WAR FRONT’s Grade 1 winner Annapolis made a winning seasonal bow on Thursday with a late-running video in the Listed Opening Verse Stakes.
Finding slight trouble at the break of the one-mile turf race, Annapolis took up a place on the rail in midpack as he galloped comfortably under Irad Ortiz Jr. He moved closer to the front entering the turn before angling through a hole to make his run for the lead.
Just a stride behind the leader coming into the stretch, Annapolis engaged in a duel for the lead in the final sixteenth with WAR FRONT grandson Churchtown not going down without a fight. It took until the line but Annapolis had his head in front as they stopped the clock.
“He got the job done today. Luis was riding (on Churtchtown), and I was riding, and coming to the wire, he got his head in front,” Ortiz Jr said. “It’s nice to see him back and in great condition. Hopefully, he’ll have another great year.”
Raised at Claiborne Farm for owner/breeder Bass Stables, the Todd Pletcher trainee has won six of nine starts with two seconds for $1,341,370 in earnings. Among those wins are five stakes wins, led by a Grade 1 victory in the Coolmore Turf Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last fall.
Annapolis is the second foal out of Grade 2 winner and dual Grade 1 placed My Miss Sophia. That mare’s first foal was WAR FRONT’s stakes placed Nevisian Sunrun and she also has a 2-year-old colt by the stallion named Eisenhower, who is working regularly at Santa Anita.
My Miss Sophia is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Materiality and to the dam of stakes placed Palladium. Their stakes winning dam Wildwood Flower is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner and Grade 1 placed Eye of the Tiger and to the stakes placed dam of Grade 1 winners Afleet Express and Embellish The Lace.