Wesley Ward

Lauren Robson Saddles First Winner Thursday at Gulfstream

Trainer Lauren Robson saddled her first career winner Thursday, bringing a rather extensive resume with her into the Gulfstream Park winner's circle. "I came over from England in 2004. I worked for various, really good trainers. I was an assistant for Jonathan Sheppard, Wesley Ward and Jerry Hollendorfer," Robson said. "I galloped for Todd Pletcher. I rode many good horses for him. There were other good trainers I worked for also, like Richard Mandella." Robson saddled Jabran to a 3 1/2-length victory under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez in...

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Bealmear Wins First Career Race at Oaklawn

Apprentice jockey Joseph Bealmear earned the first win of his career when guiding We Miss Arlington to victory in the second race at Oaklawn Park Saturday. We Miss Arlington was the 11th career mount for Bealmear, according to Equibase, and came almost 44 years after his father, retired jockey Ben Bealmear, recorded his first career victory at Oaklawn. The 19-year-old, who rode his first race Nov. 30 at Turfway Park, celebrated his first victory by pumping his right arm twice after crossing the finish line. "I just couldn't contain it,"...

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Race For Winningest Horse Comes Down To Final Weekend Of '23

North America's winningest Thoroughbred in terms of victories this year will have 10 wins, but the final weekend of 2023 will determine if the Midwest-based gelding Fayette Warrior (Exchange Rate) ends up alone atop the leaderboard or if he has to share the honor with two nine-win rivals in the mid-Atlantic who could tie the mark either Dec. 30 or 31. The 7-year-old Fayette Warrior, who sports a lifetime record of 19-11-7 from 71 starts with $241,772 in earnings, has topped the continent since his last victory at Columbus against...

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Making Waves: Clodovil Gelding Earns Stakes Badge In California

  In this series, the TDN takes a look at notable successes of European-based sires in North America. This week's column is highlighted by the victory of Unconquerable Keen at Del Mar.   Keen Rides Out The Storm At Del Mar It was another stakes victory for the Phil D'Amato barn with the former European runner Unconquerable Keen (Ire) (Clodovil {Ire}) in the Stormy Liberal S. at Del Mar on Saturday (video). Bred by Nicholas Hartery, the 4-year-old gelding managed a pair of victories in his native land in the...

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Knockemdown Crowned 2023 TB Makeover Champion

Knockemdown (American Pharoah), an unraced 4-year-old gelding, earned a trip to the "winner's circle" Saturday with his win in the 2023 Thoroughbred Makeover. The winner in the dressage division, he bested ten other discipline's top scorers to take the honors. "I want to thank Kristen Goncharoff at e5 Racing Thoroughbreds for making the phone call, and Bob [Edwards], the leader of e5, who was looking to rehome this horse," says winning rider Alison O'Dwyer. "Wesley Ward had him in training at Turfway and when he didn't think much of him,...

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Long Weekend, Keeneland's Haggin Turf Course Hosts A Trio Of Graded Races

Keeneland's lawn debuted during the 1985 Fall meet in an era when American turf courses were just coming into vogue. According to a back issue of the track's media guide, through 2016 they had two names for their grass course. The Keeneland Course referred to the one with rail up, while the normal configuration with it down was called the Haggin Course. Named for Louis Lee Haggin II, who was not only Keeneland's President from 1940-1956, but the decade before had purchased the 550-acre Sycamore Farm in Woodford County. Serving...

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Uncle Mo's Royal Slipper Fits As A New 'TDN Rising Star' At Keeneland

No matter whether it is April or October, if it's Keeneland, then you know a Wesley Ward 2-year-old who sets sail for a maiden voyage has a chance to sparkle. Royal Slipper (Uncle Mo) certainly did that on opening day Friday afternoon when the juvenile filly won impressively as a newly-minted 'TDN Rising Star'. Breaking along the fence, Royal Slipper shot to the lead and quickly opened up a distinct advantage up the backstretch. As fellow firster Loveland (Munnings) gave chase into the far turn, the Ward trainee continued to...

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Stars Bright As Keeneland's Fall Trumpet Sounds

The fall isn't really, The Fall, until Keeneland arrives. Well, get your steaming pot of burgoo ready, because it's here. Scheduled for Friday, Oct. 6, the meet's opening day at the Old Keene Farm is upon us and the 10-race card includes a trio of graded stakes which all have Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' implications. Leading off is the GII Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix S. for 3-year-olds and up going six furlongs on the Main Track. Suitors for the GI Breeders' Cup Qatar Racing Sprint include MSW Bango...

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Catching Up with the Breeders' Cup's 2020 Juvenile Turf Sprint/2021 Turf Sprint Winner Golden Pal

"He's one of my all-time favorites," said trainer Wesley Ward. "He was an awesome horse. Extremely talented, super quick, and agile: that was really his biggest attribute. When the first jump opened, he was explosive. He would open up effortlessly. He pulled the heart away from the other horses a little bit. "He was a joy to train, a highly intelligent horse. I really appreciated the time at the barn with him every day, because based on his accomplishments I knew that our time would be limited with him and he'd...

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Trainer Of Next, Doug Cowans Joins The TDN Writers' Room Podcast

Next (Not This Time) isn't just winning races. He is destroying the competition. A marathon-race specialist, he did it again last week at Parx, when he won the GIII Greenwood Cup S. by an astounding 25 lengths. It's been quite a ride for his trainer, Doug Cowans, who claimed the now 5-year-old last year for $62,500. To talk about Next and to discuss his future plans, Cowans joined this week's TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland. He was this week's Green Group Guest of the Week. Despite his horse's...

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Sod Dabbler Or Diver, Saturday's Graded Stakes Runs Deep

The going sticks will get stuck and with the rails down or out, the Saturday graded stakes lineup trucks in with heaps of sod for your turf racing enjoyment. Whether you are a dabbling duck or one that takes a deep dive, there is something for everyone as the Downs--Kentucky and Colonial--plus Woodbine Racetrack and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, all feature high-level grass action. KENTUCKY DOWNS GRADED SIX PACK The uniquely designed turf course at Kentucky Downs cards the most graded stakes this Saturday, which will lead off with...

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The X-Ray Files: Wesley Ward

The TDN sat down with trainer Wesley Ward for the next installment in this ongoing series presented in cooperation with the Consignors and Breeders Association (CBA). Through conversations with buyers and sellers, the series looks to contribute to the discussion on radiograph findings and their impact on racetrack success. Nothing quite goes together like Wesley Ward and winning 2-year-olds in the Spring at Keeneland. The leading trainer at six Keeneland Spring meets, Ward's early starting juveniles are usually treated as sure things when they head to the post. The group...

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