Kimari Sets Up for Madison Repeat in Season Debut Score

Kimari  kicked off her 2022 season in style March 3 with a 5 1/4-length romp over four overmatched allowance-level foes in a $55,000 event at Gulfstream Park.

Using the 6 1/2-furlong dirt event as a stepping stone to greater heights, trainer Wesley Ward said the 5-year-old daughter of Munnings  will next target a return to top-level company in the April 9 Madison Stakes (G1), a race she earned on the main track at Keeneland last year.

With Joel Rosario in the irons Thursday for her first start since a seventh against the boys in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1T) at Del Mar, Kimari tracked the early pace under slight restraint as Splash Cash  posted a quarter in :22.41. Let out a notch heading around the turn through a half in :45.66, she took the advantage and leveled out into the stretch to widen her advantage, repelling the advance of runner-up Liberty M D  while galloping clear in a final time of 1:16.10 on a fast track.

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Kimari was a $2.7 million purchase by Coolmore’s M. V. Magnier last year from Eaton Sales’ consignment to The November Sale, Fasig-Tipton’s marquee breeding stock sale.

She started on Thursday for the Coolmore connections of Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, Westerberg, and Jonathan Poulin.

“She gave me a nice birthday present today, so that was good,” said Ward, who turned 54 Thursday. “We’ll use this race to springboard into the Madison, which she won last year. She heads back to Kentucky on Sunday.”

Bred in Kentucky by China Horse Club International out of the grade 3-winning Cozzene mare Cozze Up Lady, Kimari was a $152,000 purchase by Eaton on behalf of Ten Broeck Farm from Bluewater Sales’ consignment to The July Sale, Fasig-Tipton’s selected yearling sale in Kentucky in 2018. She twice made the trip across the pond to race at Royal Ascot.

During her time abroad she performed very well against European competition, placing second in the Queen Mary Stakes (G2) at 2 and second in the Commonwealth Cup (G1) at 3. Her domestic victories include the Bolton Landing Stakes, Indian Summer Stakes, Purple Martin Stakes, and Spring Fever Stakes. She has compiled a 7-2-1 record from 12 starts, with earnings of $801,777.

Ward also has Coolmore connections’ Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1T) winner Golden Pal  gearing up for a start in the Shakertown Stakes (G2T) on the same April 9 card at Keeneland. He added Stonestreet Stables’ 2021 Commonwealth Cup winner Campanelle  and their Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2T) winner Twilight Gleaming  will target listed stakes at the spring meet as a precursor to hopefully joining his traditional Royal Ascot raiding team in June.

“Keeneland is my favorite place in the world, so I’m excited,” Ward said of preparing for the upcoming season.

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