CHEERS FOR HEMP HEMP HURRAY IN ANIMAL KINGDOM STAKES AT TURFWAY PARK
Colt is One of Two Winners on the Night for Meet’s Leading Owners
March 31, 2018 (FLORENCE, Ky.) – Hemp Hemp Hurray romped in the 32nd running of the Animal Kingdom Stakes on a rainy closing night at Turfway Park, surging to the lead with barely a suggestion from jockey Julio Garcia and widening his advantage at will. It was 11 3/4 lengths back to Angaston in second at 13-1 and another 1 1/2 lengths to O’Malley’s March in third at 33-1.
Batterbatterswing was out first and set the first quarter in :23.40 while chased by Ceduna, the filly Smokin Hot Momma and Angaston. Hemp Hemp Hurray raced outside in fifth, 3 1/2 lengths off the leader and ready to roll. After setting the half in :46.09 and the three-quarter mark in 1:10.50 he cruised home to finish the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.03.
“This is a good horse. He ran in the Breeders’ Cup,” said Garcia. “He just galloped. At the three-eighths pole I had a lot of horse and couldn’t hold him too much. He just went by himself.”
Hemp Hemp Hurray was the 3-5 favorite to win the race for 3-year-olds and paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.80.
In fourth was Ceduna, followed by Batterbatterswing and Smokin Hot Momma. Elgar, Jamaican Don and The Queens Jules scratched.
In his 2-year-old season, Hemp Hemp Hurray finished off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Del Mar after finishing second, beaten a neck, in the Summer Stakes (G2) at Woodbine and winning the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth. The Animal Kingdom was the second start of his sophomore campaign, following a fourth-place finish in the Baffle Stakes at Santa Anita.
Hemp Hemp Hurray is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who came in to the final day of racing tied for leading owner honors with Dennis Behrmann. The Animal Kingdom was the second win on the night for the Ramseys, who clinched their 15th leading owner title at Turfway when Purely Boy won the second race.
By Artie Schiller out of the Malibu Moon mare Druidess, Hemp Hemp Hurray was bred in Ontario by Bernard and Karen McCormack and is conditioned by the meet’s leading trainer, Wesley Ward. The colt now has three wins and a second from six starts. The winner’s share of the $50,000 Animal Kingdom purse boosted his earnings to $153,930.
The Animal Kingdom was previously run as the WEBN Stakes. The race is named for the winner of the 2011 Jeff Ruby Steaks (then the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes) who went on to win the Kentucky Derby and the 2012 Dubai World Cup.