(The filly, Cambria, rallies on the rail to win the KY Downs Juvenile Turf / Coady Photography & Courtesy of KY Downs)
From the KY Downs Media Team:
Whether a 2-year-old sprint race is in Europe, or over a European-style course like Kentucky Downs, trainer Wesley Ward and owner Stonestreet Farm mean business.
The trainer-owner combination, who teamed a few years ago with multiple overseas Group 1 winner and European juvenile champion Lady Aurelia, struck again Saturday at Kentucky Downs when Cambria scored a gutty head victory over Chimney Rock in the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint. The win gave Ward back-to-back winners in the race with fillies beating the boys, following Moonlight Romance’s triumph last year for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione — Cambria (1st):
“Today was the first time she actually was challenged,” said winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione. “She showed how much heart she has.”
Trainer Wesley Ward — Cambria:
“Both of her races were very, very good but not great,” Ward said of her victories at Presque Isle. “Her subsequent works, in fact her last work, was an eye-opener. So I texted Barbara after her last work and said, ‘Barbara, we’re going to have a big, big chance.’ She texted me ‘what race?’ I sent her a photo of this race in the condition book. I said, ‘You’re going to be rich after winning this one, Barbara.’ I got a laugh out of her anyway.”
As Ward forecasted, Banke reaped the reward of the $500,000 purse, with Cambria earning $294,500 to increase her bankroll to $331,700.
Ward now plans to bring a fresh horse into the Breeders’ Cup, bypassing a start in between, to prepare for the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, a race in which Moonlight Romance was 12th last year when it was run at Churchill Downs. That start would mean another start against males over a short, five-furlong trip that suits her.
“That’s the first thing I like to ask the riders when they get off, the distance,” Ward said. “Would it be a mile against juvenile fillies on the grass or sprinting? Tyler said, ‘for sure, sprinting.’ I mean if she was able to make one big run from behind and the speed collapses from behind, she’ll be right there. I mean, she’s really really good from behind.”
Jockey Jose Ortiz — Chimney Rock (2nd):
“I got really squeezed right out of the gate and cost me the race for sure,” he said. “They came inside, outside. I was in the sandwich. I was the best today. “