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A Nearer Have a look at West Will Energy


The fields for the 14 races that comprise the Breeders’ Cup World Championships actually start to return into focus in summer time and fall and this common function will supply a snapshot profile of one of many earlier weekend’s standout stars.

West Will Energy punched his ticket to the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Basic with a decided half-length victory July 1 within the $1 million Stephen Foster Stakes at Ellis Park. The 5-year-old by Bernardini has emerged as a drive within the older male division with 4 wins, three seconds, and one third-place end in his eight begins in 2022 and 2023.

Velocity is West Will Energy’s greatest attribute and his evolution into one of many elite two-turn, dust racehorses within the U.S. corresponded with a change from stalking techniques to a extra aggressive strategy early in his races. He excels when setting or urgent the tempo.

West Will Energy has been excellent and ultra-consistent since he first set foot on a racetrack as he has solely completed outdoors the highest three twice in 17 begins and misplaced by greater than three lengths only one time in his profession. Extra just lately, his 4 begins this yr have been excellent.

West Will Energy opened 2023 with a runner-up end within the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap Feb. 18, the place he earned a brand new career-best 117 Equibase Velocity Determine. He adopted with a 4 ¾-length romp within the Grade 2 New Orleans Basic Stakes Introduced by Relyne GI By Hagyard that earned a 115 pace determine. He pale a bit late when third within the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes Introduced by Sentient Jet on the Might 5 Kentucky Derby Introduced by Woodford Reserve undercard however regained his successful kind within the Stephen Foster.

West Will Energy utilized his pace within the Stephen Foster to realize good tactical place when each Stilleto Boy and Velocity Bias broke sharply and engaged in a short battle for the lead coming into the primary flip at Ellis Park. Velocity Bias seized command and West Will Energy, underneath jockey Flavien Prat, settled into a cushty rhythm in second, monitoring from a few size to 1 ½ lengths off Velocity Bias alongside the backstretch by way of a half-mile in :46.97. West Will Energy took over the lead on cue on the ultimate flip and surged to a transparent lead in early stretch earlier than having loads left to carry off a late bid from runner-up Rattle N Roll.

Positive, Rattle N Roll made up vital floor late, however West Will Energy coated the ultimate eighth of a mile in :12.73 and his last three-eighths of a mile in :37.10, so the winner completed fairly nicely contemplating he was near a strong early tempo. He equaled a career-best 117 Equibase Velocity Determine within the Stephen Foster. Merely put, this was an enormous race from West Will Energy.

West Will Energy has by no means tried the 1 ¼-mile distance of the Longines Basic, however longer does appear higher for him as he’s compiled 4 wins and two seconds in six begins at 1 1/8 miles, whereas each of his unplaced finishes got here at one mile.

The older male division lacks a standout and this yr’s Longines Basic seems to be a wide-open race as we strategy the important thing summer time conferences at Del Mar and Saratoga Race Course. West Will Energy appears like a serious win contender to me in 2023, and right here’s why:

Seven of the final 10 Basic winners profiled as racehorses preferring to press or set the tempo and the opposite three have been stalkers. Latest historical past has proven that horses with tactical pace, like West Will Energy, have a serious benefit within the Basic.
Gradual horses don’t win the Basic. The typical successful Equibase Velocity Determine over the past 20 years has been 120.85 with a median of 119. With a career-best 117, West Will Energy is correct inside vary of the kind of determine wanted to win the race.
Whereas West Will Energy has by no means tried the 1 1/4-mile distance, his greatest distance thus far has been 1 1/8 miles and his pedigree suggests 1 ¼ miles ought to be inside his scope. He’s by 2006 Preakness winner and stamina affect Bernardini out of Wild Guarantees, a Wild Occasion mare who received 13 of 20 profession begins, together with seven stakes races. Wild Guarantees received three stakes at 1 1/8 miles and one other at 1 3/8 miles, so West Will Energy has stamina prime and backside in his pedigree.
Coach Brad Cox received the Basic in 2021 with Knicks Go and jockey Flavien Prat received final yr on Flightline. West Will Energy is in succesful palms.
Whereas we do not know how West Will Energy’s season will progress nor how he’ll fare in his last preps at this level within the season, he nearly by no means runs a nasty race. Constant excellence is a trademark of previous traditional winners. The final 20 Basic winners completed within the prime three in 57 of 61 begins (93.4%) from June by way of October of their Breeders’ Cup-winning marketing campaign and received 40 of these races (65.6%).


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