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royal ascot hopeful golden pal "tearing the barn down"

April 23, 2022

Two weeks after his dominating, 4¾-length victory in the Shakertown (G2) on April 9, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith and Westerberg’s Golden Pal returned to the Keeneland turf course and galloped at a two-minute lick.

Trainer Wesley Ward said today’s exercise resulted from Golden Pal coming out of the Shakertown so well.

“He’s really feeling good,” Ward said about the 4-year-old Uncle Mo colt, who is pointed to the June 14 King’s Stand (G1) at Royal Ascot in England. “Our plan was to wait a little bit, but he’s just tearing the barn down right now. We decided to do a little something (extra) with him. We left the exercise rider on him who rides him every day: Jose Hernandez. I told him to go the easiest three-eighths that he can. And he did, so we’re really happy.

“These racehorses – especially ones like (Golden Pal) – just come on the track and he’s like dynamite. If you can take a little bit of the edge off them, it’s certainly going to help. No place better to do it than the Keeneland turf course.”

With nine wins during the first 10 days of Keeneland’s 15-day Spring Meet, Ward is atop the trainer standings.