OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Making his first start since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap, War Story put forth a valiant effort going wire-to-wire to best a field of six capturing the 111th running of the $125,000 Queens County on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Breaking alertly from post position 2 with Tony Gallardo aboard, War Story went to the front with Discreet Lover and 6-5 post time favorite Bay of Plenty in close pursuit. War Story set comfortable fractions of 24 seconds flat for the opening quarter-mile with the half going in 48.75.
At the quarter-pole, War Story was set down and extended away in the stretch to secure the victory by 7 ¾-lengths.
He completed the 1 1/8-mile distance in a final time of 1:52.36.
“There wasn’t a lot of speed [in the race],” said Gallardo. “He was ready. I tried to be aggressive and go to the lead. Nobody really came from behind.”
Returning $8.40 for a $2 win wager, the 4-year-old son of Northern Afleet, the victory boosted War Story’s career earnings to $559,395 for owners Loooch Racing Stables, Glenn K. Ellis, David Weaver, and Imaginary Stables.
“This is a really good horse,” said winning trainer Mario Serey, Jr. “I trusted him. In his last couple of starts he’s had a little bad luck in his races and it was a bit of a tough spot but we were confident coming in knowing his ability and Anthony did a great job today.”
Following Unbridled Juan in second were Sunny Ridge, Discreet Lover, Watershed and Bay of Plenty.
Queens County Quotes
Mario Serey, Jr., winning trainer of War Story (No. 2): “This is a really good horse. I trusted him. In his couple of starts he’s had a little bad luck in his races, but today they had the track in really good condition. It was a bit of a tough spot but we were confident coming in, knowing his ability, and Anthony did a great job today. I told him there was no speed and you have to go.
On a possible next start in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational: You never know. I’ll have to talk and discuss with the owners, but we’ll see and for now we’ll just try to enjoy this win.”
Antonio Gallardo, winning rider aboard War Story (No. 2): “The last time, there was a lot of speed in the race. Today, there wasn’t a lot of speed. He felt much better. He was ready. I tried to be aggressive and go the lead. Nobody really came from behind. I tried to do something different.”