Nunthorpe Or Flying Five For Golden Pal

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Golden Pal winning the Quick Call | Sarah Andrew

Last year's GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint scorer Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) is on course for either the G1 Nunthorpe S. on Aug. 20 or the G1 Flying Five S. at The Curragh on Sept. 12 after an eye-catching seasonal debut in Thursday's GIII Quick Call S. at Saratoga for trainer Wesley Ward. It was Golden Pal's first start for the Coolmore partners and Westerberg since being purchased privately from breeder Randall Lowe.

“[The Quick Call] was five and a half [furlongs], and the competition wasn't at the same level as what he would face in the Nunthorpe, but if you shorten that up [half a furlong], I think he could run with anything I've ever trained,” Ward said.

Golden Pal finished second in last year's G2 Norfolk S. before breaking his maiden at Saratoga and winning at the Breeders' Cup.

“Over five furlongs, he's a killer,” Ward added. “He's just so quick and agile, and mentally he's really coming around, more so this year than last year. He's always been able to run, but now the rider can contain him–and when he asks for that little burst, very few horses I've had have been able to do that.”

“The Nunthorpe has eluded me, but hopefully we'll get it done this year,” Ward added. “We've been having massive rainstorms over here, so there was quite a bit of give in the ground yesterday. He handled the ground well at Ascot last year as well, so he's got no issues with the ground being a little soft. The only issue would be, while he pulled up really good and sound, we'll see how his energy levels are in his works here in the next couple of weeks, and whether it warrants giving him an extra bit of time for the Flying Five. One of those two races is what he'll be in.”

Ward said G1 Commonwealth Cup and G2 Queen Mary S. winner Campanelle (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) remains on course for the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest on Aug. 8.

“We're doing really well with her,” Ward said. “She had a breeze on the dirt for the first time since I've had her last week, and we're asking the powers that be for a breeze on the grass at Keeneland this week. She's on target for the Maurice de Gheest at Deauville and leaves here on July 31. Like Golden Pal, she has no issues with softer ground. In fact, it might be better if it rains a little.”

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