Friday, November 24, 2017
Yockey's Warrior won Fair Grounds' $75,000 Thanksgiving Day H.for the second consecutive year on Thursday with a sterling performance, drawing off to a five-length win and earning a 102 Beyer Speed Figure.
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That was the highest number since the 5-year-old Warrior's Reward 5-year-old's 103 in last year's renewal of the traditional American holiday feature.
Owned by veterean trainer Al Stall Jr. in partnership with Stewart Madison, Steve Landry, Matt Bernard, and Joel Broussard, the Yockey's Warrior sat comfortably in second under regular rider Miguel Mena, stalking pacesetter Blue Wings through a first quarter in 22.88. Taking over turning for home after a half-mile in 46.43, he quickened nicely to overpower his rivals by five lengths in the end, finishing up six furlongs in 1:09.60.
“He’s such a nice horse,” Mena said. “Al and his team have done a tremendous job with him. I tapped him on the shoulder and he sprinted home and was an easy winner.”
“That was his best race I’ve ever seen,” Stall added. “He left there on his toes and had his game face on. When he did that, I knew he was going to be tough to beat. I think he’ll be better (in 2018) than last year.”
Winning his seventh race from 14 starts, Yockey’s Warrior earned US$45,000 to increase his career bankroll to US$315,270.
Yockey's Warrior is the latest winner in an excellent week for Warrior's Reward that saw T Rex Express take the My Sister Pearl S. at Charles Town and the stakes winner Warrior's Club run second in the Bet On Sunshine S. at Churchill Downs.