Justa Warrior ‘Justifies’ Favoritism In Debutante

Justa Warrior ‘Justifies’ Favoritism In Debutante


Justa Warrior | Coady

Her maiden-breaking score, a five-length romp at Ellis Park July 22, was enough to secure 5-2 favoritism for Justa Warrior Sunday afternoon in her jump up to stakes company. With an extra furlong-and-a-half to work with, she settled three wide behind the pace of Mor Lively (Mor Spirit) through fractions of :22.39 and :45.71. Fanned five wide at the top of the stretch, Justa Warrior assumed command and took over, holding off a charging Pachuca (Ghostzapper) in the final sixteenth to lead by a length on the wire.

Her family is a who’s who list of ‘TDN Rising Stars’ that includes her dam, GISW and $1.25 million 2011 Fasig-Tipton November purchase A Z Warrior (Bernardini), and a trio of her dam’s half-sisters (GISP Jojo Warrior {Pioneerof the Nile}, GSP J Z Warrior {Harlan’s Holiday}, and GISP E Z Warrior {Exploit}). A Z Warrior has since produced a full-brother to today’s winner, as well as a weanling colt by Uncle Mo. She was bred back to Curlin for a 2023 foal. Justa Warrior is the third black-type winner for freshman Coolmore stallion Justify (by Scat Daddy). Click for the Equibase.com chart.

RUNHAPPY ELLIS PARK DEBUTANTE S., $122,500, Ellis, 8-14, 2yo, f, 7f, 1:25.89, ft.
1–JUSTA WARRIOR, 120, f, 2, by Justify
                1st Dam: A Z Warrior (GISW, $286,906), by Bernardini
                2nd Dam: Carson Jen, by Carson City
                3rd Dam: Calamitous Jen, by Deputy Minister
($150,000 Ylg ’21 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN.
O-Stone Bridge Farm; B-Triemore Stud (KY); T-John Alexander
Ortiz; J-Reylu Gutierrez. $72,660. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0,
$108,660. *1/2 to Cole Porter (IRE) (Galileo (IRE)), SP-Sin,

TAPPLE CIDER graduates at Saratoga

TAPPLE CIDER (Tonalist) overcame a bump at the start and then settled comfortably on the race before launching a 5 wide drive to the wire. She won by a neck racing 1 1/16 on the inner turf.  TAPPLE CIDER is owned by Sackatoga Stable.
Sold to Sackatoga Stable for $290,000 as a two year old
Consigned by Kirkwood Stables

Virginia Horse of the Year Chess Chief 3rd in the Alydar at Saratoga

Purchased as a yearling at Saratoga by Kirkwood for trainer Dallas Stewart and the Estate of James Coleman. 
Today 3rd in the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga
Chess Chief (outside) wins the 2021 Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds
Chess Chief (outside) wins the 2021 Tenacious Stakes at Fair GroundsHodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

The annual Virginia Breeder’s Awards program has been scheduled at Great Meadow Friday May 6th—the evening before the Virginia Gold Cup Races—in a return to more of a “normal times” format for the first time since 2019. The event will take place in a trackside tent on Member’s Hill overlooking the deep stretch and finish line areas where steeplechase horses are set to compete the next afternoon. A list of awards to be presented that night follows.

Horse-of-the-Year honors go to Chess Chief, who was also recognized as Virginia-Bred Older Horse Champion based on two stakes wins and $446,290 in earnings. The Dallas Stewart trainee struck early and late in the year, connecting at Fair Grounds twice in the Grade 2 New Orleans Stakes March 20 and in the Tenacious Stakes December 26. Bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, the 6-year-old Into Mischief horse heads into spring with $865,338 in winnings overal