War Zone Makes U.S. Debut

Bobby Frankel’s success with European imports has been well-documented. The Hall of Fame trainer may have another good one in War Zone.

Owned and bred by Juddmonte Farms, the 4-year-old Danzig colt will be making his U.S. debut in today’s seventh at Santa Anita, a $65,000 allowance at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

In 10 starts in France, War Zone won four times, including a Grade III victory over Cayoke, who will be a participant in Saturday’s $1 million Godolphin Mile, one of the races on the undercard for the $6 million Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba.

Ecstatic, the colt drawn directly inside War Zone, is the only member of the cast with a victory on the Santa Anita lawn. The son of Rahy, who is trained by Bob Baffert for the Thoroughbred Corp., won at 5-1 at this trip on Jan. 2.


Completing the lineup are Nuclear Debate, an 11-time winner who will appreciate the return to a sprint, Kachamandi and the overmatched Saphir Indien.

Race of the day: Santa Anita’s fourth is a wide-open race for 3-year-olds going about 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf. The only members of the field with turf victories are Monsieur Boulanger and Tangled Up In Blue.

Who’s hot: Gary Stevens. The jockey has been riding at a high level since returning to action after completing his role as George Woolf in the movie “Seabiscuit.”

Who’s not: John Buc. The trainer lost with 40 of his first 42 starters at Golden Gate Fields.

Exotically speaking: A pick four using Fancy Beginning, Qui’s Rush In and The Candi Queen in the fifth, Boston Shuttle, Stripling Warrior and Other Brother in the sixth, singling War Zone in the seventh and In Season, Dukester and Special Willy in the eighth.

Winners: Previous day/meet total: 5/190. Money: Previous day/meet total: $24.60/$1,068.40. Total money bet: $1,148.