The first black-type winners came abroad and stateside, respectively, for Declaration of War and Justin Phillip July 15.
Declaration of War, a son of War Front who stands at Ashford Stud in Kentucky for $35,000, had the 2-year-old filly Actress win the Jebel Ali Silver Anglesey Stakes (G3) at the Curragh for Coolmore connections and trainer Aidan O'Brien. Actress took on males and came home a 1 3/4-length winner of the six-furlong test on turf rated good to firm. She was a $250,000 purchase by Cromwell Bloodstock from the Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga 2016 select yearling sale, and was bred in Ireland by Lynch Bages out of the multiple graded stakes winner Nasty Storm, a daughter of Gulch.
Justin Phillip, a son of First Samurai who stands at Castleton Lyons for $5,000, had his first black-type winner score when Gary Barber's 2-year-old What a Catch took the Rockville Centre Stakes at Belmont Park for trainer Todd Pletcher. Watch Video What a Catch was a $265,000 purchase in March at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-olds in training sale, when agent Justin Casse bought the chestnut colt from SGV Thoroughbreds' consignment. SGV picked up What a Catch for $90,000 from Paramount Sales' consignment to the Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga 2016 preferred New York-bred sale. He was bred by Castleton Lyons and Kilboy Estate out of the Yes It's True mare Catch My Fancy.
What a Catch is undefeated in two starts, and took the six-furlong dirt test by a game, frontrunning length under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. He finished the distance in 1:11.21 on a fast track.