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Pedigree Profile: Java's War

A closer look at the winner of the 2013 Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland reveals a couple very interesting things about a colt that looks to make some noise running from the back of the pack at Churchill in three weeks.

Java's War holds off the Ramsey's (insert word here) Kitten for the win at Keeneland in the 2013 Bluegrass Stakes.
Java's War holds off the Ramsey's (insert word here) Kitten for the win at Keeneland in the 2013 Bluegrass Stakes.
Matthew Stockman

Once again, I'm limited by my iPad, so the links will be cut out. In an effort to find something interesting in the female family that I could possibly try to buy, claim, or think about how awesome it would be to own, I typically run through about 50 or so horses on PedigreeQuery, Equibase, Equineline, etc in order to see what is out there. Java's War's female family is a strange thing: it has some amazing performers such as the 1998 Eclipse Award winner for Female Turf Horse and near millionaire, Fiji, but it also has a notable lack of depth outside of the immediate dams of Java's War. The sisters of the dam, granddam, and great-granddam really have made zero impact on the breed.

Java's War, by War Pass (Cherokee Run - Vue [Mr. Prospector) out of Java (GB) (Rainbow Quest - Island Jamboree [Explodent]). The colt is a homebred campainging for his breeder/owner Charles Fipke.

Java's War, interestingly enough, was actually the first winner for his sire, the late War Pass. He won at a mile on the turf at Ellis Park on Sunday, July 8th of last year by 1 3/4 lengths. War Pass, with only 2 crops to his name, has had very little success as a sire, mostly attibutable to his untimely death on Christmas Eve of 2010. War Pass was an undefeated Juvenile Champion, with notable wins by open lengths in the G1-Champagne and the G1-BC Juvenile. As a 3yo, he posted a disappointing 7th place performance but held off all but one challengers to finish 2nd in the G1-Wood Memorial. War Pass was subsequently retired due to injury and immediately begn shuttling to Austraila. The only other notable progeny he has in North America is Revolutionary, winner of the G2-Louisiana Derby. Interstingly enough, both of these colts, Java's War (dam by Rainbow Quest) and Revolutionary (dam by AP Indy), made the same decision to breed their stamina-laden family to a juvenile champion known for front-running speed. The results are eeriely similar: a two turn runner that can make the distance that prefers to come from way off the pace. The second, and last, crop of War Pass will be juveniles this year.

Java's War is out of Java (GB). She is a winner, but has no black type, who was at her best at 10 panels on the lawn. She sold for $350,000 at Keeneland November 2009 with Java's War in utero. Her best foal before Java's War is Coffee Bar, a 2006 gelding by Mineshaft who placed in a 9f listed turf stakes at Woodbine. Coffee Bar won a total of $243,000 in his career and sold as a yearling for $335,000 at Keeneland September 2007. Java has had a total of 7 foals with 4 starters, 4 winners, and two black type horses. They have shown a strong preference for the turf no matter who the sire is.

Java (GB) is by the Juddmonte sire Rainbow Quest. Rainbow Quest was the 1985 French and English Champion Older Horse. Won Coronation Cup and the Arc. Champion Broodmare and is a noted influence of both propensity for turf and classic distance stamina. The extremely intersting thing about Java's War is that he is inbred 4x3 to Blushing Groom. While anything past the 3rd generation's significant influence is seriously doubtful in anything other than an anecdotal sense, the choice of War Pass by the Fipke stable shows a clear indication that he was truly seeking out that influence. Blushing Groom is a very important stallion, but certianly not a cornerstone one, so I find it hard to believe it's completely coincidental.

Java's War's second dam is Island Jamboree, a top notch graded stakes horse who finished 2nd in the G1-Gamely stakes at 9f on the grass. Island Jamboree is by Explodent out of a Wing Out mare. As with most of the other family, Island Jamboree is her only foal of importance. She topped at at sale for $1.6 million at Keeneland November 2000 while in foal to Storm Cat (the foal never started). However, Island Jamboree produced the great Fiji, who, as mentioned above, was the 1998 Eclipse Award winner for Female Turf Horse. A lifetime winner of nearly $1 million, Fiji won 2 G1s, and 2 G2s en route to winning that Eclipse Award. She ended up selling for $3.1 million at Keeneland November 2002. Fiji was a homebred who campaigned for Newgate Stud. While none of her foals have replicated her successes (which is impossible to ask) she did have a winner by Danehill of about $200,000 who sold as a yearling for $1.5 million who placed in a G3 in England. She has had 9 foals, 7 starters, and 4 winners.

So what do we see here? I definitely see a family capable of producing winners and champions. But I definitely see a return to the grass for Java's War. The 10f distance should be right in his wheel house when running in the KY Derby. And with the surface at Churchill playing kindly to closers, he should definitely have a run at the first leg of the Triple Crown. The one thing I like to see at Churchill though, is a good series of works over the surface prior to running. I've noticed (probably anecdotally, or via selective memory) that with some regularity, horses really want a period of time to sort themselves out on the typically deep Churchill dirt. Java's Was certainly is versatile, with wins on turf, synthetic, and a great run at Verrazano on the Tampa Bay dirt, so he should be fine, but getting him to Louisville sooner rather than later would be preferable for me.