May 2nd, 2024

RUNHAPPY’s Rotknee Wins Again in Affirmed Success

William Butler’s evergreen RUNHAPPY son Rotknee returned to the winner’s circle on Thursday when scoring a victory in the Affirmed Succes Stakes for his sixth career stakes win.

Trained by Mike Maker, Rotknee went the lead soon after the gate in the six-furlong race to take command of the pace. The horse had to deal with slight pressure from another rival around the turn and was asked for more by jockey Manny Franco as they reached the quarter pole.

Racing close to the rail, Rotknee built his lead in the stretch until another runner came after him in the final furlong. The one couldn’t cut the margin by much and Rotknee crossed the finish line 1 ¾ lengths in front as the favorite.

“I’ve never seen a bad step from him. He’s been outrun before, other than that, he knows how to race. He knows how to race and has a heart. He’s got a big heart. I felt that coming down the stretch,” said Butler.

It’s the 10th win in 19 starts for Rotknee with four other top three finishes for $640,580 in earnings. He’s earned $112,625 this year with two wins in three starts – both those at the stakes level.

He is out of the three-time winning Speightstown mare In Spite of Mama, a half-sister to multiple stakes winner A Freud of Mama. Their stakes placed dam is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Haynesfield and the dams of three other stakes performers.

In Spite of Mama is also the dam of multiple stakes winner My Mane Squeeze and stakes-placed Lookin for Trouble. She is also the dam of WAR OF WILL juvenile filly Willful Mama and a yearling RUNHAPPY colt.

WAR OF WILL On Top After First Runners’ Debuts
WAR FRONT Filly Eyeing Royal Ascot After Gulfstream Stakes Victory
BLAME’s Ribaltagaia Earns First Stakes Victory in Prix des Lilas