04/29/2017 8:46PM

War Correspondent ends long drought in Miami Mile

Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photos
War Correspondent, ridden by Tyler Gafflione, wins the Grade 3 Miami Mile by a length.

War Correspondent returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in more than two years after rallying to a one-length victory over the pacesetting Applicator in Saturday’s Grade 3 Miami Mile at Gulfstream Park.  Only four horses contested the Miami Mile after Diamond Bachelor and likely favorite All Included were scratched, the latter due to a foot bruise, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.

War Correspondent, whose last victory came in the Grade 3 Appleton here in March 2015, briefly dueled Applicator for the lead into the first turn before being eased back off that rival by jockey Tyler Gaffalione.  War Correspondent bided his time for six furlongs while attending the leader, moved readily when asked to take control in early stretch before gradually edging clear at the end. 

Applicator, the longest price on the board at 14-1, held on gamely along the inside to outlast the 11-year-old veteran Lubash by a nose to be second. Our Way rounded out the complete order of finish with only two lengths separating all four starters at the wire.

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War Correspondent, a 7-year-old son of War Front, was placed third via disqualification in his previous start in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.  Trained by Christophe Clement, War Correspondent completed the distance in 1:34.19 over a firm course and paid $3.20.

“My horse broke out there running and the other horse [Applicator] was intent on going, so we just sat off of him,” said Gaffalione. “He [War Correspondent] relaxed beautifully. When I asked him to run, he just exploded. He was just out there cruising and when I pushed the button, he was gone.”