Uncle Mo's Golden Pal Speeds to Second BC Win in Turf Sprint

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Golden Pal | Horsephotos

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Breaking like shot out of a cannon, Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) marked his return to Breeders' Cup competition following a win in 2020 to double up with a score in Saturday's GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Sent off what seemed to be a bit of an overlay, the 5-2 favorite was sure-footed at the start, streaking to the front and cutting out a brisk quarter in :21.71. With Lieutenant Dan (Grazen) in hot pursuit through an equally fast half in :43.34, last year's GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner turned for home about a length ahead of the GII Eddie D. S. scorer, kicked on all boosters in the stretch, and despite Lieutenant Dan's best intentions late, the Wesley Ward trainee was not for catching, crossing the wire 1 1/2 lengths ahead. Charmaine's Mia rounded out the trifecta. Last season's defending champion Glass Slippers (GB) (Dream Ahead) never got into the mix of things, finishing eighth.

“I was happy to get the lead easily and he responded when I asked him for run down the stretch,” said winning rider Irad Ortiz Jr. “I was confident coming for home and he still felt very strong. He was ready today.”

The victory is the second of the weekend for Ward and Ortiz Jr., who teamed up to win Friday's GII Juvenile Turf Sprint with Twilight Gleaming (Ire). It is the sixth Breeders' Cup victory for Ward and 13th for Ortiz, but first for both in the Turf Sprint.

“He's got the title–he's the best horse [I've ever trained], affirmed Ward. “Bruce Headley, a great trainer, once told me when he had [Sprint Champion] Kona Gold, 'stay in there long enough and you'll get one as good as this.' I hope everyone in horse racing has a horse like this, as special as he is. He's just fast. He's mature and he has so much upstairs, as well. He has so much natural ability. What a horse.”

Added Steven Miyadi, trainer of runner-up Lieutenant Dan, “He wasn't ready to run against a rocket ship. He ran great, probably the best race of his life.”

A runner-up finish in last year's G2 Norfolk S. at Royal Ascot proved but a taste of what was still to come for the Coolmore partners-owned runner, who rounded out his 2-year-old campaign with wins in Saratoga's Skidmore S. followed by a narrow victory on Breeders' Cup day at Keeneland. Given time off following a minor setback earlier this season, Golden Pal returned a winner in the GIII Quick Call S. at the Spa July 15 but didn't show his best when seventh in the G1 Nunthorpe S. at York Aug. 20. Freshened after that, the Florida bred went wire-to-wire last time out in the 5 1/2-furlong GII Woodford S. at Keeneland Oct. 9.

Pedigree Notes:
Golden Pal was certainly bred to be a good one, becoming the 10th Grade I/Group 1 winner for Coolmore's Uncle Mo. His illustrious dam, 'TDN Rising Star' Lady Shipman, who missed by a neck in the 2015 GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint–was also bred by the colt's breeder, Randy Lowe. The graded-winning mare produced an Omaha Beach colt Mar. 24 and is back in foal to Uncle Mo. A Violence half-brother to Lady Shipman RNA'd for $170,000 at Fasig-Tipton July. For more on Lowe and Golden Pal, click here for a Second Chances column.

Saturday, Del Mar
BREEDERS' CUP TURF SPRINT-GI, $920,000, Del Mar, 11-6, 3yo/up, 5fT, :55.22, fm.
1–GOLDEN PAL, 124, c, 3, by Uncle Mo
1st Dam: Lady Shipman (GSW-Can, MSW & GISP-USA, $902,387), by Midshipman
2nd Dam: Sumthingtotalkabt, by Mutakddim
3rd Dam: Nannetta, by Falstaff
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($325,000 RNA Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Magnier,
Mrs. John, Tabor, Michael B., Smith, Derrick and Westerberg;
B-Randall E Lowe (FL); T-Wesley A. Ward; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr.
$520,000. Lifetime Record: 8-5-2-0, $1,299,056. Werk Nick
Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Lieutenant Dan, 126, g, 5, Grazen–Excusabull, by Indian
Charlie. O/B-Nick Alexander (CA); T-Steven Miyadi. $170,000.
3–Charmaine's Mia, 123, m, 5, The Factor–Charming Vixen, by
Bernstein. ($40,000 RNA Wlg '16 KEENOV; $4,000 Ylg '17
KEESEP). O-Agave Racing Stable, Medallion Racing and Rockin
Robin Racing Stables; B-Gunpowder Farms LLC (KY); T-Philip
D'Amato. $90,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, 3HF, NK. Odds: 2.50, 4.60, 28.10.
Also Ran: Emaraaty Ana (GB), A Case of You (Ire), Gear Jockey, Kimari, Glass Slippers (GB), Extravagant Kid, Chaos Theory, Fast Boat, Caravel. Scratched: Arrest Me Red, Beer Can Man, Bombard, Commander (Fr), Hollywood Talent, The Critical Way.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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