Derby Contenders

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Apr 12 2014 Blue Grass Keeneland I 1 1/8 Miles (S) 3 REPLAY

Connections

Wesley Ward

Trainer

Wesley Ward was born March 3, 1968 in Selah, Washington. His father Dennis is a trainer in Washington and Grandfather Jim Dailey was an outrider in New York. In 1984, Wesley was named Outstanding Apprentice Jockey at the Eclipse Awards. He won 335 races and more than $5 million in purses. Ward retried from the saddle in 1989 due to weight issues. He then went to work for his father as his assistant before taking out his trainer’s license in 1993.  Ward achieved a training first in 2009 when he became the first American based trainer to win at the Royal Ascot meet in England. Ward is also known for his mentoring of young riders.

Jeffrey Sanchez

Jockey

Best known for winning the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies aboard Awesome Feather with whom he also swept the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Race Course. Sanchez raced in his native Puerto Rico before coming to the United States in 2005.

Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor & Wesley Ward

Owner

 The partnership of Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor has had horse racing success of the greatest heights with champions represented worldwide. Under the direction of International conglomerate Coolmore Stud, the team has led the European and American racing standings numerous years and accounted for wins in nearly every Classic race on both sides of the pond and down under in Australia. Susan Magnier is the daughter of famed trainer Vincent O'Brien and her husband John is the managing partner of Coolmore. Derrick Smith joined the partnership in 2003 after making his fortune in property and currency trading and prior to that was a British bookmaker at Ladbrokes. Michael Tabor burst on to the American racing scene in 1995 when his Thunder Gulch captured the Kentucky Derby. He sold his Prince Arthur betting shops in Great Britain in 1995 and decided to follow his passion of horse racing in which he had been involved on a smaller scale since the 1970's. Trainer Wesley Ward joins the partnership in ownership of Pablo Del Monte. 

Pedigree

Pablo Del Monte must rely on his sire, European superstar Giant's Causeway, for his stamina, for his dam is all about raw speed.

Giant's Causeway was hailed as the "Iron Horse" after fighting to five consecutive Group 1 wins in the summer of 2000. Two came at a mile, the St James's Palace at Royal Ascot and the Sussex at Glorious Goodwood. Two were 1 1/4-mile tests, the Eclipse at Sandown and the Irish Champion at Leopardstown. Giant's Causeway proved that he could stay a little beyond that when scoring another hard-fought victory in the about 1 5/16-mile Juddmonte International at York.

As a son of Storm Cat and multiple Grade 2 heroine Mariah's Storm, Giant's Causeway had a strong pedigree for dirt. He accordingly tried that surface for the first and only time in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic, where he almost gave trainer Aidan O'Brien an elusive win in the lucrative championship. But Tiznow outdueled him to the wire.

Giant's Causeway has compiled a glittering record at stud, perennially ranking among the leading sires. His progeny include Eskendereya, the heavy favorite for the 2010 Kentucky Derby before suffering a career-ending injury; fellow top-class dirt performers  First Samurai, Swift Temper, Giant Oak and Creative Cause; synthetic standouts like Heatseeker and Carriage Trail; and such U.S. turf stars as Aragorn, Red Giant and My Typhoon. He has also sired champions around the globe, including dual French classic winner Shamardal.

Pablo Del Monte's dam, One Hot Wish, is best known for setting a world record in her debut over Keeneland's Polytrack as a juvenile. Trained, like her son, by Wesley Ward, she romped by 12 1/4 lengths while scorching 4 1/2 furlongs in :48.87. One Hot Wish won only once more during her brief career, running away with a Gulfstream turf sprint by 8 1/2 lengths.

One Hot Wish is by another fast Ward trainee, Bring the Heat. He is passing on his quickness to his offspring, such as Canadian champion two-year-old male Madman Diaries (who set a 4 1/2-furlong track record at Woodbine), multiple stakes scorers Excessive Heat and My Sweet Natalie, and Del Mar track record-setter Streamin Heat.

Pablo Del Monte's third dam in the maternal line is Ring the Moon, ancestress of Grade 2-winning sprinter Ciao Bella Luna. Ring the Moon is herself a full sister to 1970 Futurity winner Salem, 1978 Carter hero Pumpkin Moonshine and 1978 Test victress Tingle Stone. They are also half-siblings to Broom Dance, who narrowly prevailed in the 1 1/4-mile Alabama in 1982, but produced a pure sprinter in Grade 3-winning sire End Sweep.

Pablo Del Monte's fourth dam is Witching Hour, a half-sister to 1959 champion handicap mare Tempted.

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