Irad Ortiz Jr. is all smiles after Golden Pal’s hard-fought win in the Troy
Trainer Wesley Ward is considering a surface switch for two-time Breeders’ Cup winner Golden Pal, according to bloodhorse.com. The 4-year-old son of Uncle Mo won the Juvenile Turf Sprint in 2020 and the Turf Sprint in 2021, but the Dirt Sprint could be on the colt’s radar in 2022.
This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be held at Keeneland, Golden Pal’s home track, so a potential dirt start ahead of the World Championships would also come at the Lexington oval. The primary option is the Grade 2 Phoenix Stakes on Oct. 7, which offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Sprint.
“His stallion value will significantly increase if he shows an affinity for the dirt, so that’s the reason why we’re leaning in that direction. We only have a start or two left with him, so we’re trying to make the right decisions,” Ward told bloodhorse.com. “Not only for racing, but for a stallion career. (Keeneland) being his home track, he’s trained here his whole life. This is where you’d want to showcase him in that race. It would give his best chance to show, as he’s trained over this track forever. This would be where he would run his best race on the dirt.”
In 2022, Golden Pal has run three times, winning the G2 Shakertown at Keeneland in April, finishing up the track at Royal Ascot, then returning stateside to win the G3 Troy Stakes at Saratoga in early August. Overall, the colt’s record stands at seven wins from 11 starts for earnings of $1,638,431.
Read more at bloodhorse.com.
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