Ward 2YOs Prominent among Nominations for Royal Ascot Qualifiers
Nominates 3 for Royal Palm Juvenile, Juvenile Fillies
Automatic Royal Ascot Entry, Travel Stipend Go to Winners
Gulfstream’s Road to Royal Ascot Set for Saturday, May 13
HALLANDALE, FL – Wesley Ward, a 12-time winning trainer at Royal Ascot, has nominated three 2-year-olds for Gulfstream Park’s two Royal Ascot qualifying stakes scheduled for Saturday, May 13.
The trainer of Royal Ascot stars Lady Aurelia, Golden Pal, No Nay Never and Campanelle, et al, has nominated three horses to the $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile, including two also nominated to the $100,000 Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies. In addition to purse winnings, both stakes will provide the winners with automatic entries into one of six stakes run during the 2023 Royal Ascot meeting as well as $25,000 equine travel stipends for their journeys from the United Stakes to England.
“I think it’s a great thing for Gulfstream to have these races,” Ward said. “I hope we can win one of them.”
The prestigious Royal Ascot meeting will be held June 20-24.
At the time of entry for both Gulfstream stakes, preference will be given to horses that have won maiden allowance races, followed by horses that have finished second in maiden allowance races, then to a maximum of three horses per owner that has previously supported racing at Royal Ascot.
Ward has nominated Stonestreet Stables LLC’s Chitarra and Ocean Mermaid and Steve Cauthen’s Holding the Line to the Royal Palm Juvenile. Chitarra, an Irish-bred daughter of Advertise, and Ocean Mermaid, a Great Britain-bred daughter of Kingman, are also nominated to the Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies. Holding the Line is an Irish-bred son of Soldier’s Call. All three are unraced.
The 30 nominations for the Royal Palm Juvenile include seven horses owned by Florida-based Arindel, including Reaper, who captured a five-furlong maiden special weight race at Gulfstream by 5 ¾ lengths April 21.
A Florida-bred winner of the Royal Palm Juvenile and Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies will receive a $25,000 bonus offered by the FTBOA.
Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse, who won the 2016 Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot with Tepin, has nominated Gary Barber’s The Myth, an unraced son of The Factor.
Trainer George Weaver and owner Dew Sweepers are represented on the list of nominations by two fillies, including Blast Furnace, who finished second behind Ward-trained Fandom on turf at Keeneland April 27.
Arindel has nominated five fillies to the Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies, which attracted a total of 31 nominations. Arindel’s Cherokee is a two-time runner-up over the main track at Gulfstream.
Christian Cruz’s She Has Class, who defeated Cherokee April 20 for trainer Javier Gonzalez, and Jacks or Better Farm Inc.’s Stiletto Heels, won outsprinted Cherokee, May 4, are also nominated to the Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies.
Trained Jeremiah O’Dwyer, who enjoyed international success with Sibelius in the March 25 Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), is represented on the noms list by Double O Racing’s Turf Rocket, an unraced son of More Than Ready, and Golden Express, an unraced son of Goldencents.