War of Will Joins Breeders Cup Dirt Mile Line Up

Horse Racing Radar
Valerie Mellema
Valerie Mellema is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Thursday, October 8, 2020

The field for the Breeder's Cup Dirt Mile has grown all the more interesting with its most recent addition, War of Will, the winner of the 2019 Preakness. With 15 confirmed entrants, this Saturday, November 7, race for a $1,000,000 purse stands to be the most competitive in recent history. Four-year-old War of Will has been to the post 17 times, bringing in five wins, one place, and three shows. His lifetime earnings stand at $1,871,803. Prepping will be trainer Mark Casse with jockey Rafael Hernandez in the irons. War of Will finished third in the Grade I Ricoh Woodbine Stakes on September 19.


Midcourt is another impressive competitor with lifetime earnings of $546,695. The colt has five wins, two places, and four shows out of 14 starts while ridden by Victor Espinoza and trained by John Shirreffs. Most recently, he showed third in the Awesome Again Stakes, where he was a 12-1 longshot and was narrowly outpaced by heavily favored Maximum Security.


With six wins in eight starts and lifetime earnings of $1,245,525, Vekoma is a horse to be reckoned with. Javier Castellano will be in the irons and the trainer is George Weaver. The horse is coming off an undefeated 2020 campaign as a four-year-old. His last race was the Grade I Runhappy Metropolitan at Belmont, where $500,000 was up for grabs.


Complexity is another entrant who knows how to win with five wins and one place out of nine lifetime starts. The horse has brought home winnings of $566,350. He's trained by Chad Brown and his jockey is Jose Ortiz. His latest outing was a victory at the Belmont Park Kelso Stakes on October 3.


Rushie, a Florida bred colt in the running, can boast of finishing in the money on six of his seven lifetime starts, including three wins, one place, and two shows. He has brought in lifetime earnings of $493,151. On September 5, Rushie won the Pat Day Mile, a Grade II stakes race at Churchill Downs. Javier Castellano, who is up on Vekoma, is also the jockey of record for Rushie. The trainer is Michael McCarthy.


The six-year-old veteran Sharp Samurai is also running the dirt mile. With 22 lifetime starts, he's been in the money 16 times, posting eight wins, six second places, and two shows. He has lifetime earnings of $1,021,270. Trained by Mark Glatt, Juan Hernandez will be in the irons. At Santa Anita on October 3, Sharp Samurai finished second in the Grade II City of Hope Mile Stakes.


Code of Honor is the third horse in the field to list Javier Castellano as his jockey. The four-year-old colt has run 14 times, posting six wins, three places, and two shows. He boasts gaudy lifetime earnings of $2,553,320. His trainer is Claude McGaughey III. At Belmont on October 3, Code of Honor placed second to Complexity by two lengths.


Also scheduled to be in line is Pirate's Punch, a four-year-old whose lifetime record is five wins, three places, and four shows in 17 starts. He has lifetime earnings of $332,751. Ridden by Jorge Vargas, Jr., he's trained by Grant Foster. His last race was the Grade III Salvator Mile Stakes at Monmouth Park on September 20, where he swept to victory.


Art Collector, a three-year-old colt, is another contender who knows how to win. With 10 lifetime starts, he's posted five wins and one place. In the irons will be Brian Hernandez, Jr. Art Collector's trainer is Thomas Dury, Jr. The pony's last race was the Preakness Stakes, where he finished fourth in a deep and talented field.


The dirt mile will be the 12th race for three-year-old Jesus' Team. The colt is almost always in the money, recording two wins, three places, and three shows for a lifetime purse of $256,640. Jockey Jevian Toledo will be up for trainer Jose D'Angelo. Jesus' Team most recently ran the Preakness Stakes, finishing third just ahead of Art Collector.


Another contender is the aptly named Mr. Money, who has lifetime earnings of $1,360,430, with six wins and three places in 17 starts. W. Calhoun is the trainer and the jockey will be Gabriel Saez. The colt's most recent run was a win in the Grade III Ack Ack Stakes at Churchill Downs on September 26.


Six-year-old True Timber has run 27 races and brought home four wins, four places, and nine shows for lifetime winnings of $1,047,650. Up for the race is jockey Kendrick Carmouch, prepped by trainer Jack Sisterson. His last race was Belmont's Vosburgh Stakes on September 26, where he finished fourth.


Bourbon Calling, a four-year-old colt with 19 starts, will also be in line. With lifetime earnings of $306,670, he's won five times, has two places, and four shows. Brian Hernandez, Jr., who is also up on Art Collector, is the jockey of record, with Ian Wilkes as the trainer. On September 26 at Churchill Downs, the horse finished second to Mr. Money.


Hog Creek Hustle, a four-year-old colt with 19 starts, is another entrant. With three wins, six places, and two shows, the horse has $661,200 in lifetime earnings. Trainer Vickie Foley will be prepping jockey Corey Lanerie. On September 5 at Churchill Downs, Hog Creek Hustle finished second in the first race of the day.


Another high-earning in the race is Knicks Go, a four-year-old with an $828,995 lifetime purse. In 16 starts, the colt has posted four wins, three places, and one show. Ridden by Joel Rosario, he's trained by Brad Cox. His final prep race was at Keeneland, site of this year's Breeder Cup gathering, where on October 4, he won a wire-to-wire victory in the third race.

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