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War Academy Impressive at Santa Anita

Expect to see War Academy in an upcoming Kentucky Derby prep race.

War Academy

War Academy

With a breathtaking allowance score going 1 1/16 miles on Friday at Santa Anita, War Academy is trying to join the fray for this year’s Kentucky Derby.

In only his third start and in his first try around two turns, 4-5 favorite War Academy won with his ears pricked in 1:43.42.

“He might be my (Derby) horse Bob,” said Mike Smith to trainer Bob Baffert following War Academy’s win in the second race.  “What I like so much about him is there’s so much room to improve.  He was well, well within himself today.”

War Academy, a son of Giant’s Causeway owned by Michael Tabor, John Magnier and Derrick Smith, broke from post position five in a six-horse field and rated kindly throughout, tracking fractions of 24.41, 48.64, 1:11.89 and 1:36.89.

With Friday’s winner’s share of $34,800, War Academy, a $450,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase, increased his earnings to $70,800.  With the Kentucky Derby looming just seven weeks away on May 4, War Academy will undoubtedly be pointed for a Derby prep in his next start if he is to accrue the necessary qualifying points.

“I’m going to run him in a big prep, he’ll hit one of the big preps,” said Baffert.  “I don’t know where yet, but it’ll be a hundred (qualifying) points whatever it is.  We’re goin’ for the bonus round…Mike’s always been real high on this horse.”

Benoit photo