Just 24 hours earlier, trainer Wesley Ward had warned that Jealous Again was much better than his historic Windsor Castle Stakes winner Strike The Tiger, and on June 17 the 2-year-old Trippi filly proved these were not empty words when bolting from the gate to go clear of her rivals in the five-furlong Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot before kicking on again for an easy five-length victory.
Sent off at 13/2, from a morning price of 16/1, Jealous Again never saw another rival as she sprinted home to become only the second American-trained winner ever at the Royal Meeting.
“This is such an honour to be here and to have two winners is just fantastic,” said Ward. “When Cannonball got invited to his race I thought I’d bring over a few 2-year-olds and target some of your races as at this time of year there are not really that many opportunities for stakes races at home. So far they’ve both won and I’m very proud of my horses.
“She ran brilliantly and Johnny (Velazquez) rode a great race. In America we train for speed and that’s one of the reasons I came over; I thought I could maybe get a jump on the other trainers and other horses as I train to get my horses out nice and early and take advantage of the early races. Your horses are bred more for longer distances and ours are bred more for speed."
Ward still has three juveniles to run at the Royal Meeting - his homebred Yogaroo in the Norfolk Stakes (June 18), Aegean in the Albany (June 19), and Honor In Peace in the Chesham (June 20) - and he is set to send out Cannonball again in the Golden Jubilee Stakes.
“Yogaroo has got a big chance also," Ward said. "I own the sire (Bring The Heat) and he throws sprinters. Aegean is better than this filly (Jealous Again). She’s a lovely filly, she’s fantastic, that’s all I can say.”
Paying tribute to jockey Rene Douglas, who was partially paralysed in a race fall just a few weeks before the meeting, the trainer added: “One thing I would like to say is that Rene Douglas was scheduled to come here to ride them and he was so excited about it. I feel so bad that he’s not here, but I’m delighted that Johnny was able to ride.”
Velazquez said: “It’s an easy job for me as Wesley had them ready to go. I wasn’t surprised at her today. She was impressive and I knew she would be very fast. She was fast out of the gates and I just kept her running once she got away from them. The only question I had was how she would handle the ground, but Wesley did well to bring them over early to Newmarket and work them on the grass.
"Wesley had them ready to come over here and that’s the way that they were ready when they ran in the states."
Jealous Again is out of the Bold Ruckus mare Chi Sa. She was bred in Florida by Harold Plumley and is owned by the partnership of Ward, Robert Adams and Micth Dutko. The filly broke her maiden at first asking April 3 at Keeneland and finished runner-up in the Kentucky Juvenile (gr. III) April 30 at Churchill Downs.