05/26/2011 10:15AM

Two Wesley Ward juveniles win in Europe


Kentucky-based trainer Wesley Ward was represented by 2-year-old winners in England and France in a span of approximately 70 minutes on Thursday, bringing his number of winners in Europe this spring to five in advance of the Royal Ascot meeting in England next month.

Italo, a gelding by With Distinction, won a five-furlong maiden race for horses that had not started at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris. Jeffrey Sanchez rode Italo, who won by 1 1/2 lengths as the 13-10 favorite.

About an hour later, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith rode Ward’s Gentlemans Code to an easy win in a three-runner maiden race over five furlongs at Folkestone Racecourse, south of London. Gentlemans Code is a gelding by Proud Accolade who was second in his debut at Belmont Park on May 5. He was the 1-6 favorite at Folkestone.

Ward had three winners in France in late April and early May. He has nine horses based in France, many of whom will start at Royal Ascot from June 14-18.

“You always think you’ll win all of them when you enter, but to do it is another story,” Ward said Thursday. “It’s been a real dry spring over there so the ground is good and firm, which is good for our horses. They skip over the top of it.”

Ward said he will determine the Royal Ascot races for his European-based horses after Zingwalla, a maiden race winner over 2 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream Park on April 21, starts in France on June 3.

“After that race, is when I’ll sort them all out and see how they’ve come out of their races,” he said.

Ward also has recent Keeneland stakes winner Holiday for Kitten, owned by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, pointed for the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 14.