Ogermeister was dominant in the first two year old MSW at Belmont 2013
Silver Train Colt Leads U.S. Invaders in Windsor Castle Stakes
From a historical perspective, Ascot Racecourse, founded in 1711, has offered almost continuous racing for over 300 years and 164 years of racing before the first Kentucky Derby. The race program has evolved over time, especially since 1945 and the end of World War II. Ascot is inextricably tied to the British Royal Family, which adds to the tradition and attractiveness of the summer meet known as Royal Ascot. It is easily one, if not, the most famous and popular race meeting in Europe. Think Saratoga compressed into one week with a classy, tradition that attracts 300,000 guests.
Given the distance and stress of international travel and the general dominance of European horses on turf surfaces, Royal Ascot has not been a hot bed of success for American horseman. In 2009, Wesley Ward overcame these barriers. Ward made an instant impact at the royal meeting in 2009 with two wins courtesy of Jealous Again in the Queen Mary Stakes and Strike The Tiger in the Windsor Castle plus a second place with sprinter Cannonball in the Golden Jubilee Stakes. He became the first American trainer to win a stakes race at Royal Ascot.
Since then Ward has not been able to duplicate this success and did not participate in 2012. He is back this year with three two year olds hoping to rekindle the magic of 2009. The trio of two-year-olds, arrived in Britain on Thursday, June 13th, headed by Queen Mary Stakes entry Sweet Emma Rose, who won on her debut before fading after showing early speed against colts when fourth in the Rollicking Stakes at Pimlico.
Ogermeister, a six-length winner of his only race at Belmont Park who goes for the Windsor Castle Stakes, and Keeneland winner No Nay Never, a possible for either the Coventry Stakes or the Norfolk Stakes, joins her.
All three will be ridden by leading US jockey Joel Rosario.
Ogermeister is owned by Wesley Ward who is widely known for his ability to win with juveniles, to the point that his 2-year-old entries are routinely bet down based on this proclivity alone. The colt was bred by Mrs. Gerald Nielsen and is out of NY bred, To the Good Times, a non-winner in two career races, by Polish Numbers. Ogermeister is also a NY bred and was purchased by Ward for $40,000 at the Fasig Tipton August 2012, NY Yearling Select Sale. After his maiden win with Rosario up, Ogermeister has been training at Keeneland on the turf course before heading over to Ascot. According to Ward, though Ogermeister’s breeding is a dirt pedigree, he has taken to the turf. Anyone following Silver Train’ knows that he is producing a wide range of successful sprinters dirt or turf.
The breeding nick services are somewhat uninspired by the cross which features Northern Dancer inbreeding 5m x 4m cross. Werk Enicks rates the Silver Train-To the Good Times as a C. True Nicks rates it a D. Relay Bill is the only stakes winner noted on this cross.
Ogermeister will be entering the Windsor Castle Stakes, a listed stakes named after the London Residence for the Queen and one of the U.K.’s most popular tourist attractions. This historic race started more than 20 years before the U.S. Civil War having started as a 1 mile turf race in 1839. Over the years the race morphed to a 5 furlong sprint for 2 year olds only and is a real speed test. It is the final race of the first day of Ascot, Tuesday June 18th.
This is a race that favorites have a hard time winning. Over the last 10 outings the favorite has prevailed twice leading to many big payouts including Flashman’s Papers win against 24 other runners at 100 to 1 in 2008. Wesley Ward’s win in 2009 with Strike the Tiger was a punter’s delight at 33 to 1. The field for this year’s race isn’t settled yet, but the pre race nominations stand at 28 entrants. The morning line favorite is Anticipated who has won twice at 5 furlongs. He is listed at 5.2 to 1. Ogermeister who is in the 16th PP is the 2nd favorite at 7.6 to 1.
I will post updated information on the outcome of this race.
Henry R. “Hank” Nothhaft