Stonestreet, Ward Strike Again at Keeneland

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Napa Spirit | Coady

1st-Keeneland, $43,340, Msw, 4-23, 2yo, 5 1/2fT, 1:04.17, gd, 1 1/2 lengths.
NAPA SPIRIT (IRE) (c, 2, Invincible Spirit {Ire}–Aimhirgin Lass {Ire}, by Pivotal {GB}) validated 2-5 favoritism in the closing-day opener at Keeneland, giving Stonestreet and trainer Wesley Ward a maiden winner on the grass acquired overseas for the second consecutive afternoon. Not the fastest away, the bay raced in and among rivals early on as stablemate Magniloquent (American Pharoah) showed the way through an opening quarter in :21.78. Three wide and traveling well in hand on the turn, Napa Spirit came after Magniloquent with about a furlong and a half to race and idled some in the final 100 yards, but proved 1 1/2 lengths too strong for the rallying Jack Blacked (Jack Milton). Like 'TDN Rising Star' Ruthin (GB) (Ribchester {Ire}) Thursday afternoon, Napa Spirit was acquired on behalf of Barbara Banke's operation by agent Ben McElroy, who gave £420,000 for the Irish National Stud-bred colt at last year's Goffs Orby Sale. Napa Spirit is out of a half-sister to multiple Group 3 winner Yellow Rosebud (Ire) (Jeremy) and a full-sister to SW & GSP Seeharn (Ire). The deeper female family includes Malhub (Kingmambo), winner of the G1 Golden Jubilee S. at Royal Ascot. Aimhirgin Lass is the dam of a yearling full-sister to Napa Spirit. TDN's Bill Finley reports that Napa Spirit will be pointed towards the six-furlong G2 Coventry S. at the Royal Meeting, while Ruthin will go for the G2 Queen Mary S., won in 2020 by the Ward-trained and Stonestreet-raced Campanelle (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}). Sales history: £420,000 Ylg '20 GOFOR. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $21,720. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
O-Stonestreet Stables LLC; B-Irish National Stud (IRE); T-Wesley A Ward.

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