When bloodstock agent Donato Lanni went shopping in 2019 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales June 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale, he hoped to find a graded stakes winner or two.
He admits to being surprised at the one he found.
He became intrigued with a certain filly who went unsold for a mere $1,000 a year earlier at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
“She was a big, lanky, mile-and-a-half looking horse who showed up in the June OBS sale and those kind just don’t show up there,” Lanni said.
But for a winning bid of $30,000 through H N D Bloodstock, he came away with the daughter of English Channel from the Hemingway Racing & Training Stables consignment.
Step two was to team the filly with owner George Krikorian and trainer Bill Mott and let their patience take over.
Two years later, that bargain buy named War Like Goddess has proven to be a distance-loving bonanza who seems likely to wind up in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at the end of the year.
The filly no one wanted as a yearling notched a third straight stakes victory Aug. 7, rallying from last to win the $250,000 Glens Falls Stakes (G2T) by a decisive 3 1/4-length margin on the grand stage of Saratoga Race Course.
“She was at the June OBS sale and needed a little time,” Lanni said. “She had some shins on her. We just gave her the time. She was away for a year and we got lucky with a good owner and trainer. George is a patient man and I thought he’d be perfect for her and would give her the time.”
For Krikorian, that patience is all part of the game.
“You have no choice but to be patient,” he said. “Nobody listens to me when I tell them otherwise.”
War Like Goddess did not make her career debut until Sept. 20 of her 3-year-old season, but she quickly made up for lost time, winning her first two starts. Given four months off, she was a wide fifth in Gulfstream Park‘s The Very One Stakes (G3T), but that proved to be her lone loss in six career starts as she reeled off wins in the Orchid Stakes (G3T), Bewitch Stakes (G3T), and Glens Falls, the last two coming at a demanding 1 1/2-mile distance.
“We freshened her up a bit after her last race and brought her back today and she moved forward for us and beat a nice bunch of fillies,” Mott said.
Mott said the Sept. 4 1 3/8-mile Flower Bowl Stakes (G1T) would probably be next for the Calumet Farm-bred daughter of the North Light mare Misty North, leading perhaps to the Nov. 6 Makers Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) at Del Mar.
In the Glens Falls, War Like Goddess and jockey Julien Leparoux were last in the field of seven after Dalika stole away to a four-length lead through a mile in 1:38.84. On the turn for home, however, they moved widest and fastest, taking a short lead at the eighth pole and drawing clear in completing the 12 furlongs in 2:27.55 on firm turf.
A 4-5 favorite ($3.70) War Like Goddess is the lone stakes winner from six foals out of Misty North, who has an unraced 2-year-old Red Rocks filly named Thecradlewillrock and a yearling colt by Bal a Bali named North of Bali.