TDN Q&A: Cordell Anderson

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Runhappy and Cordell Anderson | Keeneland photo

This week, champion sprinter Runhappy’s first foals went through the ring at Keeneland, with eight weanlings selling for an average of $191,250 through Book 2. What onlookers might not have noticed was that the man showing them in thttp://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/wp-admin/post-new.phphe ring was none other than Cordell Anderson, Runhappy’s groom during his racing career. Anderson, who handles horses in the ring for Keeneland, made sure that he was on the end of the shank for hip 193, the first Runhappy foal through the ring this week.

TDN: This was a special week for you. Tell us why.

CA: Well, Runhappy’s babies, or I should say my grandchildren, are now going through the sales ring. They’re lovely; such fine, magnificent animals. They’re great.

TDN: Tell us about the first time you saw one, was it here at the sale?

CA: Yeah, it was right here on the sales grounds. I went and saw number 193. I went down to the barn to look at him and he was great.

TDN: And then we saw that you got to handle him when he went in the ring. What was that like?

CA: Yes, I could not let that pass me by. The very first Runhappy; I had to get my hands on him. It was great. Good feeling. When he first walked in, he was great. And then I guess, like all the horses in the sales ring, the speaker above their head can make them get a little flighty. It’s just that it’s a different place and got so many people in there and noise. But they’re great. He was great.

TDN: Physically, what was Runhappy like, and how does he compare to his foals?

CA: He’s a very nice, very calm horse to deal with. He was just great. Just everything that a groom wanted with a horse. Good mind, sleeps, and doesn’t give you any trouble. He would go off and do his work and then eat grass when he was through. He was a very good doer. And body-wise, he’s excellent, physically, mentally. Great.

TDN: Did he pass that temperament onto his onto his sons and daughters?

CA: I think so. You know how babies are. But, yeah eventually they’ll mellow out and I think everybody is going to be happy both in the sales ring and I think with their running style. They should get out of the starting gate running.

TDN: Do you ever go out to Claiborne to see Runhappy now?

CA: Oh, yeah. He loves seeing me. I usually go with apples and peppermints. Once I said, `I’m going to see if he really knows who I am and I’m going to keep these things away so he won’t see them.’ So, I walked on up and he was way up in the corner and I said, ‘Happy!’ He looks. I said, ‘Happy!’ And here he comes, bombing down to the gate. And I said, ‘Oh yeah, he didn’t forget.’ It was great. That made me feel good. It’s not just the apples.

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