WinStar Farm & Don Alberto Stable have partnered to purchase Santa Anita Derby (G1) runner-up Battle of Midway from Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm, and the 3-year-old son of Smart Strike will continue to be trained by Jerry Hollendorfer as the colt prepares for a start in the May 6th Kentucky Derby (G1).
“We are excited to join with WinStar on such an exciting racing prospect,” said Fernando Diaz-Valdes of Don Alberto Stable. “Battle of Midway has shown tremendous potential, and we feel he is an excellent prospect for the Kentucky Derby and beyond. We have the utmost respect for Mr. Porter and the job he and his team have done in developing Battle of Midway, and we appreciate the opportunity to campaign him going forward.”
Elliott Walden, WinStar President, CEO & Racing Manager, added: “We very much look forward to our partnership with Don Alberto on Battle of Midway, and we believe this colt has a bright future as both a racehorse and stallion prospect. Physically, it’s easy to see why he was picked out at the Saratoga Select sale by Tom McGreevy, who’s one of the best judges of a horse in the game. Battle of Midway ran well in the Santa Anita Derby after being hounded through fast fractions, and he has a lot of qualities that make him an exciting Kentucky Derby contender. When you think about him being one of the last top colts by Smart Strike – a proven sire of sires, you can’t help but to think about his potential down the road as a stallion.”
A $410,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select yearling, Battle of Midway broke his maiden at first-asking in January at Santa Anita, joining Curlin and Lookin At Lucky as sons of Smart Strike to be named TDN Rising Stars after impressive debut victories. The bay colt stopped the clock in 1:09 flat for six furlongs.
After placing in the San Vicente S. (G2) in his second start, Battle of Midway stretched out to capture a loaded Santa Anita Allowance race before his valiant runner-up effort in the $1,000,000 Santa Anita Derby earlier this month. In the Santa Anita Derby, he set a fast and contested pace before finishing just a half-length short at the wire of the prestigious 1 1/8-mile race.
The performance earned Battle of Midway 40 points towards this year’s Kentucky Derby, qualifying him for the 1 ¼-mile classic. Plans call for Battle of Midway to train at his home base of Santa Anita before shipping to Churchill Downs the week of the Derby.
An earner of $290,000 from four starts to date, Battle of Midway is out of the Grade 1-winning race mare Rigoletta.