(Golden Pal / Coady Photography)
From the Breeders’ Cup Media Team:
Ranlo Investments’ homebred Golden Pal ($3.60) lived up to his heavy favoritism by grabbing the lead out of the gate and cruising to a three-quarters of a length victory over a late-charging Cowan to win the third running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) at Keeneland to kick off Future Stars Friday’s five World Championships races for 2-year-olds.
Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Golden Pal covered the 5 ½ furlongs on a turf course labeled as good in 1:02.82. For Ward and Ortiz, it was their second consecutive victory in the race having scored with Four Wheel Drive in 2019 at Santa Anita. It is the fourth Breeders’ Cup win for Ward and 10th for Ortiz.
The victory was worth $550,000 and increased Golden Pal’s earnings to $623,056 with a record of 4-2-2-0.
Golden Pal is Florida-bred son of Uncle Mo out of the Midshipman mare Lady Shipman.
Winning trainer Wesley Ward (Golden Pal) – “He’s just amazing. I got a little worried on the backside. Irad kind of lost a little momentum there and took a pretty good hold of him, but then he just accelerated down the lane. When he accelerated past the quarter-pole, I knew we were O.K. I got a little worried on the last part and was hugging onto my son, but we got there. He’s a champion colt. Thank God (Randy Lowe) gave him to me to train. I really appreciate it. (Next year’s Breeders’ Cup) is where we’re heading, but first we’re going to Royal Ascot. Here we come. He’s going to get them this year!”
Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Golden Pal) – “He’s a really nice horse. He did the hard job. I just sat in him waiting for the time to go. He ran great. He really has a lot of potential.”
Second-place trainer Steve Asmussen (Cowan) – “That looked like a replay of his last (race). He comes running and was second. Hopefully one of these days it will be his turn. But he’s obviously a very quality horse. I thought he’d win every day since the Indian Summer and I’m disappointed he was second.”
Second-place jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. (Cowan) – “He got a good trip. Fourteen horses, he got a perfect trip. He ran a big race.”
Third-place jockey Rowan Scott (Ubettabelieveit (IRE) – “He got a good run round there. He was just a little bit slow here because his usual running style is coming from off the pace. He picked up well but the first two were away and gone. I’m really happy with him. He ran a blinder.”
Fifth-place trainer Valerie Lund (Bodenheimer) – “He stumbled away from there and got in behind Cowan. He threw his head up and had a trip that wasn’t perfect and today is the day you have to have the perfect trip to get there. We are proud that he made it here.”