The following press release was issued Tuesday by Maria Borell, who was fired on Sunday as trainer of James McIngvale's Runhappy, less than 24 hours after the 3-year-old colt by Super Saver won the Breeders' Cup Sprint, the second consecutive Grade 1 victory and fifth straight win overall for Runhappy since Borell took over as trainer in April.
“I have been reluctant to speak publicly about what I consider a private matter between me and Mr. McIngvale and Gallery Racing. However, I feel compelled at this point to correct a few misimpressions. First, I am grateful and appreciative of the opportunity that the McIngvales gave me to train Runhappy, a really great horse, and believe my efforts contributed substantially to his improvement and his success in two Grade 1 stakes races and one Grade 3 race among others. Winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint with Runhappy was the dream of a lifetime and I was looking forwarding to continuing to train him and see him win many more races. My termination the next day was, to say the least, a shock.
“At no time before the Breeder's Cup race did anyone tell me that I was not going with the horse to California or that I would not continue to train Runhappy. In fact, I had several discussions about the logistics of moving the horse to California and was never once told that the existing plans for me to continue to train and race him in California might be altered. I never declined to go to California because I have a farm and other horses here in Lexington.
“If the decision to discontinue my training of Runhappy is set in stone, I simply want to move on and be fairly compensated for my efforts. I have asked the McIngvales and Gallery Racing to pay me what is due and owing consistent with industry standards and I am hopeful that the matter will be resolved privately and amicably. I have no desire to be engaged in a dispute with Mr. McIngvale and hope that he will recognize my contribution and pay to me what I am owed. My attorney, Richard A. Getty, has communicated with him and with Ms. Wohlers and I am hopeful that the matter will be promptly and reasonably resolved between us.
“I have been truly touched by the good wishes and support from numerous people within the industry, some of whom have indicated their willingness to help me obtain fair compensation for my efforts. It is great to know there are still good people out there.
“It is my desire to concentrate on my training efforts. I expect to continue training, most likely in Florida, in the near future and certainly wish the McIngvales continued success with Runhappy. I hope this matter will soon be behind all of us. Any future questions should be addressed to my attorney, Richard A. Getty.”
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