Spendthrift Farm freshman sire Warrior’s Reward got on the board in a big way Friday, with all three of his starters scoring runaway debut wins in Maiden Special Weight heats.
The Grade 1-winning son of Medaglia d’Oro saw his first ever official starter – 2-year-old filly Liatris – defeat the boys by 3 ¾ lengths in a $40,000 Maiden Special Weight Friday afternoon at Pimlico. About an hour later at Churchill Downs, his 2-year-old filly Unbridled Reward became a TDN Rising Star after romping by 7 ¾ lengths in her debut in a $44,000 Maiden Special Weight.
Then, later in the evening at Lone Star Park, the 2-year-old filly Strawberry Baby cruised to a 2 3/4-length Maiden Special Weight victory at five furlongs.
Liatris, out of the A.P. Indy mare Miss Brickyard, was bred in Kentucky by John D. Gunther through Spendthrift’s Share The Upside Program. Trained by Jann Anderson, the dark bay filly earned $22,800 for owners Charles Hall and Jann Anderson.
Unbridled Reward was a $330,000 purchase earlier this year at OBS March, marking the highest priced 2-year-old sold at public auction for her sire. Bred in Kentucky by Hargus & Sandra Sexton and Silver Fern Farm, the bay filly hails from the Unbridled mare Unbridled Appeal. She was also bred through Spendthrift’s Share The Upside Program.
With the impressive debut win, Unbridled Reward earned $26,400 for owner John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse, who signed the ticket for the filly earlier this year at OBS.
Strawberry Baby, bred in Kentucky by Liberation Farm and Brandywine Farm, is out of the unraced Theatrical (IRE) mare Kendall Hill, who is a half-sister to four-time stakes winner Denim Yenem. Getting the five furlongs in a quick :58.12 seconds, Strawberry Baby picked up $11,800 for her owners Brad and Judy Miller, who picked the bay filly out of the 2013 Keeneland September Yearling sale.
Warrior's Reward captured the biggest win of his racing career in the Carter Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct. He also recorded the co-fastest Beyer Speed Figure earned by a 3-year-old in 2009 with a 113.
Warrior’s Reward retired to Spendthrift in 2011 with earnings of $488,216. He’s standing the 2014 breeding season at Spendthrift for a fee of $12,500 stands and nurses, and is booked full.