05/16/2014 4:00PM

Governmentshutdown enables connections to repeat in Rollicking

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Nikki Sherman
Governmentshutdown, ridden by J.R. Betancourt, scores as the second choice in the Rollicking for 2-year-olds.

BALTIMORE – It was a Preakness weekend repeat Friday for owner Tim O’Donohue and trainer Jerry Robb when Governmentshutdown rolled to victory over a depleted field of 2-year-olds in the $75,000 Rollicking Stakes on the Preakness eve card at soggy Pimlico.

“We’re on the same plan as last year,” Robb said after Governmentshutdown, ridden by J.R. Betancourt, defeated Pret Say Eye by 3 3/4 lengths in the five-furlong Rollicking.

Last year on Preakness Day, Debt Ceiling won the Rollicking for O’Donohue and Robb before capturing the Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes six weeks later at Churchill Downs. The Bashford Manor will be run June 28.

Hootenanny, the 1-2 favorite under Leandro Goncalves, made the early lead in the Rollicking but was caught and passed by Pret Say Eye on the turn. Turning for home, Pret Say Eye opened up, but then Governmentshutdown came rolling past on the outside to win with relative ease.

Governmentshutdown, a Kentucky-bred gelding by Exchange Rate, returned $4.60 as second choice after finishing in 59.10 seconds over a track rated good. He was coming off a six-length maiden victory at Pimlico just 13 days beforehand.

Wesley Ward, the trainer of Hootenanny, had four of the original eight entries in the race, but he scratched three of those four: Banksy, Bessie’s Boy, and Spanish Pipedream. The other scratch was Far Right, a Kentucky-based maiden.

The $2 exacta (1-2) paid $25.80 and the $1 trifecta (1-2-6) returned $17.20. There was no superfecta wagering because of the short field.