Hours after dealing with the tragic demise of budding stable star Taraz, trainer Brad Cox received some minor consolation when Warrior’s Charge turned in a gutsy, wire-to-wire performance in the $500,000 Razorback H. (G3), repelling a late bid from Bankit to win the 1 1/16-mile heat by a head under Florent Geroux.
Sent off the 3-1 favorite in the field of 11, Warrior’s Charge came out running, sent a pace of :23.69, :47.85, and 1:12.51, and dug in gamely when headed by Bankit in the final furlong.
Owned by Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stable, Warrior’s Charge paid $8 after completing 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:43. Snapper Sinclair edged Pioneer Spirit for third by a nose, with the order of finish rounded out by Campaign, Bravazo, Rated R Superstar, Math Wizard, Guest Suite, Exulting, and Joevia.
This was the first stakes win for Warrior’s Charge, who convincingly won a maiden and allowance at Oaklawn last season by a combined margin of 12 1/2 lengths. He then ran in the Preakness (G1), finishing a game fourth to War of Will after setting the pace.
After a seven-month spell, Warrior’s Charge made a successful return with a two-length, second-level allowance score at Fair Grounds on Dec. 18. The 4-year-old’s record now stands at 8-4-0-3, $565,310.
“We’ll keep him here and point for one of those races,” said Cox when asked whether the Essex H. and Oaklawn H. (G2) would be on the colt’s agenda. “He obviously likes Oaklawn.”
Bred in Florida by Al Shaquab Racing, Warrior’s Charge is by Munnings and out of the stakes-placed Battling Brook, by Broken Vow.
Go Google Yourself made it three stakes wins from her last four starts when wearing down the favored Whoa Nellie in the final strides of the $200,000 Bayakoa (G3) for fillies and mares.
Unlike last month’s Pippin S. when Who Nellie had made a winning last-to-first move, the 6-5 favorite was prominent throughout and opened up a 1 1/2-length lead at the furlong marker. Moving Go Google Yourself off the inside entering the stretch, jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. timed the 5-year-old’s bid perfectly and caught Whoa Nellie by a neck in a time of 1:43.65 for 1 1/16 miles.
“I got a little nervous inside the eighth pole because (trainer) Larry Jones horses can be tough to wear down,” Hernandez said.
The 2-1 second choice, Go Google Yourself paid $6.20. Following Whoa Nellie across the wire were Cairenn, Motion Emotion, Lady Suebee, and Gold Standard.
A homebred racing for Samantha Siegel and trained by Paul McGee, Go Google Yourself captured the Groupie Doll S. at Ellis Park and Locust Grove (G3) last summer prior to a second-place effort in the Falls City H. (G2) on Thanksgiving Day.
A prospect for either the Azeri (G2) or Apple Blossom H. (G1) later in the Oaklawn meet, Go Google Yourself is by Into Mischief and out of Taunt, a Deputy Minister half-sister to Grade 2 winner Acting Happy. Go Google Yourself’s second dam was the Grade 1-winning I Ain’t Bluffing.