Golden Pal Shined Bright in Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Victory

November 6, 2021

DEL MAR, Calif. – Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Westerberg’s Golden Pal ($7) rocketed to the lead out of the gate and never was pressured in posting a 1 ¼-length victory over Lieutenant Dan to win the 13th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Del Mar.

Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Golden Pal covered the 5 furlongs on a firm Jimmy Durante Turf Course in :54.75 to equal the course record. The victory is the second of the weekend for Ward and Ortiz, who teamed up to win Friday’s Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) 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.

Golden Pal, winner of last year’s Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) at Keeneland, becomes the fifth horse to win two different Breeders’ Cup races, joining Zenyatta (Classic and Distaff), Beholder (Juvenile Fillies, Distaff), Stephanie’s Kitten (Juvenile Fillies Turf and Filly & Mare Turf) and Secret Circle (Juvenile Sprint and Sprint).

The victory was worth $520,000 and increased Golden Pal’s earnings to $1,299,056 with a record of 8-5-2-0. It is his first Grade 1 victory and third graded score overall.

Golden Pal is a 3-year-old Florida-bred son of Uncle Mo out of the Midshipman mare Lady Shipman.

For Breeders’ Cup bios, visit

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Quotes

Winning trainer Wesley Ward (Golden Pal) – “He’s got the title – he’s the best horse (I’ve ever trained). Bruce Headley, a great trainer, once told me when he had 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.” 

Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Golden Pal) – “I was happy to get the lead easily and he responded to me when asked I him for the run down the stretch. I was confident coming for home and he still felt very strong. He was ready today.”

Trainer Steven Miyadi (Lieutenant Dan, second) – “He wasn’t ready to run against a rocket ship. He ran great, probably the best race of his life.”

Jockey Geovanni Franco (Lieutenant Dan, second) – “I had a great trip. He gave us a great race, I thought. He always tries very hard for us. I’m not disappointed in his effort.”

Trainer Phil D’ Amato (Charmaine’s Mia, third) – “I was very happy with her performance. The top two horses are extremely nice colts and I think it was a track record (Golden Pal) set. My filly is so game and outfinished the rest of the field. She’s a G1-placed filly now going to sell at Keeneland. I would love to train her again, but I know she’s at a stage when some like to breed them. If she goes back into training, I would love to train her again.”

Jockey Andrea Atzeni (Emaraaty Ana, fourth) – “He ran good, kept going all the way to the line. I just couldn’t keep up in the early stage. Golden Pal was just electric. I let him find his feet early and got in a good position. They’ve quickened again in the stretch and just couldn’t get there. He’s had a great season and done us all proud again.”

Trainer Adrian McGuinness (A Case of You, fifth) – “He ran a massive race and going past the line would have been placed with a bit further. He’s been invited for Hong Kong which is something we’ll discuss over the weekend and if he travels home well it’s something we’ll think about.”

Jockey Tom Eaves (defending winner Glass Slippers, eighth) – “The ground was a bit quick for her, but we have no real no excuses. She just wasn’t good enough on the day.”

Trainer Kevin Ryan (Emaraaty Ana, fourth and Glass Slippers, eighth) – “Emaraaty Ana ran a big race and Glass Slippers didn’t disgrace herself. They both seem fine post race.”

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

@PastTheWire Great read brought back some sad memories.The only race she lost killed her. Legacy. @jonathanstettin

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