It’s Time to Rock in The Runhappy

The Runhappy (Grade 3)- $150.000 Purse
BEL- For Four Year Olds and Upward
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
May 14, 2022

There will be eight go to post this year for the fifth running of The Runhappy, a Grade 3 that runs at BEL. The race debuted on the calendar as an ungraded stake in 2018, but it did not take long for it to be upgraded to its current designation. $150.000 has always been the purse for the race. As we look through this field, we see several of the biggest trainers of the game not actually running, but we certainly have plenty of good horses looking to make their trainers happy. Mb Stables has won the last two editions of the race, with Don’t Worry Be Jolly being the winner last year, but he will not be around to make it three. Let’s look at those who are here, and their runners.

#1- A Boy And His Dog (Choppy Inc., ridden by M Franco)- Nice to see Choppy running at this level again, and his five year old horse certainly belongs in this race. A Boy And His Dog has consistently been able to finish in the top three, and has been lower than fourth only twice over his 21 career starts. Six are wins, highlighted by a couple of ungraded wins in 2020. He can still run well, though, and was third in his last start, the very simply named “The Sprint”, in late March.

#2- Freddo Cappuccino (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by J R Velazquez)- A well known horse within the game that has won close to $800.000 for his career. He made his reputation going long, starting when he won the Queens Plate as a 21/1 longshot. Mo Mentum Farm has done a great job with him, but the horse has been quiet in 2022 thus far, with each of his races being duds. Only once in his career has he gone six furlongs, and that was a while ago but the horse probably needs the change of pace. He’s the biggest name here, but right now, I don’t think he’s the one to beat.

#3- The Rock Zips (J.a Stable, ridden by J L Ortiz)- The next three horses all have the word Rock in their name (or a variation of), and they all use it in a different way. First we have this six year old gelding, who was recently claimed by J.a Stable for $25.000, and it will be his second tour of duty with the trainer. J.a Stable didn’t get to enjoy his biggest success, but picked him up in private sales last month. He had sat idle for a while, and has not run in 2022 at all. It’s a horse that usually runs well early, but the key for him here is handling the layoff.

#4- Rock N Rattle (Angelos Stable, ridden by K Carmouche)- This five year old gelding has made a habit of running in races like this ever since he was acquired in a private sale for $45.000 last July. He has two wins in his last eight starts, taking both the $150.000 Hudson for NY-breds, and then the Grade 3 Toboggan. He’s missed the board in his last two starts, but was within a length of the winner, so he is still running pretty well. Tactically, he has been coming from off the pace, but when he won the Hudson, albeit in the mud, he was near the front early. I have to wonder if that will be tried again.

#5- Rocky Mountain High (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- For the most part, Rocky Mountain High has run on the grass, doing so in 20 of his 24 career starts. He has not raced on the main track since late December 2020 but it looks like the trainer has tried to prepare him as well as he could for this return to the dirt. The Pinnacle West horse has struggled in his last two starts, one going short and the other going long and will be hoping that now the surface change is the trick.

#6- Galactic Command (Lindeman Prairie, ridden by A Cedillo)- Claimed from Tiratzo for $14.000 in August, and is getting plenty of opportunities in his new barn to take the next step for his career. He did win a $25.000 stake, but other stake placements have not seen him run as well. Ran third in an optional claimer in his last start, so gets another stake try here. Hopefully he is ready for the wire to show up, because he is used to running long, and in a couple cases, very long. Has a 5-2-2-0 record when sprinting, though.

#7- Captain America (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by E Jaramillo)- In 2018, D J C won the inaugural edition of the race with Creepy Palace, the first stake that horse would ever win. He would go on to win over $1,200.000 for his career, so the trainer is hoping that Captain America can even be half as good. He’s only made ten starts, but still looking to crack $100.000 in earnings. Did win the $75.000 Tom Ridge in August, but hasn’t really followed that up. That said, he’s only run three times since then. So, perhaps, we haven’t seen his powers quite yet.

#8- Royal Cubit (Our Athletes, ridden by D Davis)- A five year old horse that has quietly had a productive career, making over $300.000 in his 26 career starts. Nine of them ended with a trip to the winner’s circle, and two of them are stake victories. In February, in what his first race for Our Athletes after the trainer purchased him in the auction for $45.700, he went on to win $100.000 Hughes for NY-breds. Ran second in an open allowance at SA in his last start, second to, oh by the way, a $500.000+ earner in Barbary Appeal. I like that Royal Cubit has almost always been a dirt sprinter, too, against this crowd. He is my pick.

Prediction: 8-1-2-4

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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