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War Front: A Powerful Force In Horse Racing

War Front sticking his tongue out after being fed a peppermint.

If you visit Claiborne Farm, you will have the opportunity to take a picture with $80 million in the form of a horse named War Front. The mating that produced War Front was born from the mind of Joseph Allen, former president and vice chairman of the newsprint company Brant-Allen News Industries Inc. He had paired the mare Starry Dreamer, a stakes winner and graded stakes placed daughter of Rubiano, with Danzig. War Front was born on Feb. 11, 2002.

Danzig closely resembled his sire Northern Dancer (though a bit taller with more scope). And as it goes, War Front was a near spitting image of his sire. The colt’s breeding was great, so it was no surprise that Joseph Allen did not sell him.

When the time came, War Front was sent to trainer H. Allen Jerkens. He made his two-year old debut on Dec. 18, 2004, finishing a non-exciting 7th. He came back the following month as a more mature three-year old, standing at 16hh. His dark bay coat was decorated in muscles and a beautiful blaze. He finished third in his three-year old debut after stumbling at the start. He was then given 7 months off the races, finally breaking his maiden by over ten lengths on Aug. 31, 2005. He then won an allowance at Belmont Park by six lengths even after being bumped at the start.

War Front continued his large margin winning ways with a six length victory in the Princelet Stakes. He made his final start of 2005 in the Gr.3 Discovery Handicap, finishing a disappointing 6th.

War Front escaped the cold New York winters when his trainer H. Allen Jerkens shipped him down to sunny Florida. He made his first start in the Gr.3 Mr. Prospector Handicap, rallying but unable to catch Gaff in time. He made his second and last start at Gulfstream Park in the Gr.3 Deputy Minister Handicap, again finishing second.

War Front peers out of his stall at the tour group there to greet him.

War Front was given another few months off of racing, returning to New York for the Gr.2 Tom Fool Handicap. He showed his heart by battling down the stretch with Silver Train, but lost by a head. After almost an entire year of losses, War Front returned to the winners’ circle in the Gr.2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders’ Cup Handicap. Following that victory, War Front was stepped up into the Gr.1 class for the final three starts of his career.

He first finished second in the Forego Handicap. He then dug in the Vosburgh Stakes for another second place finish. Afterwards, War Front was shipped from the East Coast to Kentucky for the very first time to run in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Unfortunately, War Front was unable to keep up with his speedy competitors and finished 7th. He would remain in Kentucky to start a career at stud at Claiborne Farm. He had finished his racing career with a record of 13:4-5-1 and earnings of more than $424k. In the beginning, no one expected War Front to be as powerful at stud at his grandsire Northern Dancer. In 2011, his stud fee dropped to just $10,000. However, his first crop turned three that year and he got stakes winners on both dirt and turf. In 2013, two sons of War Front won at Royal Ascot. He has since been dubbed a “turf sire”, though his list of top progeny is not short on successful dirt runners. In 2014 and 2015, War Front’s stud fee was $150k. It was increased to $200k in 2016 and is now $250k, giving War Front the most expensive stud fee in America.

This year, War Front had two of his sons excel on dirt and stamp themselves as two of the best of their generation. His son Omaha Beach was the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, but had to scratch due to entrapped epiglottis. Another one of his sons, War of Will, won the Preakness Stakes.

So far, War Front has dominated the stud world. He has sired 8 champions and 12 millionaires. He is also the top sire by percentage of lifetime graded stakes winners. Even as valuable as he is, Claiborne Farm will take him out of his stall for all of his adoring fans. He will stand there peacefully as the guide tells you about his career and answers any questions you may have. You may even be offered the chance to feed this stallion a peppermint. After all is said, the guide will allow the fans to approach this gentle giant so that you can give him a pat and get a picture with him.

War Front's sweet nature combined with his fighting heart and great stud abilities makes him the best of the best.

War Front receives a peppermint from a child.


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Sources: Equibase

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