The four-year-old is already twice a winner at the meeting, taking the Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland in 2020 and then landing the Turf Sprint in 2021 when the fixture has held at Del Mar. He did not fire when brought over to Royal Ascot in June for the King's Stand, but has since won twice on home soil and is highly-fancied to retain his crown when the Breeders' Cup returns to Keeneland next week. "He's just just a joy to be around and to have a horse like him, I just really relish coming out every day to train him," said Ward. "To have a horse that could win three Breeders' Cups, and if you look at the ones that have they are iconic horses in our game, to have him known as one of those and to have me being able to orchestrate his career from the onset to now, it would just be amazing. "It's once in a lifetime to be around horses like that. He's just a great guy to be around, if he was a human he'd be one of those movie stars you always want to hang out with." Ward has no concerns about the conditions in Keeneland as his colt has encountered and run well on all types of ground, though the track does seem to be particularly to his liking as he is unbeaten there in four runs. "He runs on anything, he'll run if it's raining on the day and it won't be an issue if it's fast and firm. He's proven on that as well, he's just a true athlete." Ward considers Golden Pal to be the best he has ever trained, but also describes him as the most intelligent and there is clearly a deep bond between trainer and horse. "He's just just a joy to be around. He's just a really neat horse," he said. "He's probably one of the smartest horses as well. For sure he's the most talented but one of the smartest horses I've ever trained as well, just a highly intelligent horse. Every time he goes to the track, you can just see the confidence in him that he enjoys his job and loves to train, he's a real cool dude. "You know, I just haven't left his side here for for all this time. I spend each and every day with him up there. "When he moved up from Keeneland to Saratoga and when he came back to Saratoga after the Keeneland sale. I've been right with him."
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