Runhappy Returns to Serious Training

Runhappy after winning the King's Bishop at Saratoga on Aug. 29, 2015.

Runhappy after winning the King’s Bishop at Saratoga on Aug. 29, 2015.

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.

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters, Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager. She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several race horse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull as her favorite horse of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, three Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.