First Time At The Distance No Issue
By Dick Downey
Connections quotes by Jennie Rees
Photo by Reed Palmer
Bound for Nowhere had never been beyond six furlongs, but being a son of The Factor indicated he could get the mile distance, and Wesley Ward was more than willing to take a shot. The result was an impressive win of Saturday's $681,400 Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs.
The race played out in a straightforward way. Great Wide Open, considered an outsider by bettors at 18-1 in the seven-horse field, went straight to the lead under James Graham while Bound for Nowhere and Julio Garcia stalked as the 9-5 second choice. Mr. Misunderstood, the 6-5 favorite, bided his time on the rail in fourth around the turn behind the top two as Bandar made a short-lived run at the leaders heading into the stretch.
Well out on the track running in the lane, Bound for Nowhere drew clear in mid-stretch and defeated a stubborn Great Wide Open by a length. Mr. Misunderstood stayed on to finish third, another 1 1/4 lengths back, edging Krampus by a neck. Those four were followed by Bandar, Mr Cub and Camelot Kitten. Master Merion was scratched.
Bound for Nowhere's most recent start yielded an admirable third-place finish at Royal Ascot in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee, beaten less than a length running a straight six furlongs. However, he entered the Tourist Mile undefeated here at home, and today's win was his fifth in as many starts on domestic soil.
After impressively breaking his maiden in his debut on Turfway Park's synthetic surface in January of last year, he won a turf allowance going 5 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland by over four lengths. He finished a solid fourth in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot next, followed by a sound beating in the LARC Prix Maurice de Gheest in August. Bound for Nowhere returned seven months later to win a Turfway allowance, and he won the Grade 2 Shakertown at Keeneland a month after that before heading to Ascot.
Overall, then, Bound for Nowhere has five wins from eight starts with a third, and counting today's purse money of $455,700, he has total earnings of $755,683. That's good news for Ward, who not only trains the 4-year-old colt. He's the owner, too, having purchased him as a yearling at Keeneland for $310,000.
The winner was bred in Kentucky by Wayne Lyster, Gray Lyster and Bryan Lyster. He's out of the Alydeed mare Fancy Deed.
Wesley Ward (has won bigger race as owner when Judy the Beauty won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint): “But we’ll take this one for sure. My son called me from the University of Miami. He’s on a full-ride scholarship from the Bank of Dad. So I said he’s good again for next year.
“I’ve always wanted to stretch him out, always thought he was a miler. He’s a big colt, rangy guy, got big airway, has no issues, no problems. It’s just he’s so good at sprinting. When he ran at Ascot and ran so well, this was the race we were pointing for all along. But the closer we got to it, the more I was second-guessing where I would go. But thanks to Julio and the team I have, we all got together and made a decision and it turned out right.
“He’s always a very relaxed horse. It’s just when he gets to the gate that’s the issue. He had problems at Ascot, had problems at Keeneland in the spring. He gets there and kind of throws his head up and doesn’t want to load, kind of gets a little hot and anxious. He’s like a pony (otherwise). My daughter could gallop the horse with two hands; he’s a sweet heart. That’s one of the reasons we thought he’d go a mile. But Spec (starter Spec Alexander, who is at Keeneland and Kentucky Downs) at Keeneland has been working on him, knows him very well. We’ve schooled him multiple times at Keeneland, and he was ready for him today.
“He may have been even a little short today, though fresh and ready to go and the adrenaline kind of pushed him on home. He should be better next time.”
James Graham (runner-up Great Wide Open): “Conor said he was doing good. He ran his race. I love him. he’s one of those good kind because he tries hard every time. The couple of times he hasn’t run good, the ground had been too hard, they ran quick in front of him. He ran quick today, and he didn’t slow down. The best horse won.”
Conor Murphy (trainer, runner-up Great Wide Open): “That was a lovely run. I was a bit worried coming down here that the ground would be too firm, but there’s a nice little bit of give in there, which his horse needs. I didn’t expect him to beat Wesley’s horse or Mr. Misunderstood. But we know he handles this track because he ran over similar tracks in Ireland, so we thought we’d take a shot. We’re delighted. We gave him a break after Canterbury because I ran him eight times in three months, which I never do with my horses. But he’s that type of horse that needs to run. I’m elated. Lovely run off the layoff.”
Florent Geroux (third-place favorite Mr. Misunderstood): “He was never on the bit, completely off the bridle. He never traveled well. I was kind of pushing on him the whole way.”