‘Frankie said a mile is no issue’ – Wesley Ward targets Breeders’ Cup with Campanelle

Horse Racing Campanelle aimed at Breeders' Cup
Breeders’ Cup-bound: Campanelle has shone in Europe this summer for Wesley Ward.
Photo: France Galop/scoopdyga.com

By Nicholas Godfrey

USA: Wesley Ward has outlined plans for his stable stars, with brilliant Prix Morny winner Campanelle unlikely to be seen again before the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“She’s coming back on [September] fifth,” Ward said. “She’s in Chantilly right now, galloping in the forest, and she’s thriving. 

“She’ll come back to Keeneland,” added the trainer, speaking to NYRA reporters. “We’ll talk things over with the team at Stonestreet, but we’ll probably go into the Breeders Cup. Frankie got off her and said that the mile should be no issue at all.”

Impressive recent winner Golden Pal will also train up to his main target, the G2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint – a race Ward won last year with Four Wheel Drive – while Commonwealth Cup runner-up Kimari is likely to switch back to dirt at Saratoga next weekend in the G2 Prioress.

Speaking of Norfolk Stakes runner-up Golden Pal, Ward said: “From day one, he’s just shown immense talent, even before we started breezing him.

“You could just tell with his demeanor, his physique and everything that he was evolving, like a high-school starting quarterback going into college. He just keeps moving forward. 

“I’ve always been singing his praises and he got beat the first two times, but I’m glad he vindicated himself last time.”

KImari has been breezing at Ward’s Keeneland base since finishing second at Royal Ascot for the second season running. Having been runner-up in the Queen Mary in 2019, the three-year-old was a length and a half behind Golden Horde in the Commonwealth Cup.

She is a stakes winner on both dirt and turf and won a Listed race on the Oaklawn main track before travelling to Britain.

“We’ll breeze her Sunday and we’ll see how she works and how she comes out of the work, but we’re looking at the Prioress,” Ward told NYRA reporters.

In the meantime, Ward is ready to unleash another potential star on Sunday at Saratoga in the shape of Red Ghost, a daughter of Ghostzapper who makes her debut in a 5½f turf maiden.

“She’s always shown a lot of talent from her initial works,” Ward said. “She may be just a little bit short, but with the race being on the grass it should be a nice easy race for her. 

“She ranks right up there with the top two-year-olds that I have this year. Fitness-wise she may be just a little short. Regardless, she’s going to get a good experience over a nice course.”

• Visit the NYRA Saratoga website

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