Hot on the heels of Monarch of Egypt’s smashing debut for Aidan O’Brien, trainer Wesley Ward unveils American Pharoah’s first North American starters – the fillies Lady Delaware and Tesorina – in Wednesday’s 1ST race at Aqueduct. Post time for the 4 1/2-furlong maiden, carrying a $100,000 purse, is 1:30 p.m. (EDT).
Update: Lady Delaware is scratched, leaving Tesorina to carry the baton.
“I’m excited,” Ward told NYRA publicity. “Coolmore has always been good to me. American Pharoah was a tremendous race horse and hopefully a tremendous sire as well. They both are very precocious in their breezes and there was no reason to not move early with them.
“They both are very smart and show a lot of talent. To get to Royal Ascot with them would be fantastic, not just for me but the team as well. American Pharoah was a great two-year-old himself and they both look like they’ll run early.”
Hat Creek Racing’s Lady Delaware, a half-sister to Ward’s 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Hootenanny, is out of the Hennessy mare More Hennessy. She hails from the same family as current Kentucky Derby (G1) contender Roadster, who just booked his ticket in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
“She seems a little quicker than Hootenanny,” Ward said of the $100,000 Keeneland September yearling buy. “He didn’t show too much affinity for the dirt. He ran once on the main track and it was in the slop on Preakness Day at Pimlico. In his Keeneland debut, it was on the synthetic back when they had it. She has really shown that she likes the dirt and she’s quick coming out of the gate.”
Tesorina, a Ward homebred, races for Ice Wine Stable. Her dam, Nonsuch Bay by Mr. Greeley, captured the 2002 Mother Goose (G1).
“She is quick as well,” Ward said of Tesorina. “I trained a Scat Daddy that also is out of Nonsuch Bay (Brittas Bay, who placed twice from four starts). Body wise, she appears to be more a sprint type of filly. It really is hard to separate the two as far as which one is better.”
Joe Bravo has the call aboard Tesorina, drawn in post 8. Eric Cancel was to ride Lady Delaware from post 7.
Todd Pletcher sends out a coupled entry for Repole Stable. Homebred Mo Mystery, by Uncle Mo and from the family of Paynter, Oxbow, and Tiznow, will break from post 6 with Manny Franco. Micromillion, the first starter for freshman sire Micromanage, is out of a half to Grade 1-winning millionaire Nobiz Like Shobiz. The New York-bred picks up Irad Ortiz Jr.
Lady Fatima, a Bodemeister filly out of a half to Cairo Prince from the Mark Casse barn, is another to watch.
Aside from Lady Delaware, also scratched are the Rudy Rodriguez-trained Women Not Easy, a half to multiple New York-bred stakes scorer Miss Narcissist, who would have been the first starter by freshman sire Fast Anna; Tote Board, a Big Brown filly representing owner/trainer Jeremiah Englehart; and Dotdotdash, who would have been the first runner for Tapiture.