“It’s all about sire power,” says Northview Stallion Station’s Paul O’Loughlin. “War Front: it can’t get much better.”
He’s discussing one of his operation’s newest stallions, Peace and Justice, who is standing at Northview-PA in Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania.
Peace and Justice is the only son of War Front standing in Pennsylvania. And while his famous father – one of the nation’s leading sires – commands a king’s ransom as a stud fee — $250,000 – Peace and Justice, in just his second season at stud, is, at a more modest $3,500, priced to attract mid-Atlantic mares.
His owner, Steve Young, thinks that the full package Peace and Justice offers should make him a hit in the region.
“I think the fact that he is a very talented son of War Front – the only War Front in Pennsylvania,” he says, ticking off the reasons he’s expecting big things from Peace and Justice. “He’s a tremendously good-looking horse. He carried Grade 1 speed over a distance of ground.”
Peace and Justice won three of eight starts in a career that ended in 2015. A pair of those were Santa Anita allowance wins, including a sizzling score in 1:32 1/5 for a mile over firm turf. That win was just three-fifths off the great Wise Dan’s track record.
Though Peace and Justice only competed on the lawn, Young expects that, like his father, he’ll be able to get good horses on turf – War Front is the nation’s third-leading turf sire in 2017 – and dirt.
“He worked tremendously on dirt,” says Young. “And he has a lot of dirt in his pedigree.”
Peace and Justice is out of the winning Smart Strike mare Strike the Sky. He’s a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Hudson Steele, as well as the stakes-placed Lauren Byrd.
While many of War Front’s top offspring have been turfers – including a bevy of European Group 1 winners — he’s also gotten plenty of talented dirt runners. That roster includes Grade 1 winner The Factor, now a promising stallion in his own right, and Grade 2 winner Departing, an earner of nearly $2 million.
What’s more, War Front’s top earner, Lines of Battle, counted among his biggest victories the Group 2 UAE Derby – then contested over the synthetic surface at Meydan.
In fact, Young says that one of the attractions of Pennsylvania was that it’s one of the nation’s few racing states with all three types of surfaces – turf, dirt, and synthetic, the last-named at Presque Isle Downs.
“Being a War Front, Peace and Justice covers all that bases in that realm,” Young points out. “To be a War Front in a state with three different surfaces, I thought it would be right over the middle of the plate.”
In addition to its varied surfaces, Pennsylvania also offers the region’s richest breeding program, with Pennsylvania-bred and -sired maiden winners set to receive a 50 percent bonus starting in ’18, which is when Peace and Justice’s first offspring will hit the ground.
And there’s one other incentive – a major one, indeed.
Young is offering a $250,000 bonus to the breeder of the first offspring of Peace and Justice bred next year to win a non-restricted stakes race. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
“When you breed to a stallion that is an unknown with a lot of potential, that’s a significant amount of money,” he points out.
Young expects his stallion to have “an uptick” this year, and O’Loughlin says that the farm is expecting to zoom past the 38 mares Peace and Justice saw last year.
And that should agree with Peace and Justice.
“Each time I go see him, he looks better than the time before,” says the New York-based Young, who’s visited Peace and Justice at Northview three times. “We invite anyone in the neighborhood to go see him.”