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Golden Pal Returns to Winning Ways

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The fleet-footed Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) rebounded from a disappointing effort at Royal Ascot with a gritty victory in Saratoga's GIII Troy S. Friday. Away in good order, the 1-5 favorite stalked from a two-wide third as True Valour (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) clicked off a :21.93 opening quarter. Moving up to draw alongside the top two turning for home, Golden Pal locked horns with True Valour as their temporary threat Carotari (Artie Schiller) quickly found the waters too deep and backed out of it. Those two battled stride-for-stride to the line with Golden Pal getting the nod. Thin White Duke (Dominus) came running late to complete the trifecta. Carotari faded to last.

“He's got a brilliant mind this horse and takes everything in, but he knew it was race day,” said winning trainer Wesley Ward. “The plan was, unless he broke super sharp, that I'd like him to come from behind. Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] worked him from behind the last few times, so he knew he could do it. Julio Garcia, our main rider at home, works him from behind every week. I'm glad he showed a little versatility today. I'm glad Irad gave him a couple of reminders on the shoulder and got him going the last little part. Right after the race he gave him a little pet and a tap and he said there was a lot more left in him.”

He added, “You're always concerned [about the close finish], but I have a of confidence in this horse. He's certainly the best horse I've ever had. Every time you lead him over he proves more and more what a joy [it is] to be around a special horse like this. It would make every single trainer get up in the morning. He's a once in a lifetime horse and I've been blessed to have a few of them, but this guy is certainly the best.”

On a potential dirt start in the six-furlong GII Phoenix S. Oct. 7 at Keeneland, Ward said, “We'll talk it over with everyone involved in the ownership of the horse and see which direction they want to go, but it's important to them to show what the horse can do on the dirt as well. Through all these issues he's had throughout his career–minor issues–I've kept him on the grass to keep him sound, but he's never been as sound as he is now. It would be a good time to try him and it would be a good time to try him on his home track.”

“When they opened the gate he was moving at the same time and they outbroke me,” Ortiz said. “They were in front of me and that's not his style. He's always in front of everyone the first couple of jumps. We've been working covered up in behind horses, that was how Wesley wanted me to work the horse, and today when that happened I wasn't afraid to take a hold or drop in and sit and wait because I was working with the horse. It worked out good. He's pretty fast out of there; probably the fastest horse I ride on the turf in my whole career.”

As for the poor effort at Royal Ascot, Ortiz said, “Last time didn't work out, honestly, he missed the break. I was a little aggressive and he stopped bad, so we didn't want the same thing to happen. Wesley let me do whatever, he didn't say instructions or anything. I love riding for him. I felt somebody was coming [Thin White Duke], but my horse was fighting with the other horse [True Valour], but my horse was responding well, so I know he's going to be there if I ask him too.”

A neck short in the G2 Norfolk S. at the 2020 Royal meeting, Golden Pal captured the Skidmore S. at the Spa and the GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint S. at Keeneland. Kicking off 2021 with a win in Saratoga's GIII Quick Call S., he was seventh when shipped across the pond for York's G1 Nunthorpe S., but returned to winning ways back at Keeneland in the GII Woodford S. last October. Securing his second win at the World Championships in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint S. at Del Mar, the son of Lady Shipman romped in Keeneland's GII Shakertown S. Apr. 9, but was eased to 16th as the heavy favorite after a slow start in the G1 King's Stand S. at Royal Ascot June 14.

Pedigree Notes:
Golden Pal is the first foal out of ultra-talented turf sprinter Lady Shipman, who came up just short in her Breeders' Cup bid, but won a total of eight stakes, including a track record-setting score in Saratoga's 5 1/2-panel Smart N Fancy S. That record of 1:00.46 was broken by Carotari in 2019, when he covered the distance in 1:00.21. Lady Shipman failed to get in foal to Gun Runner for 2019 and her 2020 Justify foal died. The 10-year-old mare produced an Omaha Beach colt now named Lieutenant General in 2021 and an Uncle Mo filly named Luvwhatyoudo in 2020. She was bred back to Essential Quality. Lady Shipman's MSP full-sister Just Talkin summoned $675,000 in foal to American Pharoah at the 2019 FTKNOV sale.

Friday, Saratoga
TROY S.-GIII, $300,000, Saratoga, 8-5, 4yo/up, 5 1/2fT, 1:00.92, fm.
1–GOLDEN PAL, 124, c, 4, by Uncle Mo
                1st Dam: Lady Shipman (GSW-Can, MSW & GISP-USA,
                                   $902,387), by Midshipman
                2nd Dam: Sumthingtotalkabt, by Mutakddim
                3rd Dam: Nannetta, by Falstaff
($325,000 RNA Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Westerberg Limited, Mrs.
John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith; B-Randall E
Lowe (FL); T-Wesley A. Ward; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $165,000.
Lifetime Record: GISW-US & GSP-GB, 11-7-2-0, $1,638,431.
 Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick
   Rating: A+.
2–True Valour (Ire), 122, h, 8, Kodiac (GB)–Sutton Veny (Ire), by
Acclamation (GB). (19,000gns Wlg '14 TATFOA; €100,000 2yo
'16 GBMBR; $225,000 6yo '20 FTKHRA). O-R. Larry Johnson;
B-Mr P. O'Rourke (Ire); T-H. Graham Motion. $60,000.
3–Thin White Duke, 118, g, 4, Dominus–Aberdeen Alley, by
Distorted Humor. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O-Philip A.
Gleaves, Steven Crist, Ken deRegt and Bryan Hilliard; B-Phil
Gleaves (NY); T-David G. Donk. $36,000.
Margins: HD, NK, HF. Odds: 0.30, 11.00, 30.25.
Also Ran: Arzak, Yes and Yes, Spycraft, Carotari.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.


The post Golden Pal Returns to Winning Ways appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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