Named for a noted American opera singer, the equine Minnie Hauk is a Sir Ivor daughter of the great 20th-century matriarch Best in Show. The versatility shown by her branch of the family is embodied by her own two Group I winners. One, the 1993 Sadler's Wells colt Chief Contender, was a thoroughgoing stayer who won the 1997 Prix du Cadran (FR-I), France's equivalent to the Ascot Gold Cup (ENG-I). The other, the Northfields filly Aviance, won the 1984 Heinz "57" Phoenix Stakes (IRE-I), Ireland's top sprint stakes for juveniles.
Aviance, in turn, produced four-time Grade I turf stakes winner Denon (by Pleasant Colony), who thrived over distances from 9 to 12 furlongs, and Chimes of Freedom (by Private Account), a Group I-winning juvenile like her dam but able to stretch her speed to further Group I success over a mile at 3. Chimes of Freedom is the dam of 2003 American champion sprinter Aldebaran (by Mr. Prospector) and of 2002 Atto Mile Stakes (CAN-IT) winner Good Journey (by Nureyev).
Imperfect Circle, a Riverman half sister to Denon and Chimes of Freedom, was not quite as talented as either but did become a juvenile stakes winner in England and was second in the 1990 Tattersalls Cheveley Park Stakes (ENG-I). She is the dam of multiple Grade/Group I winner Spinning World (by Nureyev), whose conquests included the 1997 Breeders' Cup Mile (USA-IT)., and of Visions of Clarity, a Sadler's Wells filly who was a listed stakes winner over 1600 meters (the so-called "metric mile") in France.
Bred to Distorted Humor, Visions of Clarity produced Pathfork, who was Ireland's top-rated juvenile in 2010 after winning the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes (IRE-I) and the Futurity Stakes (IRE-II) but was derailed by injuries at 3 and 4. Bred to the staying A.P. Indy, she produced a racehorse of a very different stripe in Tacticus, whose liking for long distances on dirt led to 2015 victories in the 13-furlong Temperence Hill Invitational Stakes and the 14-furlong Birdstone Stakes. War of Will is the third stakes winner for Visions of Clarity, who has since produced a 2017 Tapit colt.
While Minnie Hauk's branch of the Best in Show family has produced a number of staying runners when bred to stamina-oriented sires, its native proclivity over the last three generations has been for speed. This naturally leads to the question of whether War of Will will relish distances beyond an extended mile, given that War Front has earned a reputation as a sire of top juveniles in Europe. A number of War Front's progeny have stayed 10 furlongs or more in top company, however, and given the way in which War of Will has already defied expectations raised by his pedigree, he just might be able to hit the right notes at Classic distances and bring further renown to an already distinguished family.