12/03/2014 1:47PM

Hootenanny, Sunset Glow may target Commonwealth Cup

Barbara D. Livingston
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hootenanny could be headed to Royal Ascot for the Commonwealth Cup next summer, according to trainer Wesley Ward.

The 2015 Royal Ascot meeting will feature a new Group 1 race for 3-year-olds sprinters, the racecourse announced earlier this week.

The Commonwealth Cup will be run June 19 and will carry a purse of $588,750 at current exchange rates. On Wednesday, trainer Wesley Ward said he is considering the race for Hootenanny, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita, and Sunset Glow, who won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante in August.

Hootenanny won the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot last June and later was second in the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville, France. Ward said he is planning to start Hootenanny in the Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland in April for his 2015 debut before making plans on a possible European trip in the spring.

“We’ll base [the decision] around his comeback race,” Ward said. “If he runs like he’s supposed to, we’ll try the Guineas.”

The Group 1 English 2000 Guineas is run over a straightaway mile May 2 at Newmarket Racecourse.

Sunset Glow finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 31.

The Commonwealth Cup will share the June 19 program with the Group 1 Coronation Cup for 3-year-old fillies. Track officials are hoping the new race will attract runners from Australia and throughout Europe. The Commonwealth Cup will be one of eight Group 1 races to be run during the five-day season, which runs June 16-20 and is the highlight of the British flat season.

Overall, purses for Royal Ascot will reach a record $8,635,000.

The richest races of the meeting, worth $824,250, are the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes over 1 1/4 miles June 17 and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over six furlongs June 20.