Golden Pal gallops a half mile Saturday at Keeneland with exercise rider Jose Hernandez aboard
Keeneland-based Golden Pal, unbeaten in his four starts at the Lexington track, had a strong gallop on the turf course Saturday morning as he prepares for the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) Nov. 5.
Owned by Westerberg Limited, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor, and Derrick Smith, Golden Pal captured last year’s Turf Sprint at Del Mar. The 4-year-old son of Uncle Mo is exiting a victory in the Woodford (G2) Oct. 8 at Keeneland.
“He ran a big race in the Woodford, so we just have to keep him where he is at right now and maintain (his fitness),” trainer Wesley Ward said. “The exercise rider, Jose Hernandez, was on him this morning, and he had a nice open half-mile gallop. Probably he will work again on Friday and go at a pretty good clip with (work rider) Julio Garcia.
“We kept Jose on him today because he keeps him so nice and relaxed. When he feels that 102 pounds (of Julio), he knows he is going to breeze. He is highly intelligent, and he knows if any little thing is different.”
Golden Pal’s other Keeneland scores came in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), 2021 Woodford, and Shakertown (G2) in April.
“Being at his home track all these years gives him a big advantage as opposed to bringing him to other places,” Ward said. “Anytime you have a home-court advantage in any sport, it is a big advantage especially with a natural athlete like him.”