Champion Lady Aurelia (inside) works in preparation for her Royal Ascot bid

Champion Lady Aurelia (inside) works in preparation for her Royal Ascot bid

Anne M. Eberhardt

Lady Aurelia Again Heads Ward Contingent

The champion filly led throughout her five-furlong move in 1:00 4/5.

Keeneland-based trainer Wesley Ward sent out seven runners May 30, including European champion Lady Aurelia, for works over the turf course in preparation for stakes at Royal Ascot in England in June.

All seven Royal Ascot-bound horses were winners at Keeneland this spring, contributing to Ward's 11 meet victories and earning him leading trainer honors. 

Lady Aurelia broke in front and then led workmate Bound for Nowhere throughout her five-furlong move over the firm turf course, getting the distance in 1:00 4/5. Bound for Nowhere, a Commonwealth Cup (G1) contender owned by Ward, was timed in 1:00 1/5.

"She had a great work today," Ward said afterward. "We put her in front, like she usually does in her races, and she just kind of cruised around there."

Owned by Stonestreet Stables, George Bolton, and Peter Leidel, Lady Aurelia won the 2016 Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot in June, Darley Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville in France in August, and was third in the Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park (G1) at Newmarket in September. She opened her 2017 campaign with a victory against older rivals in the April 15 Giant's Causeway on the Keeneland lawn.

The daughter of Scat Daddy will take on older rivals again in the June 20 King's Stand (G1), run on opening day of the Royal Ascot meet. 

Ward said Lady Aurelia will have an "easy breeze" at Keeneland next June 5 before leaving at 4:30 a.m. ET June 6 for England.

Also on the Tuesday tab for Ward was Wes Welker and Elizabeth Kumin's Undrafted, who worked four furlongs on his own in :48 2/5. About to make his fourth trip to England. Fourth in the 2014 Darley July Cup (G1) at Newmarket, he won Royal Ascot's Diamond Jubilee (G1) in 2015 and was sixth in the race last year. The Purim gelding, pointed at the June 24 Wokingham Stakes, began his 7-year-old campaign with a win in an April 21 allowance race over the Keeneland turf.

The 2-year-olds Fairyland and McErin worked a half-mile together in :48 Tuesday morning. A filly by Scat Daddy owned by Michael B. Tabor, Derrick Smith, and John Magnier, Fairyland won her career debut by 3 1/4 lengths on the main track at Keeneland April 7. She is slated for the June 23 Albany (G3), while McErin, a Trappe Shot  colt bred and owned by Waterford Stable, will go to the June 22 Norfolk (G2). He broke his maiden by 7 1/2 lengths at Keeneland on dirt April 12.

A second pair of 2-year-olds, Happy Like a Fool and Nootka Sound, also worked a half-mile. Happy Like a Fool covered the distance in :48 3/5 while Nootka Sound was caught in :48 4/5. Ward bred and owns Happy Like a Fool, a filly by Distorted Humor  who won her maiden by four lengths on the dirt at Keeneland April 9. She is being pointed for the June 21 Queen Mary (G2). Hat Creek Racing owns Nootka Sound, a 2-year-old Lonhro (AUS) filly who won her debut by 5 1/4 lengths April 27 on Keeneland's main track. She is on target for the June 20 Windsor Castle.

Lady Aurelia, Undrafted, Fairyland, Bound for Nowhere, and Nootka Sound are all graduates of Keeneland's September yearling sale.