Frankie Dettori enjoyed a successful day one of the 2014 Breeders' Cup when winning on board Hootenanny and will be hoping to team up with trainer Wesley Ward for another Santa Anita triumph tonight.
The popular Italian prevailed in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf as his mount wore down front-running stablemate Luck Of The Kitten to score by threequarters of a length.
After thrilling racegoers with his trademark flying dismount, Dettori said: "He blew the first turn a bit, but once I got him asleep, I knew then that I had the race in my mercy."
Now the veteran rider will seek to deliver at least one more success for Ward when partnering Crown The Kitten (5.15) in the Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes and No Nay Never (9.05) in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
The former received a confidence boost when running out a facile winner at Retama Park last time out, while No Nay Never, winner of the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last term, showed his well-being with a Grade 3 triumph at Keeneland recently.
Ward also saddles Undrafted, owned by star NFL wide receiver Wes Welker, in the Turf Sprint and has high hopes of a bold showing from both entries.
Of No Nay Never, the handler said: “I think he’s going to break super sharp this time and the pace will be his. I think the downhill might actually help him. When he makes that turn, they make a tiny uphill run and that should relax him as he heads back down the hill.
"I think everything will be fine, but if they do go too fast up front, I think the race will fall into Undrafted’s hands – so I feel good about my chances with both horses.”
Dettori is also due to ride Chiquita (10.22) for Aidan O'Brien in the Breeders' Cup Turf over 1m 4f, with this 6million euros mare having been a touch unlucky at Ascot last time when hanging badly up the home straight.
Outsider Imperative (12.35) will be Dettori's final mount in the Breeders' Cup Classic as he bids to sign off the weekend with an upset strike.