What’s the end-game goal on New Year’s Day?... Of course, it is to be able to line up in a Victory Formation.
On a day normally associated with college football bowl games, a very promising three-year-old colt placed himself on that superhighway that leads to the Kentucky Derby. Victory Formation used January 1 as an opportunity to display his talent. Highly thought of coming into the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park, this Brad Cox-trained runner fulfilled expectations.
In leading a pack of eight newly anointed three-year-old colts to post on the first day of 2023, Victory Formation enjoyed a lot of support at the windows as the 3 to 5 favorite. Unbeaten in two previous starts, this son of 2017 Belmont Stakes champ Tapwrit was making his first run around two turns. Breaking from the gates with authority, Victory Formation immediately assumed command. Leading the field through moderate opening fractions ( 23.2 opening quarter, 47.75 half mile) under jockey Flavien Prat, the early Formation looked exactly like Victory as he rolled into the stretch in complete command.
Completing the one-mile race a geared down three lengths ahead of everyone else, Victory Formation was much the best. The win marked his third victory in as many starts and increased his career earnings to $282,285.
“We are very happy with the results of his first two-turn test”, says Brad Cox. “His breeding says distance should not be a problem but people just have opinions, horses have the answers.”