War Of Will continued his quest towards The Kentucky Derby with a dominating 2-1/4 length victory in the Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds on Saturday. Breaking from post 14, Tyler Gaffalione settled the son of War Front behind front runner Gun It, and when that rival started to fade, War Of Will assumed command around the far turn and powered home from there to an easy daylight score. Country House was the only horse to mount a serious bid in the lane but was no match for the winner. Roiland, a 60/1 shot ran third and Hog Creek Hustle ran fourth. War Of Will paid $4.00 to win and completed the 8-1/2 furlongs in 1:44.59. With 50 fresh points from The Risen Star victory, War Of Will has now secured his spot in the gate for the May 4th party at Churchill Downs.
They call War Of Will the “WOW” horse around the Mark Casse barn and the trainer was excited. “You know the Kentucky Derby…. I’ve been to a few of them and you’d better have some seasoning. This was another step. I’ve been fortunate to train a lot of good horses. He’s one of the best. I think he’s a superstar.”
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione has derby fever as well. “He’s very professional,” he said. He does everything the right way. I’m really looking foward to him next time out.”
War Of Will now has three wins from seven starts and career earnings of $491,569. We should see him next in the March 23, Louisiana Derby.