Loooch Racing Stables Inc., Glenn K. Ellis and Christopher Dunn’s War Story, third in the recent Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds, worked at Churchill Downs on Wednesday in preparation for a planned start in the 141st Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) at the Louisville track on Saturday, May 2.
The 3-year-old Northern Afleet gelding breezed four furlongs over a fast track in :49.20 as Loooch Racing Stable’s Ron Paolucci and trainer Tom Amoss looked on. The work by War Story was his first since the March 28 Louisiana Derby, and Amoss said after the training move that War Story would be pointed to the Kentucky Derby and jockey Joe Talamo will have the mount in the Run for the Roses.
“We chose to work him with blinkers off, which is an idea that we’re considering for his next start, and the work went well,” Amoss said. “He’s got an affinity for the Churchill track – he won over it in his first start – and he showed that today in his work and how he finished up. Speaking to majority owner Ron Paolucci after the work, I think we’re looking towards the Kentucky Derby with him.”
War Story currents ranks 14th with 44 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. The point system determines the eligibility of Kentucky Derby candidates to be a part of the maximum field of 20 3-year-old Thoroughbreds that will compete in the race.
He launched his racing career with a victory in a seven-furlong maiden race on Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs and will bring a record of 2-2-1 in five races and earnings of $243,600 into the Derby. War Story was purchased by his current owners and moved to Amoss’ barn after his debut, and won a one-mile allowance optional claiming race at New Orleans’ Fair Grounds on Dec. 28 in the first outing for his new barn.
Along with his third-place run in the Louisiana Derby, War Story was the runner-up in the Lecomte (GIII) and Risen Star (GII) at Fair Grounds. Each of those races was won by International Star, who sits atop the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 171 points.