Bobby Zen

2nd-Presque Isle Downs, $30,500, Msw, 6-17, 2yo, f, 4 1/2f (AWT), :52.72, ft, 1 1/4 lengths.
WILLOW OAK (f, 2, War of Will–Joyful Cat, by Kitten’s Joy) was bet nearly in half from her 8-1 morning line off a promising worktab over the Turfway Tapeta and came away late to become the first winner for her Classic-winning freshman sire (by War Front). Under a hustling ride from Adam Beschizza from gate five, the Dede McGehee homebred was a midpack fifth into the turn, was roused right-handed while progressing leaving the quarter pole and did her best work through the wire, pulling away to graduate at first asking by 1 1/4 lengths. Under her Heaven Trees banner, McGehee purchased Joyful Cat–a sister to GSW Charming Kitten, SW/MGSP Queen’splatekitten and MGSP Portfolio Company–for $150,000 with this filly in utero at the 2021 Keeneland November Sale. Joyful Cat is also the dam of a yearling colt by Dialed In and a Yaupon filly foaled Apr. 28. Bought back as a Keeneland September yearling, War of Will was purchased by Justin Casse for €250,000 at the 2018 Arqana May Breeze-Up Sale. Winner of the 2019 GIII Lecomte S. and GII Risen Star S., the Gary Barber colorbearer was a troubled eighth, promoted to seventh, in the GI Kentucky Derby and wheeled back on the short rest to take the GI Preakness S. at 6-1. Third in that year’s GI Pennsylvania Derby, War of Will became a dual-surface Grade I winner in the 2020 Maker’s Mark Mile and the Mark Casse trainee was retired to Claiborne Farm with earnings of nearly $1.9 million. He is the sire of 113 foals of racing age, two of which–My Emmy and Garden of War–were third in the Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies and Royal Palm Juvenile, respectively. Sales history: $35,000 RNA Ylg ’23 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $18,000. Click for the chart and VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.
O/B-Dede McGehee (KY); T-Kelsey Danner.




Willow Oak (2yo filly by WAR OF WILL) makes a big move around the turn and rolls down the lane to break her maiden on debut sprinting 4.5 furlongs on the synthetic at Presque Isle Downs.

Congratulations to the connections, including…

— Claiborne Farm (@claibornefarm) June 17, 2024

The post Willow Oak A First Winner For Claiborne’s War of Will appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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