November 25th, 2022

Thanksgiving 2YO Double for RUNHAPPY

It was a juvenile double for RUNHAPPY on Thanksgiving with winners at Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds.

Running Late made his debut on turf in September and switched to dirt for his second start in a Fair Grounds Maiden Special Weight, where he excelled.

Racing 1 1/6 miles, Running Late hung back early in the race while the field raced in a close bunch before advancing his position. He made a serious bid as the field turned for home and had the lead quickly after they entered the stretch. He pulled away with a furlong left to run and there was no one to challenge him with the next horse 7 ½ lengths back and the third placed runner over 10 lengths behind.

Running Late is trained by Chris Richard for Ensemble Racing Stables and was bred by Kathryn Nikkel and Pegasus Stud.

Second on debut two weeks ago, the James Baker trained Secret Statement went one better at Churchill Downs with a nearly all-the-way victory over seven furlongs.

Handling pressure throughout, Secret Statement gave up the lead as the field entered the final furlong by a head. That brief interlude didn’t last long with the filly taking it back and holding her foe at bay by half a length at the line.

Bred by Robert Hoeweler, he is joined in her racing ownership by Candie Baker and Jeff Monen. She is out of the winning Phipps-bred BLAME mare Closing Statement, who was sold to her owner by Claiborne while carrying this filly.

RUNHAPPY is the sire of 14 juvenile winners in 2022 with that group including two stakes performers led by a stakes winner. His 14 winners is higher than a large group that includes Gun Runner, Speightstown, More Than Ready, American Pharoah, Quality Road, Candy Ride, and Not This Time.

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