Runhappy lives up to name while setting new King’s Bishop record

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Jen Caldwell

August 29th, 2015

Runhappy had dominated in three of his four lifetime starts prior to the King’s Bishop S. (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday, but because his last two races came at Ellis Park and Indiana Grand the bay colt was overlooked at 11-1 on Travers Day.

That proved a costly mistake.

Runhappy took command soon after the start of the seven-furlong affair and never looked back while setting swift splits of :22.43, :44.54 and 1:08.17 before finishing in a stakes record time of 1:20.54.

That time was just off the track record of 1:20.40 set by Darby Creek Road on August 8, 1978.

Runhappy turned back all challengers in the King’s Bishop and returned $24.60 for the win to his faithful backers. Another longshot, 15-1 Limousine Liberal who was making his stakes bow off a pair of career-opening victories, proved best-of-the-rest in second.

Holy Boss, the 5-2 favorite off a four-race win streak that included the Amsterdam S. (G2) last out, finished third.

Runhappy is campaigned by James McIngvale and began his career with a 8 1/4-length debut score at Turfway Park last December for trainer Laura Wohlers. He then was a well-beaten ninth in the LeComte S. (G3) in his seasonal bow before being transferred to conditioner Maria Borell.

The Kentucky-bred colt wouldn’t return to competition until July, when he wired an allowance/optional claimer at Indiana Grand by five lengths. Runhappy followed that with another wire job, this time at Ellis Park, and was trying stakes rivals for just the second time in this spot.

Runhappy photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese/Courtney Heeney