Trainer Maria Borell did something on Saturday that few have accomplished.
She saddled her first graded winner to a stakes-record time in her first start at Saratoga.
That of course came compliments of 11-1 longshot Runhappy, who wired the King’s Bishop by four lengths while setting a new stakes record time of 1:20.54.
The Super Saver sophomore just missed the seven-furlong track record of 1:20.40 by .14 seconds.
“It’s all still very unreal to me,” Borrell admitted. “We were very confident coming into the race, he had been training so well. (Jockey) Edgar (Prado), who I’ve been friends with for a long time, came down to work him at Keeneland and he said he felt great. We’re all glad everything worked out.”
Runhappy is now headed back to Keeneland for a run in the Phoenix S. (G3) on October 2. He’ll cut back to six furlongs for that $250,000 contest, which is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race.
If he wins the Phoenix, Runhappy will receive an automatic berth into the Twinspires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) on October 31 at the Lexington, Kentucky, track.
“He came out excellent this morning,” Borell said. “He ate all his feed, and looked great. We’ll point to the Phoenix Stakes next and then hopefully the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland.”
Runhappy photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography