Happy Soul

Belmont Turf Takes Center Stage Saturday

by Stefanie Grimm & Patrycja Szpyra With the Fourth of July holiday weekend in the rear-view mirror, the summer turf season kicks into high gear starting with a pair of Grade I's at Belmont Park Saturday. The home team takes on a new wave of European challengers in the 1 1/4-mile GI Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational S., the first leg of the Caesars Turf Triple Series. Tiz the Bomb (Hit It a Bomb), last seen finishing ninth behind longshot GI Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice), finally gets back...

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Lady Scarlet Pounces Late in Miss Preakness

Former claimer Lady Scarlet recorded a career-high victory Friday when coming from off the pace to take the GIII Miss Preakness S. at Pimlico. Allowed to survey the pace in third early as 4-5 favorite Happy Soul, prompted by Gimmick, led the way through opening fractions of :23.01 and :45.58, the dark bay was given the cue by Irad Ortiz, Jr. while swinging out wide turning for home. Slowly reeling in the battling leaders down the lane, she took over and powered clear to score by 3 3/4 lengths over...

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Happy Soul Looks to Make Amends in Miss Preakness

Gayla Rankin's Happy Soul (Runhappy), a well-beaten sixth last time out in Keeneland's 8 1/2-furlong GI Ashland S. Apr. 8, has already proven her talent sprinting and will attempt to get back on track in Friday's GIII Miss Preakness S. at Pimlico. A runaway winner in two of three starts at two, including Belmont's Astoria S. last June, she was shelved for the rest of the season before resurfacing with a three-length win in Oaklawn's six-panel Dixie Belle S. Feb. 19. In her latest work, she posted a bullet five...

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Pletcher Seeks Second Straight Ashland Win

Todd Pletcher captured last year's GI Central Bank Ashland S. with the blue-blooded Malathaat (Curlin), who went on to take the GI Kentucky Oaks in her next start. The Hall of Famer looks to repeat in Friday's renewal with another daughter of Curlin named Nest. A dominant debut winner going two turns at Belmont in September, the $350,000 KEESEP buy checked in third in the Tempted S. there next out Nov. 5. Besting next-out Busher S. winner and Saturday's GII Gazelle S. contender Venti Valentine (Firing Line) by a neck...

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Ward Workers Highlight Keeneland Tab

By all accounts, trainer Wesley Ward is planning on coming out full force when Keeneland opens the doors on its spring meeting Friday, Apr. 8. To that end, four of the stable's stars tuned up for opening weekend stakes engagements Saturday morning in Lexington. Happy Soul (Runhappy) is set to represent Ward in the GI Central Bank Ashland S., her first try around two turns, and the Gayla Rankin-owned filly blitzed six furlongs in a race-like 1:11.20 Saturday morning. Since dropping her career debut at Keeneland last April, Happy Soul...

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Happy Soul Coasts to Victory in Dixie Belle

Only a 2 1/4-length defeat to eventual Grade II stakes-placed runner Nakatomi (Firing Line) against the boys on Keeneland debut Apr. 14 stands between Happy Soul and a perfect record. She has since been dominant against her peers, with a near 12-length victory May 13 at Belmont Park and a carbon-copy masterclass June 3 in the venue's Astoria S. as the 1-9 chalk. Making her 3-year-old bow here, the even-money favorite broke in line with the field and was asked to track the front-runner from third on the rail. Shoulder...

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'Happy' Days are Here Again: Schuylerville Kicks off Saratoga Meet

With a pair of blowout wins already on her resume headed by Belmont's Astoria S. June 3, Happy Soul (Runhappy) sets her sights on Saratoga's opening day co-featured GIII Schuylerville S. She has been working in company with her Wesley Ward-trained 4-year-old stablemate and GISW Kimari (Munnings). "Visually, Kimari is a better horse, but she's doing it with speed to spare as well," Ward said. "She has had some nice works underneath her and she's come to handle it quicker than I thought." Mainstay (Astern {Aus}), a half-sister to last...

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Runhappy's Happy Soul Dominates Astoria S.

Happy Soul was hammered down to 1-9 favoritism off a dominant graduation at this oval and ran to the money with another devastating performance in the Astoria S. at Belmont Friday. Shooting out to a clear lead, the Wesley Ward trainee zipped through a :21.92 opening quarter with no looming threats. Turning for home alone as the half went in :45.74, the bay poured it on in the lane to win for fun by eight lengths in 1:05.69. Constitution Gal (Constitution) was the runner-up. Second to her male stablemate Nakatomi...

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Runhappy Filly Romps at Belmont

2nd-Belmont, $87,300, Msw, 5-13, 2yo, f, 5f, :58.02, ft, 11 3/4 lengths. HAPPY SOUL (f, 2, Runhappy--Cowgirl Lucky, by Stephen Got Even) was hammered down to 2-5 favoritism for a barn known for its prowess with early season juveniles and ran to the money with a dominant performance. Away alertly, the bay took command and never looked back, blitzing through splits of :22.16 and :45.46. She crossed the line a good 10 lengths clear of 8-5 shot Lemieux (Nyquist) in a field scratched down to five. In her prior start,...

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