Champion sprinter Runhappy, currently standing at Claiborne Farm, will be the title sponsor of the 149th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers on August 25, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced today. As part of an expanded relationship with NYRA, Runhappy has also been named presenting sponsor of the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens, formerly the King's Bishop.
The Runhappy Travers will be one of six Grade 1 stakes on Travers Day, which will also feature the Grade 1, $1 million Sword Dancer, the Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign, the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego, the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina and the H. Allen Jerkens presented by Runhappy. The blockbuster card will also include the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa.
“We feel so fortunate that Gallery Racing and Runhappy are a part of the history and traditions of Saratoga Race Course,” said James McIngvale, owner of Gallery Racing and Runhappy. “The Travers and the Jerkens are two of the most consequential and important races in the sport, and it's truly a privilege to expand our relationship with NYRA in such a meaningful way.”
This agreement comes in addition to the Runhappy sponsorship of the Grade 1, $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park. Captured by Bee Jersey in a thrilling duel with Mind Your Biscuits, the 2018 Runhappy Met Mile was contested on Belmont Stakes Day, June 9.
“It's fitting that Runhappy, who thrilled fans at Saratoga with his dominating performance in the 2015 King's Bishop, will be so closely associated with Travers Day,” said NYRA CEO & President Chris Kay. “James McIngvale is an innovative and creative thinker when it comes to both business and thoroughbred racing, and we're proud to work with him throughout the year and here at Saratoga.”
The 2018 Belmont Park spring/summer meet also saw the inaugural running of the $150,000 Runhappy Stakes, formerly the Diablo, a six-furlong sprint run contested on Saturday, May 12.
Runhappy, by Super Saver, stands at Claiborne Farm for $25,000. Undefeated in sprint competition, the 2015 Eclipse Award winner captured seven of his 10 career starts from 2014-16, all without Lasix, including the 2015 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint against older horses. He also captured that year's Grade 1 King's Bishop (now known as the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial) by four lengths in an 11-horse field at Saratoga Race Course, finishing seven furlongs in 1:20.54 for the fastest running in the race's history.
Runhappy's first foals arrived in 2018 and will be offered at the fall sales. His progeny will race as 2-year-olds in 2020.
The winners of both the 2018 Personal Ensign and Ketel One Ballerina will be awarded a future breeding to Runhappy. In addition, any filly or mare who should win a Grade 1 on Travers Day will be awarded the same.
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