After steadying late, Warrior’s Charge was awarded via disqualification Saturday’s $200,000 Philip H. Iselin (G3) at Monmouth Park. Stewards determined Pirate’s Punch, who finished first by 2 1/2 lengths, intimidated his rival by drifting in during deep stretch, and reversed the top two after an inquiry and jockey objection.
Warrior’s Charge and Paco Lopez hustled forward from post 2 to beat Pirate’s Punch to the fore entering the first turn, showing the way by about a half-length through :24.10 and :47.46 fractions. Pirate’s Punch advanced outside to engage the pacesetter on the far turn, and entered the lane with a short lead.
The top two battled through the stretch. Under right-handed urging from Jorge Vargas Jr., Pirate’s Punch drifted in late. Warrior’s Charge steadied, with Lopez standing up in the saddle the rest of the way, and held for second by three-quarters of a length. It was a tough decision for the connections of Pirate’s Punch, who appeared to have gained the upperhand before drifting in late, and Lopez arguably sold the infraction after slight contact.
Owned Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables, the Brad Cox-trained Warrior’s Charge left the starting gate as the 1-2 favorite in the four-horse field. Pirate’s Punch, who stopped the teletimer for 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.37, was the 9-2 third choice. Bal Harbour took third at 9-5 odds, and 22-1 outsider Just Whistle rounded out the order after scratches of Mind Control and Wait for It.
Bred in Florida by Al Shaquab Racing, Warrior’s Charge is a 4-year-old son of Munnings. The dark bay colt earned his second graded stakes win after taking February’s Razorback (G3) at Oaklawn Park three starts previously. He finished second in the Oaklawn H. (G2) in early May before recording a fourth in the July 4 Metropolitan H. (G1) at Belmont Park.
The first stakes winner from the stakes-placed Broken Vow mare Battling Brook, Warrior’s Charge has now earned $835,310 from an 11-5-1-3 record.