Many of the country’s top 3-year-olds will be on display Saturday at
Gulfstream Park, both on the undercard and in a field of 13 for the
$400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (G2).
Trainer Wesley Ward, meanwhile, is eagerly awaiting the seasonal
debut of his sensational sophomore No Nay Never in the $150,000 Swale
(G2) on March 1.
“It’s the race I’ve been pointing for ever since he came back,” Ward
said. “He’s just been amazing. Everything he’s done, he’s done it
easily. This is a little bit of a stretch-out to seven furlongs, but
certainly as good a horse as he is, he should be able to handle that off
A son of Scat Daddy, winner of the Champagne (G1) at 2 and the
Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby (G1) in 2007, No Nay Never is
perfect in three starts. He broke his maiden on the Polytrack at
Keeneland last April before finding success abroad.
In June, he broke the five-furlong track record for a 2-year-old in
winning the Norfolk Stakes (G2) in 58.80 seconds, Ward’s third career
win at Royal Ascot. From there, he swept past the leaders with three
furlongs to run and won France’s Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville in 1:09.82
for six furlongs.
“You wouldn’t go that far if you didn’t think you could win, but
doing it is another thing,” Ward said. “It was great.”
No Nay Never has had six works for Ward at Gulfstream, including a
five-furlong breeze in 58.94 seconds on Feb. 15, third-fastest of 70
horses. Ward expects to work him again on Sunday.
“He got a little bit too geared up the first part of his works, so I
kind of backed off him a little bit,” Ward said. “His last few works
have been unbelievable. His work last Saturday was just outstanding. If
he runs like he works, we’ll be all right.”
Beyond the Swale, Ward is hoping to bring No Nay Never back to Royal
Ascot for the St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) on June 17 or the Jersey
Stakes (G3) on June 18, with the seven-furlong King’s Bishop (G1) at
Saratoga Race Course a long-term goal.
“He’s the most talented horse I’ve ever had,” Ward said. “We’re
hoping for big things in the future. Hopefully, he stays sound and can
go out there and run the best race he possibly can every time I lead him
over. We’ll see what we can do.”