TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders

Smile Happy

3) SMILE HAPPY (c, Runhappy–Pleasant Smile, by Pleasant Tap) 'TDN Rising Star' O-Lucky Seven Stable. B-Moreau Bloodstock Int'l Inc. & White Bloodstock LLC (KY). T-Kenneth G. McPeek. Sales History: $175,000 wlg '19 KEENOV; $185,000 ylg '20 FTKSEL. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 4-2-2-0, $549,810. Last Start: 2nd GI Toyota Blue Grass S. KY Derby Points: 70. Post 5, 20-1.

Once we get beyond the two obvious favorites, the horses ranked at Nos. 3 through 7 shake out as a formidable group of logical contenders, none of whom would be a major surprise to win the Derby. 'TDN Rising Star' Smile Happy is a case in point. How about 20-1 on the morning line for a colt ($175,000 KEENOV; $185,000 FTKSEL) who came into the year sporting two visually explosive victories as a juvenile, then had a pair of logical excuses in his two sophomore preps? Smile Happy waited too long to move when second in the GII Risen Star S. behind Epicenter, then hit a nice cruising gear but came up short in the stretch when Zandon bested him in the Blue Grass (also factor in that Smile Happy was not cranked to the hilt, training-wise, for either of those efforts).

His sire, Runhappy, was the 2015 champion sprinter, which isn't exactly a plus at 10 furlongs. But this colt's damsire, Pleasant Tap, was third in the 1990 Derby and won champion older horse honors in '92, and Derby winners like Super Saver and Pleasant Colony aren't too far back on each side of Smile Happy's pedigree. In fact, Super Saver in 2010 was the last horse to cross the finish wire first in the Derby who did not previously win a race at age three–just like Smile Happy is attempting to do this year.


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