Live Oak Plantation's TO HONOR AND SERVE (Bernardini) demonstrated his potential star power in taking the $147,000 Nashua S. (G2) for two-year-olds by four easy lengths under Jose Lezcano. Trained by Bill Mott, who chose to bypass Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) with the lightly-raced colt, appeared to make the right call as the Kentucky-bred strolled through splits of :24, :48 1/5 and 1:12 before finishing up a mile in 1:35 4/5 over a fast track.
"When I looked at the race, I thought a couple horses had speed and my plan was to take him back, but I looked around and nobody wanted to go, I let him go," Lezcano said. "He won so easily. I don't know how to explain it. I looked back, and nobody was coming and so I let him run a little bit to teach him to finish."
The overwhelming 1-5 favorite, To Honor and Serve paid $2.70, $2.20 and $2.10. Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) was a clear second by 5 3/4 lengths, and paid $3.60 and $2.40 at 6-1. Quality Council (Elusive Quality) was third by 3 3/4 lengths and paid $3.60 at 10-1. Settle for Medal (Medallist) and Economic Summit (Malibu Moon) completed the order of finish after I'm Steppin' It Up (Congrats) was withdrawn.
Second to subsequent Iroquois S. (G3) winner Astrology (A.P. Indy) in his September 4 debut at Saratoga, To Honor and Serve next rolled to an 8 3/4-length triumph in an off-the-turf maiden at Belmont Park on October 2. His bankroll now stands at $144,640.
Bred in Kentucky by Twins Creeks Farm, Larry Byer and Rancho San Miguel, To Honor and Serve was a $575,000 Keeneland September yearling. The first starter from the stakes-winning Pilfer (Deputy Minister), To Honor and Serve has a yearling half-brother named Common Bond (Hard Spun) and a weanling half-brother by Street Sense. Pilfer herself is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner India (Hennessy).
This is the extended family of champion turf male Sunshine Forever (Roberto), champion turf female Ryafan (Lear Fan), Canadian champion Rahy's Attorney (Crown Attorney), Grade 1 winners Brian's Time (Roberto) and Memories of Silver (Silver Hawk), and noted sire Dynaformer (Roberto), among other luminaries.