A narrow victory in the King Edward for War Bomver and jockey Rico Walcott (Michael Burns)
By Chris Lomon – Woodbine Communications
TORONTO— Irish-bred War Bomber struck front in early stretch and then held off a game Treason to take Saturday’s $200,000 King Edward Stakes (G2T) at Woodbine.
A one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward, the King Edward went postward with nine starters after the scratches of Town Cruise and Haddassah.
Treason, the 5-2 second choice, was sent to the front by leading rider Kazushi Kimura, as Rico Walcott and War Bomber patiently tracked the pacesetter from in second, followed by the duo of Shirl’s Speight and The Minkster.
Ahead 2 ½ lengths after an opening panel in :23.53, Treason extended that advantage over War Bomber to three lengths through a half in :45.63.
Still well ahead of their rivals as they rounded the turn for home, multiple stakes-winning War Bomber came calling to Treason’s outside, setting the stage for a thrilling stretch duel. After powering by Treason past the three-sixteenths, War Bomber appeared en route to a comfortable win, but the former fought back along the inside in the final strides.
At the finish, War Bomber was a neck in front. Lucky Score was third and multiple graded stakes winner, 9-5 choice Shirl’s Speight, was fourth.
The final time over “firm” ground was 1:32.41.
“I was going to play it by the break,” said Walcott, who will ride Kaukokaipuu in tomorrow’s King’s Plate. “I break on top and then I see another horse (Treason) want to go for the lead, so I just take my horse back a little and sit behind the speed and just wait for the right time to move. At the head of the lane when I asked him, he gave me all he had. It was a good finish. I enjoy it when I cross the line first.”
It was the seventh win from 19 starts for War Bomber, the 5-year-old son of War Front-Sun Shower (IRE), whose victories include last year’s Seagram Cup (G3). Bred by Coolmore, the bay gelding is trained by Norm McKnight.
“He’s versatile,” said Bruno Schickedanz, Canada’s champion owner of 2022. “To me, I don’t know where he’s better. He’s good on both surfaces.”
War Bomber, who contested last year’s Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1T), could take another shot at the $1 million turf classic on September 16 at Woodbine.
“Who knows? We’ll talk about it and think about it,” offered Schickedanz.
War Bomber returned $14.90 for the win.