen, breezed a bullet five furlongs in 59 flat on the Belmont main track on Saturday in preparation for the Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on September 21.
“He ended up going a little faster than we anticipated on paper, but the track had a little water in it. I think the track was pretty fast,” said Jamie Begg, assistant to trainer Mark Casse. “He did it very easily. He broke off and I was going to tell the rider to pick it up, but he hit the first quarter in 12 and 1 and it looked slower than that. He picked it up down the lane a bit even though she didn't move on him.”
The War Front bay contested all three legs of the Triple Crown including a win in the Grade 1 Preakness on May 18. Following a ninth in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, War of Will set the pace in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy presented by NYRA Bets on July 27 before fading to fifth.
War of Will breezed twice at Saratoga following the Jim Dandy, both bullet works, and Begg said the colt will likely ship to Parx on the day of the race.
“He'll have an easy maintenance breeze next weekend. He's doing really well,” said Begg. “His work yesterday, he did it easier than he did it at Saratoga. It was supposed to be a stiff breeze, but he seemed to get over the track very easily. We always knew he liked a bit of water in the track and I think that's why the time was so quick.”
Begg said Tracy Farmer's multiple graded-stakes winner Perfect Alibi has come out of her Grade 1 Spinaway score in good order.
“She's come out of each race more and more alert,” said Begg. “She was never a great work horse, but she's starting to get better with the more she runs. She's acting more like a racehorse in the mornings, which she always does in the afternoon.”
The dark bay daughter of Sky Mesa graduated at first asking ahead of a good second in the Astoria at Belmont. She was perfect in two starts at Saratoga, including a win in the Grade 2 Adirondack at 6 1/2 furlongs before her seven furlong Spinaway score.
Begg said Perfect Alibi should improve with added distance with the Grade 1, $400,000 Darley Alcibiades at 1 1/16-miles on October 4 at Keeneland a possible target.
“Her pedigree and the way she runs shows that,” said Begg. “She's never all that close to the pace. I think she'll only continue to improve. She could be something special. She's already a very good looking filly.”
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