Wilgerbosdrift’s promising young stallion Fire Away hails from an outstanding female line, and the son of War Front gained yet another handsome update to his pedigree when his close relative Arabian Lion won the G1 Woody Stephens Stakes presented by Mohegan Sun on Saturday.
A first G1 winner for his Triple Crown winning sire Justify, three-year-old Arabian Lion, an impressive two-turn stakes winner in his prior start, handled the cutback to sprinting with aplomb and became a G1 winner in the process with a decisive 1 3/4-length triumph in Saturday’s $400,000 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park.Ridden by John Velazquez for Bob Baffert, Arabian Lion covered the distance in 1:21.70 over a fast main track to earn his second straight win following a four-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness Stakes undercard.
Arabian Lion fetched $600,000 as a 2-year-old in training last April, and the $220,000 winner’s share of the purse nearly doubled his lifetime earnings to $437,600. Baffert said the G1 Haskell Invitational could be a logical next target for Arabian Lion.
Arabian Lion, who has now won three of seven starts, is out of the stakes placed Distorted Humor mare Unbound. The latter, in turn, is out of the regally bred mare Possibility, a daughter of Breeders’ Cup winning champions A.P. Indy and Personal Ensign.
Personal Ensign, never beaten in 13 starts, also ranks as the granddam of Fire Away, while her daughter Possibility is also granddam of another top-class three-year-old this season in the form of Major Dude.
Fire Away, one of South Africa’s Leading First Season Sires of 2022-2023, has made a very pleasing start with his first runners this season headed by Listed East Cape Fillies Nursery/Listed Dahlia Plate/Listed Lady’s Slipper Stakes heroine Luna Halo and Listed Storm Bird Stakes runner up Fire ‘N Flames.
At the time of writing, Fire Away had had more two-year-old winners in South Africa this season than the likes of Master Of My Fate, Var, and Trippi.