April 19, 2018 - Keeneland, Race 1, Msw, USD $60,000, 4 1/2F, .0000

Chelsea Cloisters, F, 2, 2016 by First Samurai

1st Dam: Postulant, by Pulpit
2nd Dam: Pretty in Green, by Green Forest
3rd Dam: Uncommitted, by Buckpasser

Owner: Hat Creek Racing
Breeder: Alastar Thoroughbred Co. (KY)
Trainer: Wesley A. Ward

Hat Creek Racing’s Chelsea Cloisters took all the money for her debut in Thursday’s opener at Keeneland and ran to it with a powerful victory to become the second ‘TDN Rising Star’ of the day.

Showing several sharp drills, including a local half-mile gate spin in :48 flat (5/86) Apr. 6, the $125,000 Fasig-Tipton July buy broke customarily sharply for a Wesley Ward baby from her inside draw as the 11-10 favorite and quickly established command. Challenged briefly by Elle Factor (The Factor) through a :22.60 quarter, the bay stole away on the turn and slammed the door past the furlong grounds en route to an eight-length romp in sharp time. Elle Factor was second-best, while Seeking a Star (Pioneerof the Nile), an $800,000 Keeneland September pickup, checked in fourth.

The winner is a half to Beggarthyneighbor (Half Ours), SW, $190,217, while her dam is a half to GSW Antrim Rd. (Fit to Fight) and second dam Pretty in Green is a half to MGISW Wavering Monarch (Majestic Light). Deeper in the female family appear MG1SW Motivator (GB) (Montjeu {Ire}), MGISW Goodbye Halo (Halo), dual champion Zilzal (Nureyev), MGISW Awe Inspiring (Slew o’ Gold), MG1SW Culture Vulture (Timeless Moment) and MG1SW Polish Precedent (Danzig). Postulant was bred to Not This Time last spring.

“I did things a little different this year,� Ward told TDN of his approach to 2-year-olds. “I broke a lot of them up here at the farm at Keeneland and got them in the field. Then as soon as they allowed us to come on the training track at Keeneland, we trained there and we started shipping over from Keeneland on their workout days to Turfway and they did all their works at Turfway. They came around a little slower than they normally do in Florida, where you never have to miss a day or dodge weather, but it’s all starting to come together and I think it’s going to help me in the long-term, especially with this filly, because she was a little slow coming around and then every work just started getting better and better and better, and she sure showed it today.�

Ward, who has sent fellow ‘Rising Stars’ Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy) and Hat Creek-owned Con Te Partiro (Scat Daddy) to victories at Royal Ascot in the last two years, confirmed that he’ll be pointing Chelsea Cloisters there as well this summer.

“That’s the focus of Gatewood Bell’s Hat Creek stable, where he tries to buy into or put a group together to buy some of these types and hopefully one will emerge from his group to get over there,� the jockey-turned-trainer said. “Every year, he’s been able to do it and it looks like he’s done it again. I tell his daddy he’s the horse-picker deluxe.�

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