Keeneland-based trainer Wesley Ward was pleased with the Friday works over a turf course labeled “good” by a group of horses he intends to start during England’s celebrated Royal Ascot meet from June 15-19.
“All the horses are very, very well prepared,” said Ward, who has 11 wins at Royal Ascot dating back to 2009. “We got a good idea now whether or not they like the course with a little give in it – we were fortunate to have rain last night. I think all of them passed the test. They all are shipping over there very, very sound, which is ideal especially for 2-year-olds.
“How well I do over there will be a little bit of a ‘God factor’ – if we get some fast ground and some sunshine.”
Keeneland clockers caught Richard Ravin’s Maven (June 15 King’s Stand-G1) working 5 furlongs in company with Grade 1 winner Kimari in 1:00.80.
Ward’s other horses all worked a half-mile:
Two candidates for the June 17 Norfolk (G2) – Marc Detampel’s Nakatomi and Stonestreet Stables’ Napa Spirit (IRE) – went together in :48.40.
Andrew Farm, For the People Racing Stable and Windmill Manor Farm’s Lucci (Norfolk) and Stonestreet’s Twilight Gleaming (IRE) (June 16 Windsor Castle-L) went in company in :48.20.
Hat Creek Racing and Cheyenne Stable’s Golden Bell (June 18 Albany-G3) worked :48 in company with Stonestreet’s Ruthin (GB) (June 16 Queen Mary-G2), who went in :48.20.
Paired with Castleton Lyons’ Chi Town Lady, Royal Ascot hopeful Kaufymaker covered a half-mile in :48.60. Ward said Kaufymaker, owned by Gregory Kaufman, could run in either the Queen Mary or the Albany.
Ward’s Royal Ascot team also includes Stonestreet’s Campanelle (IRE), who won last year’s Queen Mary. The horses are to leave June 1 from Indianapolis on their overseas flight.