Golden Pal returns to winning ways

By | August 6, 2022

the smooth-footed golden friend (Uncle Mo) recovered from a disappointing attempt at Royal Ascot with an uncanny win in Saratoga’s GIII Troy S. Friday. Road in good order, the 1-5 favorite stalked from a two-wide third as True Value (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) clicked off an opening quarter of:21.93. Heading for a draw alongside the top two returning home, Golden Pal closed the horns with True Valor as their temporary threat carotid (Artie Schiller) soon found the water too deep and withdrew. Those two fought step by step to the line with Golden Pal getting the wink. Thin White Duke (Dominus) arrived too late to complete the trifecta. Carotari faded to last.

“He has a brilliant mind this horse and takes it all in, but he knew it was race day,” said winning trainer Wesley Ward. “The plan was, unless he broke super sharply, I wanted him to come from behind. Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] worked him from behind the last few times, so he knew he could do it. Julio Garcia, our main rider at home, works him from behind every week. I’m glad he showed a little versatility today. I’m glad Irad gave him a few reminders on the shoulder and let him go the last bit. Right after the race he gave him a little pat and pat and he said there was a lot more in him.”

He added: “You are always worried [about the close finish], but I have faith in this horse. He’s definitely the best horse I’ve ever had. Every time you lead him, he proves more and more what a joy [it is] to be with such a special horse. It would get every trainer up in the morning. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse and I got hurt when I had a few, but this guy is definitely the best.”

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Speaking of a possible dirt start at the six-furlong GII Phoenix S. October 7 in Keeneland, Ward said: “We will discuss it with everyone involved in horse ownership and see which direction they want to go, but it is important for them to show what the horse can also do on the ground, because of all these problems he has had during his career – minor problems – I have kept him on the grass to keep him healthy but he is never that healthy it would be a good time to try it out and it would be a good time to try it out on his home track.”

“When they opened the gate, he moved at the same time and they outsmarted me,” Ortiz said. “They were in front of me and that’s not his style. He is always ahead of everyone the first few jumps. We’ve been working hidden behind horses, that’s how Wesley wanted me to work the horse, and when that happened today I wasn’t afraid to hold on or invade and wait because I was working with the horse. It turned out well. He’s out of there pretty quickly; probably the fastest horse I’ve ridden on grass in my entire career.”

As for the poor bet at Royal Ascot, Ortiz said: “It didn’t work last time, frankly, he missed the break. I was a bit aggressive and he stopped bad so we didn’t want the same thing to happen. Wesley made me do everything, he didn’t say any instructions or anything. I love driving for him. I felt someone was coming [Thin White Duke]but my horse fought with the other horse [True Valour]but my horse responded well so I know he will be there if I ask him too.”

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A neck short in the G2 Norfolk S. at the 2020 Royal meeting, Golden Pal captured the Skidmore S. at the Spa and the GII Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint S. at Keeneland. He started 2021 with a win in Saratoga’s GIII Quick Call S., finished seventh when shipped across the pond for York’s G1 Nunthorpe S., but returned to victory at Keeneland last October in the GII Woodford S.. The son of Lady Shipman, who took his second World Championship win in the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint S. in Del Mar, romped in Keeneland’s GII Shakertown S. Apr. 9, but was eased to 16th as the heavy favorite after a slow start in the G1 King’s Stand S. at Royal Ascot June 14.

Pedigree Notes:
Golden Pal is the first foal of ultra-talented turf sprinter Lady Shipman, who fell just short in her Breeders’ Cup bid but won a total of eight stakes, including a record score in Saratoga’s 5 1/2-panel Smart N Fancy S. That record of 1:00.46 was broken by Carotari in 2019, when he covered the distance in 1:00.21. Lady Shipman was unable to get pregnant with Gun Runner before 2019 and her 2020 Justify foal passed away. The 10-year-old mare gave birth to an Omaha Beach foal now called Lieutenant General in 2021 and an Uncle Mo mare named Luvwhatyoudo in 2020. She was bred back to Essential Quality. Lady Shipman’s MSP full sister Just Talkin raised $675,000 in foal from American Pharoah during the 2019 FTKNOV sale.

Friday, Saratoga
TROY S.-GIII$300,000, Saratoga, 8-5, 4 years old, 5 1/2 ft, 1:00.92, fm.
1–GOLD PAL, 124, c, 4, by Uncle Mo
1st mother: Lady Shipman (GSW-Can, MSW & GISP-USA,
$902,387), by midshipman
2nd mother: Sumthingtotalkabt, by Mutakddim
3rd dam: Nannetta, by Falstaff
($325,000 RNA Ylg ’19 KEESEP). O-Westerberg Limited, Mrs.
John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith; B- Randall E
Lowe (FL); T-Wesley A. Ward; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $165,000.
Lifetime Record: GISW-US & GSP-GB, 11-7-2-0, $1,638,431.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross family tree. work Nick
Rating: A+.
2–True Value (Ire)122, h, 8, Kodiac (GB) – Sutton Veny (Ire), by
Cheers (GB). (19,000gns Wlg ’14 TATFOA; €100,000 2yo
’16 GMBBR; $225,000 6 years ’20 FTKHRA). GOLD. Larry Johnson;
B-Mr P. O’Rourke (Ire); E. Graham Movement. $60,000.
3–Thin White Duke118, g, 4, Dominus-Aberdeen Alley, by
Distorted humor. FIRST GIVEN BLACK TYPE. O-Philip A.
Gleaves, Steven Crist, Ken deRegt and Bryan Hilliard; B-Phil
Gloves (NY); T-David G. Donk. $36,000.
Margins: HD, NK, HF. Odds: 0.30, 11.00, 30.25.
Also Ran: Arzak, Yes and Yes, Spycraft, Carotari.
Click for the charttea PPs or the free catalog style family tree from VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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