Bloodhorse: Code Warrior Makes the Grade in Hendrie Stakes

Reprinted from Bloodhorse

Code Warrior dueled early and had more than enough left in the tank to take Hendrie Stakes (G3) June 4 at Woodbine.

Trained by Rachel Halden for owners J.C. Racing Stable, Wachtel Stable, and Gary Barber, the 4-year-old Society’s Chairman filly was making her second straight start at Woodbine after finishing third in the Ballade Stakes May 14.

Code Warrior, with Anne Sanguinetti up, tracked pacesetter Chic Thrill to the outside through an opening quarter-mile in :23.22, while the trio of Rattataptap, Miss Ella, and Jennifer Lynnette kept tabs on the lead duo.

At the half-mile mark, timed in :46.70, Code Warrior was a half-length in command. She began to widen that lead down the lane, extending her advantage to 1 1/2-lengths at the stretch call. A hard-charging Minks Aprise launched a furious bid, but fell three-quarters of a length shy to settle for second. Jennifer Lynnette was another half-length back in third, while favorite Miss Ella won a photo for fourth.

Code Warrior stopped the clock in 1:16.8 over 6 1/2-furlongs on the Tapeta surface. The winner paid $25.80, $9.40, and $5.40 across the board.

The consistent dark bay mare came into the Hendrie off a pair of seconds and thirds in four starts this season. Code Warrior put in a solid effort in the Ballade, missing the runner-up prize by a neck.

The Florida-bred was at the top of her game Sunday for Sanguinetti, who delivered a victory to her parents, John and Chris, of J. C. Racing Stable.

“It’s pretty cool,” said the rider of the family connection. “I’ve just been riding her since she was 2. She’s a little quirky, she’s really sweet, but she has her own way of doing things. It’s kind of better, everybody thought, to stick with what works.”

Halden was hoping the second time at Woodbine would be the charm for Code Warrior, who had been racing in California prior to coming to Toronto.

“She came to me in the spring at Keeneland,” Halden said. “She flew from California to Keeneland and then we shipped here. She ran a very big race (in the Ballade). After shipping from California and on the road from there to here, I think between that last race and this race, she just seemed to really settle in and get into a rhythm. We were feeling confident—not too confident—but we were excited about today. Everything worked out well for us.”

One big key in the Hendrie was letting Code Warrior call the shots.

“She’s just very particular,” Sanguinetti said. “Everything has to be her way. You can’t argue with her.”

Bred by Pamela Edel, Code Warrior went through the auction ring three times, most recently bringing $18,000 from John Sanguinetti at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-year-old sale. With Sunday’s win, she improved her record to 4-3-2 from 12 starts and now has earnings of $208,024.