Runhappy Earns Spot in Breeders' Cup Sprint
October 03, 2015 09:31am
Runhappy Phoenix 615 X 400
Photo: Keeneland Photo

James McIngvale’s Runhappy, winner of Friday’s Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3) on opening day of the Fall Meet, is back at trainer Maria Borell’s barn at The Thoroughbred Center on the north side of Lexington.

“He came out of the race well,” said Borell, who had just three previous starts at Keeneland before winning the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix. “He’s dragging us around this morning walking in the shedrow.”

The 7-5 favorite in the six-furlong Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix, Runhappy quickly recovered from a poor start to take the early lead under Edgar Prado and won by 1¾ lengths. The victory earned the 3-year-old Super Saver colt, who won the King’s Bishop (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 29, an automatic berth in the $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 31.

Borell said she would like to keep Runhappy at The Thoroughbred Center as long as possible before he returns to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup, although he could make a trip here for a work. Runhappy’s training routine includes swimming at the pool and turn-out time in the paddocks at The Thoroughbred Center.

Borell is still processing the experience of handling such a talented runner, who has five wins in six starts and earnings of $481,300.

“It’s a dream come true,” she said. “I know everyone thinks that’s silly, but it seems unreal some days.”

Suzanne Stables’ Barbados, second to Runhappy, returned to Churchill Downs Friday night and was reported to be fineSaturday morning, according to trainer Mike Tomlinson.

Winner of the Hutcheson (G3) in January and three times graded stakes-placed since, Barbados likely will make one more Keeneland appearance this month.

“I had the Perryville penciled in for his next race,” Tomlinson said referring to the $100,000 race for 3-year-olds going six furlongs on the main track Oct. 31. “But if things change, we will go with that.”

Barbados may have enough on his resume to sway the Breeders’ Cup Selection Panel to include him among the pre-entries for the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“He’s a nice little horse, but he only has 10 points and I don’t know if he would get invited,” Tomlinson said. “If he does get in (the Breeders’ Cup), he’d probably stay at Churchill until he had to come over three days before the race.”

Defending winner and champion sprinter Work All Week exited his third-place effort in fine order, according to Richard Papiese of owner Midwest Thoroughbreds.

Work All Week broke sharply from the outside post 11 over the sloppy going and tracked eventual winner Runhappy throughout before being nipped at the wire by Barbados. The race was his first since Aug. 1, when he won the Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial at Mountaineer.

Papiese confirmed that Work All Week will be aimed toward a defense of his title in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Source: Keeneland Association


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