RUNHAPPY followed up a Saturday exacta at Oaklawn with a Sunday Maiden Special Weight winner at Gulfstream Park after Champagne Salute broke her maiden in her second start.
Racing over a mile on the dirt, the filly broke quickly and raced with two others in the lead. Edgard Zayas settled the heavy favorite behind the leader then made his move around the turn. After a brief duel, Champagne Salute took over the lead with Zayas looking confident as they turned into the stretch.
That changed when another horse took aim at Champagne Salute and she had to dig deep in the stretch to break her maiden tag. Despite the other runner’s best attempts, the filly always kept her head in front to win by half a length in the end.
Bred by Nursery Place, Donaldson, and Broadbent, Champagne Salute is the first foal out of the multiple stakes-placed mare Saluda. That mare’s dam is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner and Grade 1-placed Agave Kiss and two other stakes horses.
RUNHAPPY’s 14 2021 winners ties him in fourth among all second crop stallions ahead of stallions such as Frosted, Nyquist, and Laoban with his four stakes horses this year putting him in second just one horse behind the leader.