The wait is finally over. Championship sprinter Runhappy will return to the track after a nine month absence thanks to an unfortunate bone bruise. His season debut in the Ack Ack Handicap against a somewhat weak field almost assures that his six-race winning streak will remain intact.
Runhappy was last out at the Malibu Stakes at the very end of 2015 before injury sidelined him for the winter, spring and summer. During that time he also shifted trainers, moving from Maria Borel’s care to that of Laura Wohlers. Critisized at the time, the move was thought to be influenced as neptism since Wohlers is the sister-in-law of owner Jim McIngvale. It turns out that Runhappy’s connections may have known something that we didn’t.
Mario Borel has since been charged with an overwhelming amount of animal cruelty in Kentucky, while also being accused of fraud and negligent behaviour. She is implied alongside her father, Charles “Chuck” Borel, who is also facing criminal charges. Borel was sacked following Runhappy’s win at the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The horse hopes to challlenge the Dirt Mile at this year’s world championships.
To get there he’ll have to show us that he’s still got at the Ack Ack Championship.
The field itself isn’t that impressive outside of the expected favorite. All five other horses are coming in with wins no higher than 6th place, and none are rating as high as Runhappy is. That isn’t giving Wohlers any undue confidence.
The race looks a little speedy with horses coming out of the King’s Bishop and Forego,” Wohlers stated. “There’s a lot of speed in there, but we don’t intend on rating him. We’re just hoping everybody else gets tired.”
The Ack Ack Handicap runs on Saturday, October 1st out of Kentucky’s famed Churchill Downs.
Ack Ack Handicap – Saturday, October 1st at Churchill Downs (4:49pm EST)
1 Mile — 3+ Year Olds — $100,000
|1||Iron Fist (KY)||Robby Albarado||121||Steven M. Asmussen||–|
|2||The Truth Or Else (KY)||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||121||Kenneth G. McPeek||–|
|3||Tom’s Ready (PA)||Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.||118||Dallas Stewart||–|
|4||Mr. Z (KY)||Calvin H. Borel||121||D. Wayne Lukas||–|
|5||Runhappy (KY)||Edgar S. Prado||121||Laura Wohlers||–|
|6||Schivarelli (FL)||Corey J. Lanerie||121||Eddie Kenneally||–|