LEXINGTON, KY (May 30, 2017) – Keeneland-based trainer Wesley Ward sent out seven runners on Tuesday, including European champion Lady Aurelia, for works over the turf course here in preparation for stakes at Royal Ascot in England in June.
All seven Royal Ascot-bound horses were winners at Keeneland this spring, contributing to Ward’s 11 meet victories and earning for him leading trainer honors.
Lady Aurelia broke in front and then led workmate Bound for Nowhere throughout her five-furlong move over the firm turf course, getting the distance in 1:00.80. Bound for Nowhere was timed in 1:00.20.
“She had a great work today,” Ward said of Lady Aurelia afterward. “We put her in front, like she usually does in her races, and she just kind of cruised around there.”
Owned by Stonestreet Stables, George Bolton and Peter Leidel, Lady Aurelia won the 2016 Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot in June, Darley Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville in France in August and was third in the Connolly’s Red Mills Cheveley Park (G1) at Newmarket in September. She opened her 2017 campaign with a victory against older rivals in the April 15 Giant’s Causeway (L) on the turf at Keeneland.
She will take on older rivals again in the King’s Stand (G1), run June 20, opening day of the Royal Ascot meet.
Ward said Lady Aurelia will have an “easy breeze” at Keeneland next Monday, June 5, before leaving at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday for England.
Among Ward’s other Royal Ascot contenders to work at Keeneland on Tuesday are:
- The aforementioned Bound for Nowhere, a 3-year-old colt by The Factor owned by Ward, who won an allowance race over the Keeneland turf on April 20. He is scheduled to start in the Commonwealth Cup (G1) on June 23.
- Working four furlongs on his own in :48.40 was Wes Welker and Elizabeth Kumin’s Undrafted, who is about to make his fourth trip to England. Fourth in the 2014 Darley July Cup (G1) at Newmarket, he won Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee (G1) in 2015 and was sixth in the race last year. The Purim gelding, pointed at the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 24, began his 7-year-old campaign with a win in an April 21 allowance race over the Keeneland turf.
- The 2-year-olds Fairyland and McErin worked a half-mile together in :48. A filly by Scat Daddy owned by Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith and John Magnier, Fairyland won her career debut by 3¼ lengths at Keeneland on dirt on April 7. She is slated for the Albany (G3) on June 23. Bred and owned by Waterford Stable, McErin is a colt by Trappe Shot who broke his maiden by 7½ lengths at Keeneland on dirt on April 12. He will go in the Norfolk (G2) on June 22.
- A second pair of 2-year-olds, Happy Like a Fool and Nootka Sound, also worked a half-mile. Happy Like a Fool covered the distance in :48.60 while Nootka Sound was caught in :48.80. Ward bred and owns Happy Like a Fool, a filly by Distorted Humor who won her maiden by 4 lengths on the dirt at Keeneland on April 9. She is being pointed for the Queen Mary (G2) on June 21. Hat Creek Racing owns Nootka Sound, a 2-year-old Lonhro (AUS) filly who won her debut by 5¼ lengths on April 27 on dirt at Keeneland. She is on target for the Windsor Castle (L) on June 20.
Lady Aurelia, Undrafted, Fairyland, Bound for Nowhere and Nootka Sound are graduates of Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale.