War Story, who placed in all three top races for 3-year-olds of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, worked at Churchill Downs April 8 in preparation for a planned start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
The 3-year-old Northern Afleet gelding breezed four furlongs on a fast track in :49 1/5.
Trained by Tom Amoss for owners Loooch Racing Stables Inc., Glenn K. Ellis, and Christopher Dunn, War Story most recently finished third in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds after running second in the Risen Star (gr. II) and Lecomte (gr. III) at that track. All three of those races were won by International Star.
The work by War Story, with Loooch Racing Stable's Ron Paolucci looking on, was his first since the March 28 Louisiana Derby. Amoss said after the training move that War Story would be pointed to the Kentucky Derby. Jockey Joe Talamo will have the mount in the Run for the Roses.
"We chose to work him with blinkers off, which is an idea that we're considering for his next start, and the work went well," Amoss said. "He's got an affinity for the Churchill track—he won over it in his first start—and he showed that today in his work and how he finished up. Speaking to majority owner Ron Paolucci after the work, I think we're looking toward the Kentucky Derby with him."
War Story ranks 14th with 44 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leader board that determines the eligibility of Kentucky Derby candidates to be a part of the maximum field of 20 3-year-old Thoroughbreds that will compete in the race. International Star is the points leader with 171.
Bred in Kentucky by Jack Swain, War Story was sold twice at public auction. Initially purchased by Nick de Meric for $90,000 from the Brookdale Sales consignment to the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale, he was send to the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2014 March 2-year-olds in training sale where he was bought back by de Meric for $58,000. At the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale in May of that year, War Story was purchased by Harry Rosenblum for $51,000.
War Story launched his racing career with a victory in a seven-furlong maiden race at Churchill last Nov. 1 and will bring a record of 2-2-1 in five races and earnings of $243,600 into the Derby.
After making his career debut for Rosenblum, War Story was purchased by his current owners and moved to Amoss' barn, then won a one-mile allowance optional claiming race Dec, 28 at Fair Grounds on Dec. 28 for his new connections.