Outadore and Irad Ortiz Jr. give trainer Wesley Ward his third consecutive victory in the Juvenile Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs
Not only did trainer Wesley Ward continue his domination of the $500,000 Bal a Bali Juvenile Turf Sprint Saturday at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky., he saddled the exacta finish, Outadore and Fauci.
Ward won the first two editions of the 6 1/2-furlong race, beating males with fillies, Moonlight Romance in 2018 and Cambria last year. With Kentucky Downs now offering a sprint stake for juvenile fillies, Ward turned to his colts and they delivered for him. Breeze Easy’s Outadore stayed perfect in his second career start with a 1 3/4-length victory under Irad Ortiz, Jr. in 1:17.31. Fauci and jockey Tyler Gaffalione were 3 1/4 lengths ahead of the third-place horse, Cowan.
Ward, well-known for his success with 2-year-olds, answered a question about being unbeaten in the race with a question – “Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?” – and punctuated it with a laugh.
Starting from the outside posts in the field of 10 running over the course rated as “soft,” Outadore (9) and Fauci (10) stalked from a few lengths back of the early pace set by County Final of :21.79 and :46.51. Outadore made his move first with a five-wide surge through the turn and took over the lead near the eighth pole. Fauci followed Outadore’s rally on the outside, but could not catch his stablemate.
Outadore, the 9-5 favorite, paid $5.60 to win. The first-place money pushed his career earnings to $334,100.
“He’s a nice horse, really nice horse,” said jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. “He broke good over there. He probably needed that first race when he won. He was ready today. He knew what he was doing. He broke and pulled me right there. He relaxed so nice, when I asked he just went ahead. It felt like he had a little more in the tank today.”
While pleased with their performances, Ward said he expects more from Outadore and Fauci as prospects for the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, to be run at one mile at Keeneland on Nov. 6.
“I think both will go a little farther, which is nice as well,” he said. “I think they’ll both go a mile on the grass no problem. So, we’ll probably split them up in their next start, one to the Bourbon (at Keeneland), one to the Pilgrim at Belmont. We’re going to talk it over with both owners and make a plan. The way it looks, Irad (Ortiz) said he was wanting more ground and was kind of waiting. First thing Tyler (Gaffalione) said was, ‘Wesley, please, run him farther.’ So we’re really excited about both colts.”
Outadore a gray/roan son of Outwork, was purchased for $290,000 as a yearling at 2019 Keeneland September. He won his debut at Saratoga on July 26, pressing the pace in a 5 1/2-furlong race that he won by 2 3/4 lengths, setting him up for his start at Kentucky Downs.
“Very nice colt,” Ward said. “He took a little while with some minor shin issues, as most 2-year-olds do. So we gave him the time. Sam Ross, his owner with Mike Hall, is a wonderful guy, and he’s jumping up and down and screaming in West Virginia. That’s the way you want these owners to be.”
Breeze Easy already has a Breeders’ Cup victory on its resume: Four Wheel Drive, who won the 2019 Juvenile Turf Sprint for Ward at Santa Anita. Outadore could take his owners right back to racing’s championship meet next month.
“The horse is going wonderful and Wesley (Ward) is doing a good job with the horse,” Hill said. “Mike Mollica and I picked this horse out at Keeneland sale last year and we’re back shopping this year. We’re really happy with this horse and looking forward to going to the Breeders’ Cup.”
Fauci, co-owned by Lindy Farms and Ice Wine Stable, has never been worse that second in his four career starts. The son of Malibu Moon was purchased as a yearling at 2019 Keeneland September for $175,000. He is 1-3-0 from his four starts and with the $95,000 he earned in the Juvenile Turf Sprint has banked $166,800.
Gaffalione said that he and Fauci were a bit slow getting started.
“We didn’t get away the cleanest,” he said. “I just wasn’t settled in the gate; they sprung a little quick. I just never got his feet planted. But from there on, he traveled nice. I had a great stalking position following the winner most of the way. I got him out at the quarter pole. He had every chance from there. Just second-best today. Great effort. I think he could benefit from more ground. He doesn’t have a real explosive turn of foot, but he keeps coming.”
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