04/21/2010 11:00PM

More American runners eye Royal Ascot


Wesley Ward's victorious foray into the heady world of Royal Ascot last year has not gone unnoticed by American trainers. Ascot Racecourse announced on Wednesday that no fewer than five American-trained horses have been nominated to eight different races at the prestigious five-day meeting that will be held this year from Tuesday, June 15, to Saturday, June 19.

The Americans are led by Kinsale King in the Golden Jubilee Stakes. Carl O'Callaghan had a glowing report of his Dubai Golden Shaheen winner.

"He couldn't be doing any better," the trainer said. "He's back on the track at Hollywood and will leave for Maryland on May 17, where he will be staying at Michael Dickinson's Tapeta Farm so we can train on a straight course. I've already arranged for Garret Gomez to come down and get a feel for what we need to do changing leads on a straight. We'll ship to Newmarket on June 2."

The six-furlong Golden Jubilee on June 19 will be Kinsale King's first race on a straight course as well as his first try on turf.

Todd Pletcher is considering West Ocean for both the Golden Jubilee and Royal Ascot's other big sprint, the five-furlong King's Stand Stakes. A 4-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality, West Ocean is fresh from a pair of sharp scores in ungraded turf stakes at Keeneland and Fair Grounds which she took by a combined 9 3/4 lengths.

Radiohead, who won the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes last June for Brian Meehan, could be headed back to Royal Ascot with Rick Dutrow for either of the two big sprints or the one-mile St. James's Palace Stakes. Kentucky Derby hopeful Noble's Promise, previously nominated by Ken McPeek to the Epsom Derby, is also nominated to the St. James's Palace. So is Kinsale King's stablemate Leaving New York, recent winner of a one-mile Santa Anita maiden race, who is also nominated to the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes.

Nominations to the six juvenile stakes at Royal Ascot are not made until the five-day entry stage, but Wesley Ward himself is planning ahead. Among several possibilities, he has earmarked his 7 1/2-length Keeneland maiden winner, Final Mesa, for the Queen Mary Stakes, a race he won last year with Jealous Again.