Ward scores fifth Bolton Landing with Love Reigns

Stonestreet Stables' Love Reigns  provided trainer Wesley Ward with a record-extending fifth victory in the $150,000 Bolton Landing Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for juvenile fillies, Aug. 21 at Saratoga Race Course.

The Irish-bred daughter of U S Navy Flag  made a winning return from her fourth-place finish in the June 15 Queen Mary Stakes (G2) at Ascot Racecourse, which followed a 9 3/4-length debut score in April at Keeneland.

Ward said he is hopeful that Love Reigns can follow in the footsteps of his filly Twilight Gleaming , whom he saddled to victory against the boys in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2T) at Del Mar.

"She's a nice filly. She came through today," Ward said. "I'm looking forward to the Breeders' Cup at her home track at Keeneland, I'll tell you that."

With regular pilot Irad Ortiz Jr. up, Love Reigns broke alertly and tracked the early foot of Sweet Harmony  though splits of :22.34 and :44.87 over the firm going. Ortiz angled Love Reigns to the outside of Sweet Harmony into the turn and quickly established command, drawing off to a 2 1/2-length win in 1:02.03.

The Luis Saez-piloted Danse Macabre  closed to take second, with Redefined  in third.

Love Reigns banked $82,500 while improving her record to 2-0-0 from three starts. She returned $3.40.

"It was nice today that she rated kindly. She had been doing that in the morning, but morning and afternoon are two different animals," said Ward, who won the Bolton Landing with Con Te Partiro  (2016), Stillwater Cove  (2018), Kimari  (2019), and Chi Town Lady  (2021).

"We had that other filly (Sweet Harmony) go up there with her and Irad eased her back in second. When he went ahead and tapped her on the shoulder, she kicked away from them," Ward said.

"That's what you want to see, especially from a 3-5 shot. She certainly stamped herself here as our top prospect for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint."

Ortiz said Love Reigns was professional.

"She did everything perfect," said Ortiz, who leads the Saratoga meet with 41 victories. "She broke good and the other horse came out faster than she did. I came over, sat second in the clear and waited for the time to go and she did the rest."

Saez said he was impressed with his first afternoon experience aboard NBS Stable and Elements Racing's Danse Macabre , who was making her stakes debut off a maiden score in July at Colonial Downs for trainer Kelsey Danner.

"We had a little bit of trouble at the half-mile pole," Saez said. "Going five-eighths, everyone runs away from there. But she ran a good race, she finished pretty strong and I think she has a good future."

Bred in Ireland by Patrick Grogan, Love Reigns was a $187,123 purchase from agent Ben McElroy at the 2021 Goffs Orby Yearling Sale from the Killourney Mor Farm consignment. 



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