After a dozen-length maiden win in early December, Invader made his 3-year-old debut in the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial S. Feb. 14 at Turfway Park and turned in another outstanding performance, drawing off in the stretch to win the 1 1/16-mile contest by 6 1/4-lengths.
Invader, owned by Cheyenne Stables, Grandview Equine and LNJ Foxwoods. collected his second straight win and his first stakes victory while pushing his earnings to $106,200. Invader is a full brother to Grade 1 winner Fog of War.
Invader, trained by Wesley Ward, broke well from post six in the eight-horse field and set just off the lead set by High Holy. Invader came on even terms with the pacesetter midway on the final turn, then put him away in upper stretch and drew off for the easy win.
“He’s a good horse from the gate, really quick, but there were a couple of speed horses in there and I didn’t want to go to the lead too early,” said jockey Albin Jimenez. “I wanted to wait as long as I could, but he’s such a strong horse. By the three-eighths pole he was taking it by himself so I just him go.”
The Battaglia is the traditional local prep for the March 14 Jeff Ruby S. (G3), itself a points race for the Kentkucky Derby (G1).