Florida Grad Bourbon War Moves Up Kentucky Derby Rankings

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Bourbon War's strong runner-up effort to Code of Honor in the March 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) was impressive in the moment. And, after further review, the race has put the colt high up on the new Kentucky Derby rankings released by various media outlets.

Bourbon War, who entered the Fountain of Youth after a sharp Allowance victory on January 18, was prepped for his racing career at Hidden Brook Florida. He races for Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable and won at first asking last fall at Aqueduct. He was also offered by Hidden Brook Sales at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling auction.

The son of Tapit debuted at #7 on the weekly Kentucky Derby Media poll, released on March 4. On the Daily Racing Form Derby Watch, Mike Watchmaker and Jay Privman have him slotted at #6, just behind Risen Star Stakes (G2) hero War of Will. Long time Triple Crown auteur Steve Haskin put Bourbon War #5 on his updated rankings, ahead of Code of Honor, writing "...the feeling here is that if Irad Ortiz had taken the inside path he probably would have won...(the Fountain of Youth)."

Rounding the far turn in the Fountain of Youth, Code of Honor got a 7-length jump on Bourbon War, who had to swing 6-wide for clear sailing. Once he reached the straight he accelerated powerfully, falling less than a length short of winning at the wire.

Trainer Mark Hennig has indicated the Grade 1 Florida Derby will be up next for Bourbon War, with a Code of Honor rematch likely.