01/02/2017 4:15PM

Acapulco to be bred to Galileo, will race in foal

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
Acapulco trains at Keeneland last October.

Group 2 stakes winner Acapulco will be bred to Coolmore’s flagship sire Galileo this spring in Ireland, but prior to her official retirement, she will race in foal for the first half of the season, with a return engagement at Royal Ascot the chief target.

To that end, the Coolmore partnership has transferred Acapulco from U.S.-based trainer Wesley Ward to Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle. For Ward, Acapulco won the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at the renowned Royal Ascot meeting in 2015 and subsequently finished second to Mecca’s Angel in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes in England, contesting the major sprint event against older horses as a 2-year-old.

Acapulco won her first two starts of 2016, but plans for a summer campaign were hindered by a foot abscess. She returned from a five-month layoff to finish sixth in the Grade 3 Sen. Ken Maddy on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita in November.

O’Brien said that Acapulco is a candidate for the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes for older sprinters at this year’s Royal Ascot meeting.

“Wesley spoke to [Coolmore’s Paul Shanahan] and told him it may be worth doing some work with her ahead of her date with Galileo, as he felt he didn't get a proper run with her ahead of her final start for him when she was beaten at Santa Anita,” O’Brien told Racing Post. “We haven't done anything with her yet, but Wesley felt that she had more to give and she could run up to Royal Ascot, providing everything goes to plan.”

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