Undrafted Being Pointed to Darley July Cup

Undrafted Being Pointed to Darley July Cup
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Undrafted most recently finished second in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes May 2 at Churchill Downs.

Wes Welker's Undrafted is being pointed to the six-furlong Darley July Cup (Eng-I) July 12 at Newmarket.

An extremely strong overseas contingent from six different countries on four continents is part of a 48-horse entry for the Darley July Cup, a leg of both the QIPCO British Champions Series and the Global Sprint Challenge, which will be run on Newmarket's July Course.

Trained by Wesley Ward, Undrafted registered a runner-up finish in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes (gr. IIIT) at five furlongs May 2 at Churchill Downs. Ward has recorded three wins at Royal Ascot. 

"Undrafted ran the best race of his life at Churchill Downs last Friday," Ward said. "As long as he shows enough to warrant a trip across the Atlantic in his next race, at Belmont Park in a month's time, then the plan is to go to Newmarket."

A wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, Welker, 33, has averaged more than 1,000 receiving yards a season in his nine years in the NFL. On Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) day this year, Welker was spotted passing out several $100 bills to the Churchill Downs crowd after an apparent big wagering score.

"Wes Welker is an extremely lucky owner who loves to go to the races and let his hair down," Ward said. "He has already been to Ascot and had a great time there."

Welker's racing manager Gatewood Bell said the straight July course could help Undrafted.

"The likelihood is that Undrafted will go to Newmarket depending on his performance at Belmont next month," said Bell. "He is unusual for an American sprinter in that he does not need the lead. He comes with a turn of foot from off the pace, hence he can be compromised by the turns of U.S. courses.

"If the Darley July Cup is not Britain's premier sprint it is certainly in the top two or three and it would be a fun thing to try. For half-a-million pounds it should be well worth the trip," Bell added.

There are 14 Irish contenders among the other foreign entries, plus three from France and one each from Spain, Australia, and South Africa.

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