November 4th, 2023

115th Stakes Winner for WAR FRONT in Twilight Derby (G2)

Seal Team made the best out of his stakes debut on Saturday when the WAR FRONT colt was a determined winner of the Twilight Derby (G2).

Seal Team broke strongly in the 1 1/8-mile turf race before Umberto Rispoli settled him on the rail in midpack. They stayed in that spot until they entered the turn when he moved a path out to work his way through the back runners. He still had much to do coming into the stretch but forced himself through a hole to get the clear running he needed if he had a chance at the win.

Rolling on the outside of horses, Seal Team had his head in front just in time to win by half a length with a battle for second behind him.

“We have always had big hopes for this horse,” winning trainer Richard Mandella said. “We thought he would be a good one. I didn’t tell Umberto (Rispoli) a thing in the paddock. I just wished him luck.”

The 115th stakes winner for WAR FRONT, Seal Team has won three of his five starts as a homebred for Ramona and Perry Bass. He’s a second-generation trainee for Mandella, who also trained his Grade 2 winning dam Mrs. McDougal.

Also Grade 1-placed Mrs. McDougal is out of the multiple stakes winner Distorted Passion, who is also the dam of multiple stakes-placed Pendleton.

Seal Team is the 11th stakes winner of the year for WAR FRONT, who also has 18 stakes performers with 11 of those coming in graded stakes.

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