TORONTO, ON – Unhurried until the final furlong, Peter Brant’s Fog of War sliced his way through the traffic just in time to get up for the win in Sunday’s Grade 1, $250,000 Summer Stakes at Woodbine.
The Summer is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Fog of War receiving an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs on Friday, November 2.
Breaking well from post 3 under Javier Castellano as the even-money favorite, the Chad Brown-trained colt settled comfortably along the rail in third while Wallace ran off and posted opening fractions of :23.36 and :46.20. Midway through the far turn, Wallace began weakening and was taken on by several foes fanning out wide. War of Will was the first to pounce after sitting in second for much of the running, while Fog of War tipped off the rail to pass Wallace and raced close behind the new leader. With 3/16 of a mile to go, Castellano angled Fog of War out to make a bid for the lead, and the bettors’ choice responded positively. Collaring War of Will in the final furlong, Fog of War continued to kick on strongly and crossed the wire with a 3/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:33.90 for the mile-long event over the firm turf course.
“I put him behind the horses, covered up, and let him see the target all the way in the race,” Castellano said. “I liked the way he split horses at the 1/4 pole. He’s really a smart horse. When I asked him, he finished really well. These are the kind of horses you want to ride. These kinds of horses have lot of potential.”
Though he failed to hold on for the win, War of Will finished 2 lengths ahead of Nashtrick, who took third. Avie’s Flatter made a wide bid down the stretch but failed to employ the necessary turn of foot to take over and settled for fourth. Jungle Warrior crossed in fifth by a 1/2-length over Moon Swings, who in turn was a 1/2-length ahead of Tricky Magician. The remaining runners were spread out behind, with Skychief taking eighth over Cerrado, Muskoka Wonder, Federal Law, and a spent Wallace to complete the order of finish. Dob Dob was scratched.
Fog of War’s win was his second in as many starts following a late-running score on August 13 over 5 1/2 furlongs on the Saratoga turf course. The son of War Front increased his lifetime bankroll to $161,770.
“Chad Brown and I looked at this horse and we just liked the way he was made,” Brant said. “He was a choice of ours, and he’s really come through. He’s a wonderful horse. Chad and his whole team have done a great job with this horse. The fact that he’s bred to go longer, and won at 5 1/2 like that, and showed that burst of speed, that was very encouraging. But, you never know until you get further down the road like here and run in a Group 1… You always hope, and this is a game of great hopes, and that’s what keeps us all in.”
Fog of War returned $4.20 to win, $3.10 to place, and $2.60 to show. War of Will brought back $6 to place and $4.50 to show, while Nashtrick paid $4.60 to show.