Trainer Wesley Ward gave the thumbs-up signal to indicate his approval of today’s works at Keeneland by his horses – led by Stonestreet Stables and Peter Leidel’s European champion Lady Aurelia – after they worked on the turf course in preparation for the prestigious Royal Ascot meet in England in June.
“I can’t wait to go,” said Ward, whose nine wins at Royal Ascot include the 2016 Queen Mary (G2) and 2017 King’s Stand (G1) with Lady Aurelia.
A 4-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy, Lady Aurelia is to defend her title in the 5-furlong King’s Stand on Royal Ascot’s June 10 opening day. On Friday, she and rider Julio Garcia covered 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 on firm turf in her third work since she was second in Keeneland’s Giant’s Causeway (L) on April 14 in her 2018 debut.
Working several lengths behind Lady Aurelia was Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Hemp Hemp Hurray, who covered 5 furlongs in 1:01. A 3-year-old colt by Artie Schiller, Hemp Hemp Hurray is to contest the June 20 Jersey (G3) or June 22 Commonwealth Cup (G1).
Subsequent Ward workers included his Bound for Nowhere, who won Keeneland’s Shakertown (G2) on April 7 and is to run at Royal Ascot in the 6-furlong Diamond Jubilee (G1) on June 23. The 4-year-old son of The Factor, fourth in last year’s Commonwealth Cup, and rider Adam Beschizza covered 5 furlongs in 1:00 in company with stablemate Delectation (GB).
Other Ward trainees that worked at Keeneland today and are pointed to races at Royal Ascot are Hat Creek Racing’s Chelsea Cloisters (June 20 Queen Mary-G2); Vivian Day and Kate V. Rose’s Master Merion (June 20 Royal Hunt Cup); Breeze Easy’s Shang Shang Shang (June 21 Norfolk-G2); Reiley McDonald’s Athens Queen and Marcus Stables’ Stillwater Cove (June 22 Albany-G3); and Wes Welker and Monomoy Stables’ Undrafted (June 23 Wokingham).
Working 4 furlongs were Athens Queen (:48.80), Chelsea Cloisters (:48.40), Shang Shang Shang (:48.40) and Stillwater Cove (:47.60). Other 5-furlong workers were Master Merion (1:03.40) and Undrafted (1:03.40).
The earner of more than $1.4 million, Undrafted won the Diamond Jubilee in 2015. The multiple graded stakes winner, an 8-year-old son of Purim, also ran in the race in 2016.
Ward’s horses are scheduled to work again at Keeneland next Friday and leave Indianapolis June 4 for their overseas flight.