War Like Goddess plots repeat in Glens Falls

August 4, 2022

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – George Krikorian’s Grade 1-winner War Like Goddess will return to Saratoga Race Course to defend her title in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls, a 1 1/2-mile inner turf test for older fillies and mares. 

“She’s been great. She’s doing really well and I’m very happy,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. “I would say she’s training similarly to last year.” 

On the heels of a prosperous 4-year-old campaign, War Like Goddess began her 5-year-old season on a high note when taking Keeneland’s Grade 3 Bewitch for the second year in a row under returning rider Joel Rosario. The daughter of English Channel had to overcome a difficult trip and a slow pace, steadying at the five-sixteenths and bumping with rivals at the top of the lane. Despite the troubles, War Like Goddess still managed to draw away to a 1 3/4-length victory. 

“She overcame a very slow pace and kind of a jammed-up trip,” said Mott. “She’s doing fine and we’re happy with her progress since she’s been up here.” 

The consistent War Like Goddess has finished on the board in 8-of-9 lifetime starts, posting an undefeated 3-year-old season in 2020 with a debut maiden score and an allowance coup in her first start against winners. Her lone off-the-board effort was a fifth in her first start of 2021 behind Antoinette in the Grade 3 The Very One in February at Gulfstream Park. 

The next seven months saw the bay mare rise through the ranks with four graded stakes victories at three different tracks, beginning with a determined nose triumph in the Grade 3 Orchid at Gulfstream to post her first graded score. She went on to capture the first of her two wins in the Grade 3 Bewitch one start before taking last year’s running of the Glens Falls where she closed from 11 lengths off the pace to sail to an easy 3 1/4-length victory. 

The pinnacle of War Like Goddess’ campaign was a strong showing in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational travelling 1 3/8 miles at Saratoga, showing her usual come-from-behind style and pouncing to a 2 1/4-length win that earned her a berth into the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Del Mar. 

The 2021 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup, War Like Goddess trailed in last-of-12 and 11 lengths off the pace before being swung wide and rushed up to take command at the top of the lane. She was collared late in the stretch to finish third just a half-length behind the victorious Loves Only You and My Sister Nat. 

Mott said he thought War Like Goddess put in an admirable performance in the Breeders’ Cup. 

“I thought she did great the entire year and had a great run in the Breeders’ Cup,” Mott said. “She had a little bit of a wide trip, but I think she ran well, and the effort was good.” 

Mott added that he hopes to see a robust tempo up from for War Like Goddess to flash her late-running talents. 

“It depends on the pace. She’s usually a come-from-behind type horse,” said Mott. “Unfortunately, that changes sometimes if there’s no pace in the race.” 

War Like Goddess will exit post 6 with Rosario in the irons. 

Mott will also send out Juddmonte homebred Petricor (GB) after a fifth-place finish in the Big Dreyfus on July 16 at Laurel Park. The British-bred Frankel filly, previously trained by Andre Fabre, posted a close runner-up finish in the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux at Longchamp last April. 

Petricor’s best finish in her three American outings was a head score in a non-winners of two allowance over Abscond on April 24 at Keeneland. Her other start was a fourth behind Gam’s Mission in the Grade 3 Mint Julep in June at Churchill Downs. 

Jose Ortiz is tasked with the ride from post 3. 

Multiple graded stakes-winner Virginia Joy (GER) will look to give her four-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner Chad Brown his first win in this event. Owned by Peter Brant, Virginia Joy was a close fourth last out in the Grade 1 New York on June 11 at Belmont Park behind victorious stablemate Bleecker Street after running in fourth throughout to be defeated one length. 

The New York came on the heels of a dominating performance in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay in May over a soaked Belmont turf course listed as yielding. She led every step of the way in the compact field of four to draw away to an impressive 14 1/4-length victory under Trevor McCarthy. It was the first graded victory for the daughter of Soldier Hollow after she moved stateside from a successful campaign in Germany. There, she won the Group 3 Mehl-Mulhens Trophy and finished a close third in the Group 1 German Oaks. 

Irad Ortiz, Jr. picks up the mount from post 2. 

Pocket Aces Racing’s veteran Temple City Terror will try to turn the tables on War Like Goddess after finishing third in last year’s event. Trained by Brendan Walsh, the dark bay daughter of Temple City looks to rebound from a well-beaten seventh in the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial over soft going at Delaware Park on July 9. It was an uncharacteristic finish for the 6-year-old mare, who won the Keertana two starts back in May at Churchill Downs by a half-length. 

Temple City Terror has finished on the board in 5-of-7 starts since April 2021, her other off-the-board finish was a close fifth in an allowance this April at Keeneland where she was defeated just 1 1/2 lengths. Her other top stakes performance was a runner-up finish to Dalika in the Albert M. Stall Memorial in February 2021 at Fair Grounds Race Course. She boasts a 25-5-4-5 records for earnings in excess of $430,000. 

Tyler Gaffalione has the call from post 1. 

Emory Hamilton’s Flanigan’s Cove makes her stakes debut for Hall of Fame conditioner Shug McGaughey after finishing on the board in her last six outings. A 4-year-old Kitten’s Joy filly, Flanigan’s Cove was last seen finishing a closing second to Higher Truth in a second-level allowance traveling 1 3/8 miles on July 3 at Belmont. She is searching for her first win since taking a first-level allowance in November. 

Flanigan’s Cove will emerge from post 4 with Luis Saez up. 

Completing the field are Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial winner Key Biscayne [post 5, Junior Alvarado] for trainer Juan Alvarado and maiden winner Treasure Tails [post 7, Madeline Rowland] for Cara Holtzinger.

The Glens Falls, slated as Race 7 on Saturday’s 12-race card, is one of five stakes on tap for the lucrative day, led by the nine-furlong $1 million Whitney for older horses over the main track and the 1 3/16-mile $1 million Caesars Saratoga Derby for sophomores on the Mellon turf. Also featured are the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Test for sophomore fillies sprinting seven furlongs; and the $135,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure, a restricted stakes for older horses travelling 1 1/16 miles over the turf. First post is 12:35 p.m. Eastern. 

Saratoga Live will present daily coverage and analysis of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/racing/tv-schedule.

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.

NYRA Press Office
Photo: War Like Goddess crushing the 2021 Glens Falls. (Joe Labozzetta)

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