September & Florida Grad Bourbon War Joins Kentucky Derby Trail

Friday, January 18, 2019

Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable's Bourbon War registered a dominant 2 1/4-length victory in Friday's featured ninth race at Gulstream Park, establishing himself as a horse to watch on the road to the Triple Crown.

Trained by Mark Hennig, the son of Tapit ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.54 to notch his second win in three career starts in the optional claiming allowance race for 3-year-olds.
The $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream March 2 is the most likely target for Bourbon War.

Watch Bourbon War's Allowance victory

“I think you’d have to. We’re going to see how it stacks up, but we’ll nominate him up to all these 3-year-old races,” Hennig said. “I think he’s ready to take the step back into graded-stakes company.”
The 3-2 favorite settled off the pace in a tightly packed field of nine before advancing between horses on the turn, finding a seam between pacesetter Bourbon War and second-choice Cutting Humor at the top of the stretch and drawing off to post a comfortable victory under Irad Ortiz Jr.
“I was glad he kind of got through that little hole. I was like, ‘Is there a hole here turning for home, or not? Don’t get stopped.’ It worked out good,” Hennig said.

Bourbon War was offered by Hidden Brook at the 2017 Keeneland September sale and was prepped for his racing career last year at Hidden Brook Florida Breaking & Training. He debuted with a 2 ¼-length triumph in a mile optional claiming allowance at Aqueduct Nov. 14 before stepping up to finish a wide fourth in the Remsen (G2) Dec. 1. 

“He got some schooling in the Remsen and I think Irad made a point of schooling him a little bit (today),” Hennig said. “I asked him if he did anything wrong today and he said, ‘Not a thing,’ so that’s good.”

Todd Pletcher-trained Cutting Humor finished second under John Velazquez. Back in fourth was Everlast who finished a close second in the Holy Bull S. (G2) next out.

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