07/25/2014 9:02PM

Hootenanny may head back to Europe


Hootenanny, the winner of the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, may return to Europe for a leading group stakes for 2-year-olds in August, trainer Wesley Ward said Friday.

Hootenanny is under consideration for two six-furlong races – the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York on Aug. 23 or the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville the following day. Ward won the 2013 Prix Morny with No Nay Never, who won the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2013.

Hootenanny breezed a half-mile in 49.20 seconds at Churchill Downs on Friday, his first workout since winning the Windsor Castle Stakes. Ward said the colt worked better than expected, leading to the possibility of a start on the main track in the future.

On Friday, Ward said he was more interested in a European race in the short term.

“We’ll look at both of those races,” he said. “There could be something on dirt for him in the future.”

Hootenanny is nominated to the $200,000 Best Pal Stakes for 2-year-olds at Del Mar on Aug. 3, but Ward said the colt will skip that race.

Hootenanny, by Quality Road, has won 2 of 3 starts and earned $96,036 for Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, and Michael Tabor. In the Windsor Castle Stakes over five furlongs on a straightaway turf course, Hootenanny fought for the lead throughout and beat 23 rivals by 3 1/2 lengths as the 7-2 favorite.