After conceding the lead early to a determined Applicator, War Correspondent snatched that advantage back when it counted most, overtaking the pacesetter in midstretch en route to a one-length victory in the $100,000 Miami Mile Stakes (G3T) April 29 at Gulfstream Park.
Exiting a troubled journey in the Feb. 11 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1T), in which he was elevated from fourth to third following a bumping incident, the Christophe Clement-trained gelded son of War Front registered his first victory since taking the Appleton Stakes (G3T) going eight furlongs over the Hallandale Beach course in March of 2015. With only three other challengers to contend with in Saturday's test, War Correspondent was able to get an ideal trip under Tyler Gaffalione as he notched his fifth win from 14 career starts.
Sent off as the 3-5 favorite following the scratch of 8-5 morning-line choice All Included, War Correspondent broke alertly from his inside post position, but was immediately challenged to his outside by 14-1 shot Applicator. Gaffalione opted to let the latter handle pacesetting duties and kept his 7-year-old mount about a length off the leader as Applicator set fractions of :24.27 and :48.69 down the backstretch.
"My horse broke out there running and the other horse was intent on going, so we just sat off of him," Gaffalione said. "He relaxed beautifully. When I asked him to run, he just exploded. He was just out there cruising. He was on cruise control, and when I pushed the button, he was gone."
Leaving the final turn, War Correspondent advanced to Applicator's neck and had yet to settle into his best stride. When asked for his run, the bay gelding drew off to hit the wire in 1:34.19 over firm turf for owners Calumet Farm, Sagamore Farm, and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.
"It was a perfect trip. He's a very genuine horse. He's going to give you everything. When he's right, he is a very good horse," said Thomas Brandebourger, assistant to Clement. "Lubash ran well. He had the pace against him. It was a slow pace and he had to make up ground."
Bred in Kentucky by Joseph Allen, War Correspondent now boasts $330,989 in earnings. He paid out $3.20 and $2.40 with no show wagering.