Trainer Wesley Ward needed the April 18 season debut of Hootenanny to help gauge the 2014 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) winner's conditioning levels after a solid winter of training. It took just over a minute at Keeneland to find out "good to go",as the colt galloped away to a 6 1/4-length score (VIDEO).
Hootenanny, who is under consideration for another trip to Royal Ascot (he won the Windsor Castle Stakes there in June and was runner-up in August in the Darley Prix Morny, Fr.-I), easily put away three rivals in a 5 1/2-furlong turf allowance in his first start since winning the Oct. 31 Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita Park.
Jockey Javier Castellano took Hootenanny back to second at the start, letting Jiggin Witit lead through a quarter in :22.79 and a half in :46.55. He asked for run at the eighth pole and the bay son of Quality Road responded to draw off as much the best, finishing in 1:03.80 on good turf after five-eighths in :57.81.
Favored at odds of 1-9, Hootenanny returned $2.20 and $2.10 with no show wagering. He was followed home by Bottle Rocket ($3.60), Gotta Get Paid, and Jiggin Witit. Saratoga Dreamer, Latent Revenge, and Asia scratched.
Hootenanny was initially purchased by Winding Oaks Farm for $120,000 from the Eaton Sales consignment to the 2012 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Pinhooked by St. George Sales to the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale, he sold to Cromwell Bloodstock for $75,000. His current record stands at 4-1-1 from six starts with earnings of $793,105. He races for Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith.