Secretariat scouting report: War Dispatch
War Dispatch, who was nominated to the U.S. Triple Crown, has waited until this spot for his repatriation.
Based in France with Jean-Claude Rouget, the Joseph Allen homebred began his career on the synthetic. He was second to future Group 1 winner Full Mast in their mutual debut before going on a six-race winning spree. Following win number five in the Prix Policeman at Cagnes-sur-Mer, War Dispatch was mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.A.E. Derby (G2), but connections opted to go the French classic route instead.
War Dispatch made his turf debut in the May 8 Prix de Guiche (G3) at Chantilly, where he readily prevailed to keep his streak going:
His skein was halted with a third in the French Derby (G1). Although the gray had to await room in the stretch, he couldn't be considered unlucky, since he didn't look like gaining late and just barely lasted from a 50-1 shot for third.
Secretariat rival Highland Reel was second in the French Derby, with nearly two lengths to spare over War Dispatch. The latter has to find a way to make up that deficit at Arlington.
Perhaps a clue is afforded by War Dispatch's latest effort in the Prix Eugene Adam (G2) at about this 1 1/4-mile trip. Adopting front-running tactics, he ratcheted up the tempo and had several scrambling in pursuit. The Aga Khan's Dariyan was up to the challenge and swept past him late, but War Dispatch dug in gamely to save second:
That's a useful piece of form: Dariyan was coming off a fourth to subsequent Grand Prix de Paris (G1) winner Erupt. And fourth-placer Epicuris was exiting a fifth in the Epsom Derby (G1).
As a son of War Front, War Dispatch is entitled to prefer a firmer surface than he's seen so far. He's also a two-time winner at about this distance (albeit on all-weather over the winter at Cagnes-sur-Mer).
His juvenile full brother, George Patton, is a hot prospect after compiling a three-for-three mark. He is also a three-quarter brother to Lines of Battle, the 2013 U.A.E. Derby winner and Kentucky Derby (G1) seventh who's since found a home in Hong Kong. Under his new name of Helene Super Star, he earned his first Group 1 coup in the May 31 Champions & Chater Cup. This is the family of internationally acclaimed sire Dynaformer.
According to Paris-Turf, War Dispatch will remain stateside following the Secretariat.