Pegasus World Cup Profile: War Story

By Jenny Kellner

War Story

War Story – Photo Courtesy of NYRA

The peripatetic gelding, now 8, will be making his third appearance in the Pegasus World Cup (G1), having finished fifth in 2017 and 10th in 2018, two years in which his earnings topped $1 million. Indeed, as he enters his seventh racing season, War Story has bankrolled more than $2.9 million, an impressive number considering he has never won more than two races a year, nor does he have a Grade 1 win on his resume.

What he does have is tenacity and a willingness to roll with the punches. He had eight different trainers for his first 18 races, and finally got some continuity when Jorge Navarro took over in 2017. War Story won but three races under Navarro’s tutelage but earned $2.3 million, beginning with his first appearance in the PWC and concluding with a second in the Greenwood Cup (G3) in October at Parx Racing.

Following that, his owners, Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis, sent to horse to rising young trainer Elizabeth Dobles, for whom he won the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) on Dec. 14. Although he has raced on Lasix for his whole career, his connections opted to accept an invitation to the Pegasus World Cup.

War Story

Trainer: Elizabeth Dobles

Owner: Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis

Career record: 38-8-7-5

Career earnings: $2,984,996

Pedigree: Northern Afleet-Belle Watling (Pulpit)

Age: 8

Running style: Closer

Handicapping insights:

“8-year-old grinder an in-and-outer who needs a much easier spot.’’ – Ed McNamara

“Usually good for a stakes win or two every year, but never up at this level of competition with no in-the-money finishes in eight prior forays against Grade 1 competition.” – Noel Michaels

Notes: His win percentage may not be that impressive, but the veteran gelding has hit the board in 66 percent of his starts …War Story has had three recorded workouts since his victory in the Harlan’s Holiday, all at Palm Meadows and all at a half-mile: 50.70 on Dec. 28, 50.40 on Jan. 4 and 50.45 on Jan. 14 … Of his 38 starts, 29 have come in graded stakes, with three victories: the 2017 Brooklyn (G2), the Monmouth Cup (G3) and the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) … Harlan’s Holiday was the first graded stakes win for trainer Dobles, who went out on her own in 2016 … War Story has enjoyed the services of 19 different jockeys, including Hall of Famers Javier Castello and Kent Desormeaux.

 Pegasus World Cup 2020 Contenders (Invitees)
Horse Owner Trainer
Diamond Oops Diamond 100 Racing Club, Amy E. Dunne, D P Racing,

Patrick Biancone Racing

Patrick Biancone
Higher Power Hronis Racing John Sadler
Math Wizard John Fanelli, Khalid Mishref, Cash Is King, LC Racing,

Collarmele Vitelli Stables, Ioannis Zoumas, Bassett Stables

Michael Maker
McKinzie Karl Watson, Michael Pegram, Paul Weitman Bob Baffert
Midcourt CRK Stable John Shirreffs
Mr Freeze Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister Dale Romans
Omaha Beach Fox Hill Farms Richard Mandella
Seeking the Soul Charles Fipke Dallas Stewart
Spun to Run Robert Donaldson Juan Carlos Guerrero
Tax R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch,

Corms Racing Stable

Danny Gargan
True Timber Calumet Farm Kiaran McLaughlin
War Story Imaginary Stables, Glenn K. Ellis Elizabeth Dobles
Reserve invitees in order of preference
Horse Owner Trainer
Mucho Gusto Michael Lund Petersen Bob Baffert
Magic Wand Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Mr. M.J. Jooste Aidan O’Brien
Tenfold Winchell Thoroughbreds Steve Asmussen
Bodexpress Top Racing, Global Thoroughbreds, GDS Racing Stable Gustavo Delgado

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