January 28th, 2024

RUNHAPPY’S Rotknee Romps in Say Florida Sandy

It was a second stakes winner in two days for RUNHAPPY when his consistent son Rotknee won the Say Florida Sandy Stakes for his fourth career stakes victory.

The William Butler homebred was one of the last out of the gate in the seven-furlong dirt race but soon rectified that and put himself in position to challenge the leading Disarmed. Racing three wide around the Aqueduct turn, the 5-year-old had command of the race just outside of the quarter pole before going even wider in the stretch.

Rotknee showed why he was the favorite from that point on with a four-length victory to take his record to nine wins and four other top three finishes in 17 starts.

Trained by Mike Maker, Rotknee is now the earner of $582,955 with a Grade 3 placing to his name as well as his stakes victories.

“Jose [Lezcano] knows this horse very well. He’s a champ. He’s been a lot of fun and loves being in with his New York friends. I would love to see him step it up a notch, but we leave that up to Mike,” said Butler.

Rotknee was named New York’s Champion 3-Year-Old Male in 2022 and looks to be a finalist for the Older Dirt Male award for his 2023 accomplishments as well.

He is one of three stakes performers and two stakes winners out of the Speightstown mare In Spite of Mama. That three-time winner is a half-sister to stakes winner A Freud of Mama and out a half-sister to Speightstown’s Grade 1 winning Haynesfield.

It’s set to be another exciting year for In Spite of Mama, who has a WAR OF WILL juvenile named Willful Mama set to hit the track. She also foaled a RUNHAPPY full brother to Rotknee last year.

WAR OF WILL Trio On Offer at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic
WAR OF WILL On Top After First Runners’ Debuts