Cease fires at Saratoga

Yarradale Stud shuttler War Chant was back among the winners on Wednesday – a week after his colt Midnight Crooner scored a first-up victory in the LR Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar in California.

This time it was the turn of his five year-old gelding Cease to star at the Saratoga summer carnival in upstate New York.

Cease (5g War Chant – Limit by Cox’s Ridge) won an 1800m allowance event by over a length against a field that included last year’s G1 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler on Ice and G1 Florida Derby runner-up Pleasant Prince.

A homebred for Claiborne Farm, Cease won by 13 lengths at his only other start at Saratoga last year.  He was installed the 9-5 favourite on Wednesday and then ran right up to that quote with a powerful victory off a pedestrian pace.

“He needs something to shoot at,” trainer Albert Stall said.  “That’s just the kind of horse he is – which is good.  He’s easy on himself.”

Cease has won four of his 12 starts topped by the LR Maxxam Gold Cup in Texas but connections are aiming for a career-high victory at Saratoga on Saturday, September 1.  “It’s early days, we’ve got five more weeks,” Stall explained.  “He ought to be sky-high by the Labor Day weekend.”

The options for Cease are the G1 Woodward Stakes (1800m) or the G2 Bernard Baruch Hcp (1700m).

War Chant’s G1 winner Midnight Interlude also raced first-up after a 41 week spell on Wednesday.  He motored home for fourth in the LR Wickerr Stakes (1600m) at Del Mar.

Midnight Interlude is an older brother to Midnight Crooner and he reached the elite level with a G1 victory in the Santa Anita Derby last year.

War Chant (Danzig) will stand his second southern season for a $22,000 (inc gst) fee at Yarradale Stud this year.

War Chant gelding wins at Saratoga on Wednesday