June 5, 2023

West Will Power much the best in New Orleans Classic

West Will Power wins the New Orleans Classic
West Will Power wins the New Orleans Classic at Fair Grounds (Photo by Hodges Photography/Amanda Hodges Weir)

West Will Power stepped up with a career-best in Saturday’s $490,000 New Orleans Classic (G2) at Fair Grounds, leaving Pegasus World Cup (G1) winner Art Collector in his wake as he recorded a 4 3/4-length win.

He tracked the pace in second before seizing the lead at the conclusion of the far turn, accelerating clear into the stretch with Flavien Prat, and the Brad Cox-trained horse finished up 1 1/8 miles in an eye-catching 1:47.95.

After registering his first stakes win in the Fayette (G2) at Keeneland last October, West Will Power concluded last year with a runner-up in the Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs. The Gary and Mary West homebred son of Bernardini opened his six-year-old campaign with a runner-up in the Feb. 18 Razorback (G3) at Oaklawn Park.

West Will Power looked poised to make a serious impact in the older horse division recording an impressive win Saturday, winning as the 2.60-1 second choice.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Art Collector, the 4-5 favorite, held second by three-quarters of a length over late-running Mr. Wireless. It was another length to Rattle N Roll, and Happy American, Pioneer of Medina, and Treasure, who established fractions in :23.55, :47.30, and 1:11.24 before giving way, completed the order.

West Will Power pushed his earnings past the $1-million mark ($1,086,730) from a 15-6-7-0 record. The Kentucky-bred is first stakes winner from Grade 3 winner Wild Promises, a daughter of Wild Event and half-sister to multiple graded winner Icy Atlantic.

The $600,000 Alysheba (G2) on the May 5 Kentucky Oaks undercard at Churchill Downs could be next for West Will Power.