First-time starter Yockey's Warrior raised eyebrows at the Fair Grounds on Saturday, with a commanding maiden special weight victory over six furlongs.
The newly-turned 3-year-old had signaled his talent with a pair of recent bullet works for trainer Al Stall Jr. When the gates opened, he was ready, and pressed the pacesetter through a blazing opening quarter in :21.91. Set loose by rider Francisco Torres, Yockey's Warrior grabbed the lead with a half mile in :45.74, then accelerated through the lane, ahead by 3 1/2 with 5 furlongs in :57.77, and in front by 6 3/4 at the finish.
Final time for six panels was 1:10.33, second best at the distance all day, and best by far for any maiden race.
Yockey's Warrior was bred in Kentucky by Glen Oak Farm & Gerry Brodsky, and sold for $140,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September Sale. He races for Stewart Mather Madison and Steve Landry. The dark bay is out of the Gone West mare Silla, and his second dam is Group I winner Silver Fling.
Warrior's Reward has had an auspicious debut with his first crop, siring 19 winners and five stakes horses, with earnings already approaching $1,000,000. He is standing the 2015 season for $25,000 live foal.