Golden Pal Drama: 'Irad Was Looking Back' When Gates Opened In King's Stand - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Golden Pal Drama: ‘Irad Was Looking Back’ When Gates Opened In King’s Stand

Golden Pal winning the Shakertown under Irad Ortiz Jr.

Dual Breeders' Cup winner Golden Pal appeared to miss the break in Tuesday's Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, then rushed up prematurely only to fade badly in the stretch. According to, the colt's pilot Irad Ortiz, Jr. told trainer Wesley Ward he was watching another horse acting up behind the gates prior to the start.

That horse, Mondammej, was withdrawn from the race after the rest of the field had already been loaded for several minutes. The starting gates then opened before Ortiz was prepared.

Ward told “Irad was looking back at the horse that wouldn't load. He didn't realize they scratch horses over here. He said he almost fell off.”

Golden Pal was unable to utilize the gate speed that has made him such a formidable weapon on U.S. soil, leading to another disappointing overseas trip for the colt Ward has often called the best he ever trained.

A 4-year-old son of Uncle Mo, Golden Pal has made two other starts overseas. His best finish came when second in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2020; the colt finished seventh in the G1 Nunthorpe in 2021.

Stateside, Golden Pal owns six victories from seven starts, including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint and the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Read more at, and watch the race replay below (Golden Pal leaves from stall 13).

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