UPDATED June 26, 2014
Freshman sire QUALITY ROAD got his first stakes winner on the opening day of Royal Ascot June 17, with the upstart 2-year-old Hootenanny “dominating 23 overmatched rivals in the Windsor Castle Stakes,” according to The Blood-Horse.
Bred by Barronstown in Kentucky, Hootenanny is owned by the Coolmore partners of Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor. He is trained by Wesley Ward.
The Thoroughbred Daily News described the race: “[Hootenanny] broke out of the stands’ side gate like a shot to race on the front end from the outset. Remaining hard on the steel until shaken up approaching the final furlong, the bay surged clear of a massive field for three flicks of Victor Espinoza’s persuader in the closing stages to easily register a first black-type score and provide Ward with his second win in the race…”
Hootenanny was produced by a 3/4-sister to Grade 1 winner Cat Moves and hails from a successful family cultivated by the late Ned Evans. Hootenanny kicked off his career with a win over Keeneland’s Polytrack in April before running third in the Rollicking S. at Pimlico in May.
QUALITY ROAD is currently the #2 Freshman Sire by earnings—he’s just a few hundred dollars from the #1 spot—and is the lone freshman sire in North America with a black-type winner.
QUALITY ROAD contines to shine as a sales sire, too. A few days after Hootenany’s win, a 2-year-old by QUALITY ROAD brought $390,000 at the OBS June Sale in Florida. That was the top price paid for a colt at the auction. Mark Casse, representing Conquest Stables LLC, bought the striking gray grandson of Grade 2 winner Be Gentle from the Wavertree consignment.
QUALITY ROAD got another boost at OBS June when Calumet Farm went to $185,000 to acquire another handsome colt by QUALITY ROAD. Consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, the colt was produced by the A.P. INDY mare Banner, a full to MGSP A. P. Five Hundred from the family of Sacahuista, et al.
QUALITY ROAD: An elite sire in the making.