Napa Spirit

Ward Relishing Royal Ascot Return

NEWMARKET, UK--Since 2009, Wesley Ward has made Royal Ascot an annual pilgrimage, both for his horses and his family. The enduring and endearing repetition of that first visit is the presence of the now 14-year-old Strike The Tiger (Tiger Ridge), Ward's first of 11 Royal Ascot winners, who is now a much valued stable pony and has accompanied his team to Newmarket. The trainer was in his customary relaxed mood on Wednesday morning at Newmarket's National Stud, where his team has been based on his visits to England over the...

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The Weekly Wrap: Fit For A King

Khalid Abdullah's legacy will live long in Thoroughbred genealogy thanks to the female families he cultivated, like the one that supplied him Sunday's 'TDN Rising Star' and G1 Cadoo Oaks contender Noon Star (Galileo {Ire}). Juddmonte's sires, likewise, have started the season off with a bang. In this space last week we were singing the praises of Frankel (GB) off the back of a week of intercontinental successes. While Frankel remains poised to have an excellent season, in the space of 35 minutes at Sandown on Friday along came his...

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Stonestreet, Agent McElroy Strike it Big With European Buys

When Napa Spirit (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) won Friday's first race at Keeneland, bloodstock agent Ben McElroy was more relieved than ecstatic. Some six months earlier, he purchased Napa Spirit at the Goffs Orby Yearling sale in Ireland with a set goal in mind. He was looking for a unique type of horse, one that could win in the U.S. and Europe, would be fast and precocious, like the grass and be a good fit for the Royal Ascot meet. Friday's win was the latest sign that he had more...

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Stonestreet, Ward Strike Again at Keeneland

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,...

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