Wesley Ward
Trainer Bios

Wesley Ward

Born: March 3, 1968 in Selah, Washington

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 164

Stakes Wins: 13

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 2013 Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville with No Nay Never

First Stakes Win: 1994 Will Rogers (G3) at Hollywood Park with Unfinished Symph

First Graded Stakes Win: 1994 Will Rogers (G3) at Hollywood Park with Unfinished Symph

First Career Win: Jan. 6, 1991, at Yakima Meadows with Mariani Red

Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass


Year

Horse

Finish

2014

Pablo Del Monte

3rd

2013

Undrafted

13th

2012

Politicallycorrect

12th

2010

Pleasant Prince

7th

At Keeneland


Four titles as leading trainer: 2019 Spring, 2018 Spring (tie with Brad Cox), 2017 Fall, and 2012 Spring and Fall .

Won the 2019 Appalachian (G2) Presented by Japan Racing Association with The Macken Bullet (IRE).

Won the 2018 Shakertown (G2) with Bound for Nowhere during the Spring Meet.

Won the 2017 Giant's Causeway (L) with Lady Aurelia during the Spring Meet.

Won the 2016 Shakertown (G2) with Undrafted during the Spring Meet.

On April 21, 2016, sent out Lady Aurelia to win her career debut. Lady Aurelia went on to win the Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot and the Darley Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville. 

On the second day of the 2015 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland won the $100,000 Juvenile Dirt Sprint Stakes with Sheikh of Sheikhs. 

Won first Keeneland race during the 2007 Spring Meet.

Saddled One Hot Wish to set a 4 1/2-furlong world record of :48.87 at Keeneland on April 12, 2007. She is the dam of Pablo Del Monte, a son of Giant’s Causeway who is a two-time winner at Keeneland.

First Keeneland stakes win was the 2011 Giant’s Causeway with Holiday for Kitten.

Sent out his Judy the Beauty to win the 2013 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) and 2014 Madison (G1).

 

Career


Training operation is based at Keeneland year-round. 

Owns Ward Ranch near Ocala, Florida, where he begins training his young horses.

Breeders' Cup wins (2): 2014 Filly and Mare Sprint with Judy the Beauty and Juvenile Turf with Hootenanny.

Judy the Beauty was named champion female sprinter of 2014.

Has 10 wins at the prestigious Royal Ascot meet in England. Became the first American trainer to saddle a winner at Royal Ascot in 2009 when Strike the Tiger won the Windsor Castle at odds of 33-1. The next day, he sent out Jealous Again to win the Queen Mary (G2). 

Other wins are the 2013 Norfolk (G2) with No Nay Never; 2014 Windsor Castle with Hootenanny; 2015 Diamond Jubilee (G1) with Undrafted and Queen Mary (G2) with Acapulco; 2016 Queen Mary (G2) with Lady Aurelia; 2017 King's Stand (G1) with Lady Aurelia and Sandringham (L) with Con Te Partiro; and 2018 Norfolk (G2) with Shang Shang Shang.

Lady Aurelia was named Europe’s champion 2-year-old filly of 2016 and received a Cartier Racing Award as 2-year-old filly of the year. At Keeneland for much of the season, she is the first horse trained in the U.S. to win a Cartier award, which honors outstanding horses in Europe.

North American career earnings exceed $59 million with 1,771 wins through June 17, 2019.

Click here for his Equibase record.

Background


Wesley was born into a racing family. His father, Dennis, is a former jockey who is now a trainer and occasionally saddles horses for his son. His grandfather, Jim Dailey, was a steeplechase rider and later a popular outrider in New York for 29 years.

Wesley began riding at age 12, competing at fairs in Washington, Alberta, British Columbia and Montana. On the day he turned 16, the junior in high school began riding at Aqueduct with Lenny Goodman as his agent. Goodman, a friend of Jim Dailey’s, previously handled the books of Steve Cauthen and Declan Murphy. Though he didn’t win any races that day, Wesley won five in the next three days.

Recipient of the 1984 Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice, Wesley later rode in Italy, Singapore and Malaysia. He retired in 1989, tired of battling weight. He began training in 1991.

He maintains a year-round base at Keeneland, where he has tremendous success with his 2-year-old first-time starters during the Spring Meets.