Smile Happy: Kentucky Derby contender profile

Profile Picture: James Scully

April 28th, 2022

Smile Happy opened his racing career in grand style last fall, convincingly winning the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in his second outing, and the dark bay Kentucky-bred was favored among individual entrants in the first four Kentucky Derby Future Wagers. He’s dropped both starts at age three, but Smile Happy performed respectably both times, finishing second to Epicenter in the Risen Star (G2) and second to Zandon in the Blue Grass (G1). The stalker will look to put it all together in his third start off the layoff on Derby Day.

Smile Happy Speed Figures

Top Brisnet Speed: 101, Blue Grass

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Top Brisnet Late Pace: 102 (twice), Blue Grass/Kentucky Jockey Club

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Smile Happy Pedigree

Sire: Runhappy

Named champion sprinter in 2015, Runhappy has the bloodlines to pass on stamina for the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby. He’s by 2010 Kentucky Derby hero Super Saver and hails from a mare by 1992 Belmont S. winner A.P. Indy. Smile Happy, who is from Runhappy’s second crop, will be the young stallion’s first Kentucky Derby starter.

Dam: Pleasant Smile

Smile Happy’s dam, Pleasant Smile, is a daughter of Broken Vow, who is a son of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled. Smile Happy counts 1985 Preakness winner Tank’s Prospect as his third maternal damsire.

Read More: Smile Happy Pedigree Profile

Smile Happy Connections

Owner: Mike Mackin

A Louisville native, Mike Mackin has been attending Churchill Downs his entire life. Smile Happy will be the first Kentucky Derby starter for his Lucky Seven Stable.

Trainer: Kenny McPeek

Kenny McPeek finished second with his first Kentucky Derby starter, Tejano Run (1995), his only placing from six previous attempts. The Lexington, Kentucky native will make his first appearance since 2013, and McPeek will also have Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) winner Tiz the Bomb in the 20-horse field.

Jockey: Corey Lanerie

A 17-time leading rider at Churchill Downs, Corey Lanerie counts 2017 runner-up Lookin at Lee as best finish from five previous Kentucky Derby mounts.

Learn about all of the Kentucky Derby Contenders and the lead up to the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports here on