06/25/2013 3:50PM

Calder: Judy the Beauty can fill blank line on Ward's resume in Princess Rooney

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Judy the Beauty (left), second to Beat the Blues in the Winning Colors Stakes, will make her next start July 6 in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney at Calder.

MIAMI – Trainer Wesley Ward’s long list of stakes wins grew even more impressive within a 48-hour span last week with victories by No Nay Never at Royal Ascot in the Group 2 Norfolk and the undefeated 2-year-old filly Sweetmarys Success here at Calder on Saturday in the $100,000 J J’sdream Stakes.

But the one thing still missing from that r é sum é is a Grade 1 victory, a gap Ward hopes to finally fill July 6 when he sends Judy the Beauty to Calder for the Princess Rooney Handicap.

Ward has registered 22 graded stakes victories during his training career. He also has finished second in 35 other graded races, many of those frustrating runner-up finishes coming in Grade 1 events. Judy the Beauty has already finished second in Grade 1 races twice, both losses coming at Saratoga, the first in the 2011 Spinaway and again last summer when beaten a nose by Emma’s Encore in the Prioress.

Judy the Beauty has never finished worse than second in nine career starts. She has won four times, including an allowance race in her 2013 debut at Keeneland earlier this season. She finished second, beaten a half-length, in the Grade 3 Winning Colors at Churchill Downs in her only other appearance this year on May 27.

Judy the Beauty had her final major tune-up for the Princess Rooney on Tuesday at Keeneland, where she worked a bullet five furlongs in 58.80 seconds.

“We’ve been planning on running her in the Princess Rooney since she went back in training earlier this year and sort of mapped out her schedule going backwards from there,” Ward said. “She bled for the first time in her life in her final work prior to the Breeders’ Cup, so we just gave her plenty of time to recuperate because I wanted her to have a big year this season.

“She couldn’t be training any better,” he added. “I had her at Calder before her first start as a 2-year-old, so I know she loves that track, she just skipped over it when she worked there. And that means a lot.”

Ward said he would love to get a Grade 1 win, not only for himself but for Judy the Beauty’s r é sum é as well.

“I’ve had so many seconds in Grade 1 races all over the world, not only in the U.S. but Dubai and Ascot,” Ward said. “It would be nice to finally get my first one with this filly.”

Ward was unable to be at Calder to see Sweetmarys Success’s first stakes win, watching the race instead on his iPad as he was stepping off the trans-Atlantic flight that brought him home from Ascot late Saturday afternoon.

“I really think she’s a special filly, a very special filly,” Ward said. “From Day 1, I thought she’d be one of the horses I’d be taking over to England with me this year. But when I put her on the grass, first at Gulfstream and then again this spring at Keeneland, she just didn’t seem to take to it, so I figured there was no sense bringing her over.

“I also didn’t want to hook those fillies who ran in the Debutante at Churchill on Saturday night in a non-graded race, so I asked Mike [Smith] if he’d come to Calder for the day to ride her and he agreed. She ran well on Saturday, but not as well as I think she’s capable of. I’m not so sure she really handled that track. She won because she was the best horse.”

Smith won both stakes on Saturday’s card, the first with Sweetmarys Success, the second aboard Yes I’m Lucky for Eddie Plesa Jr. in the Frank Gomez Memorial.

Ward said Sweetmarys Success will ship to Saratoga, where she will be pointed to the Grade 3 Schuylerville on opening day, July 19.

Princess Rooney, Smile Sprint nominees

Judy the Beauty was one of 22 fillies and mares nominated to the six-furlong Princess Rooney, which shares top billing on the July 6 Summit of Speed program along with the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap, a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

The majority of the Princess Rooney nominees are locally based and include Capitalism At Risk, upset winner of the U Can Do It Handicap here earlier this month, and R Free Roll, the lone 3-year-old on the list. She beat males in the Unbridled Stakes in her last start and also is nominated in both the Grade 3 Azalea and Carry Back Stakes on the Summit of Speed card.

A total of 27 speedsters were nominated for the Smile, led by Delaunay, the top-rated sprinter in the country; and Trinniberg, the reigning Sprint champion. Among the prominent locally based horses expected to start in the Smile are Apriority, Fort Loudon, Jackson Bend, Trickmeister, Black Diamond Cat, and Close It Out.

Grade 3 winner Where’s Sterling, who worked six furlongs in 1:15.85 at Gulfstream on Tuesday, is among the nominees for the Smile. He also is entered in Saturday’s $40,000 allowance feature carded at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Where’s Sterling, who has raced just once in his career on grass, has not started since finishing eighth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on Aug. 26.

◗ Jockey Jocey Gomez won her first race in nine years when she guided Ariel Bay to victory in Saturday’s third event. Gomez, who began her career at Hialeah in 1997, retired from the saddle in 2004 before opting to launch a comeback earlier this spring.

J.L. Boey More than 1 year ago
another good place bet on Judy The Bridesmaid