06/09/2010 12:00AM

Yanks taking their shots at Royal Ascot


Americans at Royal Ascot will be well represented Tuesday when Wesley Ward and Ken McPeek have horses running on opening day of the Royal Meeting, which will be kick started by a glittering renewal of the Queen Anne Stakes.

Ward, who made history last year with two Royal Ascot winners, has his impressive Keeneland maiden winner Metropolitan Man set for the five-furlong Windsor Castle Stakes, a race he won last year with Strike the Tiger. The trainer has warned, however, that if the ground comes up too soft Tuesday he will send Metropolitan Man in the five-furlong, Group 2 Norfolk Stakes on Thursday.

McPeek, who saddled Hard Buck to finish second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in 2004, will run Noble's Promise in the one-mile, Group 1 St. James's Palace Stakes. He will face 2000 Guineas winner Makfi, Irish 2000 Guineas winner Canford Cliffs, and Dick Turpin, who was second to Makfi in the 2000 Guineas and to subsequent French Derby winner Lope de Vega in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, or French 2000 Guineas.

Tuesday's opener, the Queen Anne Stakes, a Group 1 contest for older horses run on Ascot's straight mile course, is shaping up as the race of the week. Among the five-day entries released Wednesday are two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner Goldikova, defending titleholder and three-time Group 1 winner Paco Boy, and Rip Van Winkle, a two-time Group 1 mile winner last year who will be making his first start since a dull effort in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Adding spice to the Queen Anne is Dalghar, a half-brother to Daylami and Dalakhani who set a track record going seven furlongs at Longchamp on Saturday when winning the Group 3 Prix du Palais-Royal.

While Metropolitan Man will be Ward's only Royal Ascot runner this year, McPeek will saddle two others besides Noble's Promise, both of them in juvenile stakes. Tiz My Time, second in maiden races at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, goes in the six-furlong, Group 2 Albany Stakes on Friday, while Casper's Touch, fourth behind Metropolitan Man at Keeneland, runs in the seven-furlong Chesham Stakes on Saturday.

Kinsale King is America's best hope for a Royal victory, but the Carl O'Callaghan trainee has not run since winning the Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 27 and will be facing a 14-week layoff in his first attempt on turf and on a straight course in the six-furlong, Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes on Saturday.

All five of the American hopefuls are training at Newmarket, a 73-mile van ride to Ascot. Metropolitan Man will be ridden by Elvis Trujillo, but the other four will have the services of Kieren Fallon, who has ridden eight Group 1 winners at Royal Ascot.