ELMONT, N.Y. – Following a stakes victory in Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Matron at Belmont, trainer Wesley Ward reported that Three Chimneys Farm’s Royal Approval is looking forward to her next engagement in the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
The Kentucky homebred daughter of Tiznow displayed similar tactics in the six-furlong event at Belmont Park as she did in her maiden triumph on September 9 at Kentucky Downs. In both races, she sat close to the pace early on and produced an explosive turn-of-foot when asked.
Ward said he is leaning toward giving Royal Approval more distance in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at one mile as opposed to the Juvenile Turf Sprint at 5 ½ furlongs.
“Right now, I’d say we’ll go for the mile,” Ward said. “After discussing it with [Three Chimneys vice chairman] Doug Cauthen and [chairman] Mr. [Goncalo Borges] Torrealba, we think the extra ground will do her some good.”
Ward will saddle the likely favorite in the Juvenile Turf Sprint in Golden Pal, who was a runaway winner of the Skidmore at Saratoga. Royal Approval will likely square off against stablemate and familiar foe Campanelle, who defeated her in a Gulfstream Park maiden event and also is slated to race in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Owned by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farm, Campanelle is unbeaten in three starts, including international endeavors in the Grade 2 Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and the Grade 1 Prix Morny at Deauville.
When asked of the possibility of a Wesley Ward exacta in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Ward said: “That would be unbelievable.”
Royal Approval is out of the Malibu Moon mare Touch the Moon and is from the same family as 2005 Kentucky Oaks winner Summerly.
Photo: Royal Approval. Credit: Janet Garaguso