Trainer Wesley Ward’s three possible contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint – Stonestreet Stables’ Cambria, Ten Broeck Farm’s Kimari and Breeze Easy’s Four Wheel Drive – led Sunday workers preparing for the championships at Keeneland.
The trio of 2-year-olds each worked a half-mile on firm turf. Cambria, a filly by Speightstown ridden by Vimael Torres, worked in company with Karak in :49.80. Kimari, a Munnings filly ridden by Julio Garcia in company with Bound for Nowhere, worked in :48.80 with the final quarter in :23.40. On his own under Alex Achard, the American Pharoah colt Four Wheel Drive was timed in :50.
Ward said the horses earned their way to the Breeders’ Cup because “they’re proven. They rose to the top of the ranks in America.”
Cambria is unbeaten in three starts, including the $500,000-added Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint on Sept. 7 in her most recent start. Four Wheel Drive has won his two starts, including the Futurity (G3) at Belmont Park on Oct. 6.
Kimari began to establish her credentials during Keeneland’s Spring Meet in April. She won her career debut by 15 lengths, went to Royal Ascot in England and was second in the Queen Mary (G2) and since has wins in the Bolton Landing at Saratoga and the Indian Summer on opening weekend of Keeneland’s Fall Meet. The latter performance earned her an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.
Ward was pleased with today’s performances by his Breeders’ Cup hopefuls, especially the one by Kimari.
“That was a very, very impressive work today in that she outworked a real quality horse – although he’s not a very good work horse,” Ward said, referring to Bound for Nowhere. “He’s gotten outworked every work in his life – from Lady Aurelia on down to whoever. Luckily enough, when you lead him over in the afternoon, he runs like hell. He’s a tough horse to judge, but still it was a beautiful work.”
Among the people watching Kimari was Ben McElroy, racing manager of owner David Mowat’s Ten Broeck Farm.
“She’s danced every dance,” McElroy said about Kimari. “When she won at Keeneland in April, it was a Lady Aurelia-type performance. She went to Royal Ascot and she was beaten by Raffle Prize, who went on and broke the track record at Newmarket. So obviously it was a bang-up race she ran. And at Saratoga (in the Bolton Landing she ran) a great race, and here (her last-to-first win in the Indian Summer) was sensational to watch.
“She’s just always been super-talented. At Keeneland in April, when they win like that, you’re thinking Royal Ascot – that’s your first goal. Breeders’ Cup is a bonus. Says a lot for the filly and says a lot for the way Wesley has managed her.”
Ward said Cambria, Kimari and Four Wheel Drive would work again over the Keeneland turf next Sunday and leave Tuesday, Oct. 29, for Santa Anita.
He owns Bound for Nowhere, who won Keeneland’s 2018 Shakertown (G2) and is entered in a Wednesday allowance for his first start since the Diamond Jubilee (G1) in June at Royal Ascot.