At a glance

  • Gelding, Ontario-bred, foaled May 4, 2021
  • By Exaggerator out of I’m The Reason
  • Trainer: Kevin Attard
  • Acquired at 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale
  • Foundation development at Margaux Farm (KY) and Eisaman Equine (FLA)

Behind the name

North Warden’s name is a tribute to Halifax: a city that earned its nickname and reputation as Warden of the North by hanging pirates on its beaches, repelling hostile warships, and guarding against privateer attacks.

Known as a “warrior city” for its military prowess, Halifax is a navy creation that became Canada’s first permanent English city. Chosen by General Cornwallis because it had the second biggest natural harbour in the world, a large Citadel Hill, and the perfect vantage point for military operations, Halifax became the gateway into North America for settlers and shippers.

Living up to its moniker, Halifax hung pirates on its many beaches until 1844. It guarded against American privateer attacks on Nova Scotian villages and potential land assaults from the south. An invasion force that attacked Washington in 1813 was sent from Halifax as was an expedition under Lord Dalhousie that captured the area of Castine, Maine, held it for the entirety of the War of 1812, and used the resulting revenues to found Dalhousie University.

In WWI, the Warden of the North became pivotal to strategic defence as Canada’s maritime nerve centre and troop transports, supply vessels, and warships plied its crowded waters. In WWII, Halifax was again a major strategic port as the main and closest staging point in Canada for the war in Europe, a distinction that had its citizens living perpetually on the rim of danger.

The Governor General’s Award-winning book Halifax: Warden of the North has been the best-known and most influential chronicle of Halifax since it was first published in 1948. It was written by Thomas Raddall, one of Canada’s most popular history and historical fiction novelists.

About the sire

Bought for $110,000 in 2014, Exaggerator was a Multiple Graded Stakes Winner with more than $3.6 million in race earnings. Starting second favorite towards the rear of the 20-runner field at the 2016 Kentucky Derby, Exaggerator began to overtake horses with a strong challenge in the last half mile and ultimately finished second to the favored Nyquist by just one and a quarter length. Two weeks later, Exaggerator beat Nyquist by three and a half lengths to win the 2016 Preakness Stakes watched by more than 9 million viewers on NBC. He retired to stud later that year.

Exaggerator was sired by the 2007 Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin and his dam, Dawn Raid, was a great-granddaughter of Bon Debarras whose descendants include Queen’s Plate winner Niigon.

About the dam

I’m The Reason was foaled in January 2013 out of Blind Luck, an American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly that earned more than $3.2 million in race purses after being purchased for just $11,000 as a yearling at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Sale. Blind Luck was officially retired from racing in late January 2012, and she delivered our colt’s dam a year later.

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