Today's Royal Ascot card is all about the U.S.A., trainer Wesley Ward and my brother Bob.
The Albany Stakes (G3), featuring two-year-old fillies, is the 1st Race of the day. Trainer Wesley Ward sends out a pair. #11 LAXFIELD ROAD is by Quality Road. She broke her maiden by 11 lengths at Keeneland, widening her margin all the way. Jockey Frankie Dettori takes the reins today, as Joel Rosario, who rode her to that maiden score, opts for #3 BACK AT THE RANCH. That one has run twice with a first and a second, both with Rosario in the irons. A daughter of Artie Schiller, she doesn't own the early speed of her stablemate but her late kick is impressive.
#7 HOOTENANY won the Breeders'Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) in his final race of 2014. Back to racing at Keeneland on April 18, the Wesley Ward-trained son of Quality Road won an allowance race by six lengths. He owns a win at Royal Ascot, capturing the Windsor Castle Stakes last year and he'll be ridden by the great Ryan Moore. Cagey trainer George Weaver shipped his undefeated sprinter #3 CYCLOGENISIS across the pond for this difficult spot. The son of Stormy Atlantic has been breathtaking in all three of his starts. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez takes the mount this afternoon in what shapes up to be a great edition of the Commonwealth Cup (G1), the 3rd Race of the day.
The Coronation Stakes (G1) goes as the 4th Race. The story of #7 MISS TEMPLE CITY reads like a Hollywood script. Bred by my brother Bob, trainer H. Graham Motion has developed her into one of the the best animals in his yard. He holds her in the highest esteem and has been pointing to this race for quite a while. It is no easy spot, as there are at least five other fillies with more accomplished race records to contend with. Still, if Graham Motion tells you it's Easter, paint your eggs.