Twilight Gleaming Uncatchable in Juvenile Turf Sprint
Trainer Wesley Ward is rapidly becoming the world's expert in training 2-year-olds to sprint on the turf. In only four years of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2T), Ward has won the race three times and finished second the only time he lost.
Twice the trainer has won the race with colts, and this time at Del Mar Nov. 5, he did it with a filly in the $1 million race, though not the one most people were expecting. Instead of winning with favored Averly Jane , Ward took it at Del Mar with Twilight Gleaming , the 5-1 second choice. Twilight Gleaming became the first filly to win the Juvenile Turf Sprint.
"You try to analyze all of these races on paper, and when the gate opens it's a different story," said Ward. "I thought she'd be in the second tier because Averly Jane and One Timer are so fast."
"She really broke running today," said Ortiz. "I was a little surprised because she has been breaking a step or two slow. I wanted to save her a little bit, but when we straightened out, I couldn't wait any longer. I wasn't sure if I saved enough. Everyone was running at us. She really gave me everything she had."
Barbara Banke, who races in the name of Stonestreet Stables, owns Twilight Gleaming. This year Banke was named chair of the Breeders' Cup board of directors, the first woman elected. To win the very first Breeders' Cup race of the 2021 edition was especially gratifying, though Banke first spoke of the filly's talent.
"She's been training really, really well," said Banke. "She just looked terrific, and she's really smart. You could tell she was just figuring it out. She wasn't hot or bothered. She was ready to rumble, and she did."
Ben McElroy bought Twilight Gleaming for Banke for £75,000 (US$96,931) at the Goffs' Orby Sale in 2020. Her dam, THAMES PAGEANT, was purchased by Badgers Bloodstock from Tattersalles 2015
December Mares sale for 42,000gns.