Royal Ascot runner-up Kimari is one of four potential runners for Wesley Ward in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.
Having made a hugely impressive debut with a 15-length victory at Keeneland, Kimari was well fancied to provide her trainer with a fourth triumph in the Queen Mary in June, but was beaten a head by Mark Johnston’s Raffle Prize under Ward’s regular ally Frankie Dettori.
However, Kimari has won each of her two starts since returning to her homeland and is set to spearhead a formidable team for Ward in the five-and-a-half-furlong contest at Santa Anita on Friday week, live on Sky Sports Racing.
Ward said: “I have the four horses in Juvenile Turf Sprint and that’s it for this year’s Breeders’ Cup.
“This has been the plan for Kimari all year and I was delighted with her last run at Keeneland, where she showed a different dimension in coming from the back to win.”
Kimari is set to be joined by Four Wheel Drive – unbeaten in two starts and winner of the Grade Three Futurity Stakes on his latest outing – as well as three-times winner Cambria.
The Ward quartet of entries is completed by outsider Karak.
Ward continued: “Four Wheel Drive, or ‘The Four Wheeler’ as we call him, has done nothing wrong so far. He goes there unbeaten – and Kimari would be unbeaten too if it wasn’t for Frankie!
“I have another nice filly for the race called Cambria, who is also unbeaten and won a $500,000 race in Kentucky on her last start.
“They’ve all got different running styles – Cambria comes from last, Kimari will sit mid-pack if she breaks well and ‘The Four Wheeler’ likes to be on the pace. I hope they don’t get in the way of each other and we’ll see which way it works out.
“The other filly I have in the race is Karak, who missed the break in the Windsor Castle at Ascot, but she might not get in.”
While Ward and Dettori have successfully combined for Breeders’ Cup success in the past – with Hootenanny landing the 2014 Juvenile Turf – the likeable trainer will not be able to use the Italian’s services this year, as he is set to partner the Simon Crisford-trained Norfolk Stakes and Flying Childers winner A’Ali.
“Frankie can’t ride as he tells me he’s got a good one coming over for this race,” Ward added.