Purchased for a whopping $1 million dollars as a yearling, The Great War was expected to be a star even before setting hoof in a starting gate. He is perhaps the biggest enigma of all the horses on this year’s Derby Trail, with some of the most respected names in racing thinking he could be a legitimate Derby contender.
TWO YEAR OLD CAMPAIGN
Owned by Coolmore, The Great War began his career in Europe racing exclusively on the turf and never running more than 6 1/2 furlongs. In Europe he won three of his seven starts, with two of those victories coming at The Curragh. All of the highest profile flat races in Ireland are run at The Curragh and by winning two races on that turf, The Great War demonstrated to his connections that their faith in his class was justified.
After impressing his connections in Europe, it was decided that the colt would be shipped to the United States to make his dirt debut in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He chased a punishingly fast pace around the first two turns and held on determinedly for a fourth place finish, 1 3/4 lengths behind third-place Upstart. Since then, the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile has proven to be a deep and talented field of young horses which makes his fourth place finish in it all the more promising.