James and Linda McIngvale’s champion sprinter Runhappy has been cleared to resume full training, trainer Laura Wohlers confirmed Monday, and has been back galloping at his home base of the Kentucky Training Center outside of Kentucky since last Wednesday. The 4-year-old son of Super Saver had been taken out of training in early June after being diagnosed with a bone bruise in his right front cannon bone and underwent a nuclear scintigraphy scan early last week at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital to monitor his healing.
“[Dr.] Larry Bramlage said he’s as good as he can be and he’s as sound as a horse can be,” Wohlers said. “We don’t know the plan exactly, but our hope this year is to stretch out and make the Breeders’ Cup Mile with a race before. Fortunately, we have a lot of options [for a prep], so we’ll decide when we get there.”
The long-term plan for Runhappy, though, according to Wohlers is the $12 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28.
“The big goal is to win [the Pegasus World Cup] and we’re hoping to go in with a fresh horse in January,” Wohlers said.
If all goes well with Runhappy’s current training, Wohlers hopes to have him ready in about three weeks for his first breeze. While the bay colt hasn’t been in active training for two months, he has been busy swimming and being turned out and undergoing physical therapy. The conditioner isn’t concerned about how long it will take him to return to his previous fitness level.
“He gets pretty fit quickly,” Wohlers said. “Last year [early 2015], when he had that tibia fracture, he was off for three months and was back racing by the summer. We are so happy to have him back training. Is he the same horse as he was last year? We don’t know but we’re going to find out. He’s galloped strongly, especially today. His heart rate was good. We train him in the heart rate monitor and after his gallop today his heart rate recovered quickly, which is what we want to see. So he could breeze in about three weeks, but we’ll let him tell us when he’s ready.”
Runhappy previously battled a hind foot bruise earlier in the year, which hampered his training and kept him to mostly jogging after returning from his winter break in Texas in January and February. He has not raced since capturing the Malibu Stakes (GI) at Santa Anita last December 26.
Last year en route to being honored with the Eclipse Award as the nation’s top sprinter, Runhappy won a pair of allowance races before capturing the King’s Bishop Stakes (GI), Phoenix Stakes (GIII), Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI) and Malibu. From eight starts he’s won seven and has banked $1,481,300.