Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables' Warrior's Charge posted a front-running victory as the 3-1 favorite in Monday's Grade 3, $500,000 Razorback Stakes, digging deep in the stretch run to fend off the challenge of Bankit by a head on the wire. Ridden by Florent Geroux for trainer Brad Cox, the 4-year-old son of Munnings ran 1 1/16 miles over Oaklawn's fast main track in 1:43.00.
Fourth in the Preakness last May, Warrior's Charge came off a six-month layoff to win an allowance race in December at the Fair Grounds. The Razorback is the colt's first graded stakes win.
“The horse came out on top and I'm very proud of him,” said Cox. “He's been training well and showed up today. Without a doubt, we'll keep him here and look at the Essex Handicap (March 14) and Oaklawn Handicap (April 18) for his next start.”
Geroux sent Warrior's Charge hard at the break, avoiding the scuffle caused by Joevia around the clubhouse turn. Joevia tried to get out over top of Pioneer Spirit in the first part of that turn, forcing that rival to check and swing back toward the rail heading into the backstretch.
Warrior's Charge led through fractions of :23.69 and :47.85, stretching his lead to two lengths approaching the half-mile pole. Pioneer Spirit and Joevia continued to battle in second, with Snapper Sinclair and Bankit traveling just behind those two.
Bankit, Snapper Sinclair and Bravazo all lined up four-wide in the far turn to challenge Warrior's Charge, with Bankit saving a bit of ground in the two-path. Bankit was the only horse to seriously challenge Warrior's Charge in the stretch, but Warrior's Charge had a little something left in the tank and was able to deny Bankit by a head on the wire. Snapper Sinclair held third over Pioneer Spirit.
Bred in Florida by Al Shaquab Racing, Warrior's Charge is out of winning Broken Vow mare Battling Brook. He won at fourth asking, breaking his maiden at Oaklawn last year, then added an allowance win there before traveling up for the Preakness Stakes. A close fourth in the Classic contest, Warrior's Charge earned his graded win in the Razorback. Overall, the colt's record stands at four wins and three seconds from eight starts for earnings of over $560,000.
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