Smile Happy

Keeneland's April Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale Follows Friday's Closing Day Card

Keeneland will host its April Selected Horses of Racing Age Sale following Friday's 10-race card on closing day of the Spring Meet. The fledgling auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET. Keeneland's final race will go off at approximately 5:09 p.m. ET. A total of 134 horses--and still growing--have been catalogued to the one-day sale. "It's an exciting sale," Keeneland's Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach said earlier this week. "It's kind of a celebration of the end of our race meet and it also kicks off Derby week. This...

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'Rising Star' Nash Faces Track Phantom In Lecomte Rematch Headlining Saturday Graded Races

Like one of those old split-flap mechanical signs at train stations, everyone knows that in the new year the 'Run for the Roses' leaderboard will fluctuate. Week-to-week, the top points begin to compound--from 20 to the winner Saturday and going as high as 100 to the winner come April. The trail to Derby 150 begins a much steeper ascent on Saturday at Fair Grounds in New Orleans as the GIII Lecomte S. offers 3-year-old colts 20-10-6-4-2 that can be applied to Bank of Churchill. This year's edition pits a field...

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Grade II Winner Bellabel, Pair of Stakes-Producing Dams Added to Keeneland November

Keeneland has added a trio of horses--one racing/broodmare prospect and the dams of a pair of current black-type winners, one with Breeders' Cup aspirations--to its upcoming November Sale, beginning Wednesday, Nov. 8. Bellabel (Ire) (Belardo {Ire}), to be offered by Taylor Made, is cataloged as hip 251. A maiden winner in five Irish appearances at two, the dark bay relocated to the U.S. last year and was off to a quick start, with victories in the Blue Norther S. and--following a six-month absence--the GII San Clemente S. as the betting...

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Smile Happy To Whitney; Rattle N Roll To Wait For JCGC Or Pacific Classic

Trainer Kenny McPeek confirmed Lucky Seven Stable's Smile Happy (Runhappy) for next Saturday's GI Whitney S. at Saratoga Race Course, but his stablemate for the same owner, Rattle N Roll (Connect), will take his show on the road. Both horses last raced in the GI Stephen Foster S. July 1 at Ellis Park. McPeek said Rattle N Roll will target either the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga or the GI Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Both races are run at 10 furlongs September 2 and are "Win and...

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This Side Up: No Proxy For The One And Only

Unfortunately, they only have one Two Phil's (Hard Spun). If they had another, presumably making Four Phils in all, then they might yet have the consolation of a proxy in the big races through the second half of the season. As it is, we can only offer our sympathy to the heartbroken team around a horse that brought us such precious cheer during what is proving a challenging year for our sport. Because that's the whole point, really. The big programs would be able to temper their disappointment, on losing...

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McPeek Duo Looms Large in Stephen Foster

Kenny McPeek has managed to keep Lucky Seven Stable's talented pair Smile Happy (Runhappy) and Rattle N Roll (Connect) away from the same starting gate until now, but on Saturday the stablemates will meet for the first time in the GI Stephen Foster S. Set to run this year at Ellis Park, the mile-and-an-eighth contest drew a field of eight and is a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Breeders Cup Classic. Smile Happy and Rattle N Roll share more than a few similarities, but the main parallel...

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Forte, Angel of Empire, Hit Show Lead Belmont Work Tab; Kingsbarns Ruled Out

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher gave a "thumbs up" following a Saturday morning breeze from Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable's reigning champion 2-Year-Old Forte (Violence), who worked five-eighths over the Belmont Park main track in preparation for the GI Belmont S. NYRA clockers caught Forte through three-eighths in :35 before completing five furlongs in 1:00.44 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 over the fast main track. "I was really, really happy. I thought he was moving great. He got into a good rhythm, finished up great and...

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Smile Happy To Point For Stephen Foster

Lucky Seven Stable's 'TDN Rising Star' Smile Happy (Runhappy), impressive winner of the GII Alysheba S. on the GI Kentucky Oaks undercard at Churchill Downs May 5, will make his next start in the $1-million GI Stephen Foster S. July 1, trainer Ken McPeek told the track's media office Friday. Eighth in last year's GI Kentucky Derby, the $185,000 Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearling Showcase graduate returned from a 10-month absence with an impressive allowance victory at Oaklawn Park Mar. 16 and was a good third in the GIII Oaklawn Mile Apr....

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Runhappy's Smile Happy Upsets Alysheba

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - 'TDN Rising Star' Smile Happy (Runhappy), eighth in last year's GI Kentucky Derby behind the re-opposing Rich Strike (Keen Ice), appears to have a very big season ahead of him after delivering a decisive 7-1 upset over a talented group of older horses assembled in Friday's GII Alysheba S. at Churchill Downs. Smile Happy shadowed heavily favored last-out GII New Orleans Classic S. winner West Will Power (Bernardini) from an outside second through early fractions of :24.30 and :47.80. The Lucky Seven Stable colorbearer struck the front...

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This Side Up: Veterans' Day at Oaklawn

When it comes to ageing, as the wiseguys remind us, it's when you're over the hill that you begin to pick up speed. And it's true: the magnolia trees where I live are coming into blossom, and I swear that each passing year compresses both the duration of those brief candles and, above all, the intervals in between. The inference is a dismal one: time flies when you've had your fun. So on a weekend when we temporarily suspend our search for the adolescent Thoroughbred maturing sufficiently to beat his...

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Smile Happy Victorious In Return At Oaklawn

8th-Oaklawn, $106,000, Alw (NW2$X)/Opt. Clm ($50,000), 3-16, 4yo/up, 1 1/8m, 1:48.95, sy, 1 1/4 lengths. SMILE HAPPY (c, 4, Runhappy--Pleasant Smile, by Pleasant Tap) was a force on last year's GI Kentucky Derby trail as a 'TDN Rising Star', winning the GII Kentucky Jockey Cup S. in just his second start before checking in second twice--to Eclipse champion Epicenter (Not This Time) in the GII Risen Star S. and Zandon (Upstart) in Keeneland's GI Blue Grass S. Last seen beating more than half the field home in eighth under the...

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Thursday's Racing Insights: McPeek Duo Back in Action at Oaklawn

8th-OP, $106K, OC 50k/N2X, 4yo/up, 1 1/8m, 5:22 p.m. The Ken McPeek-trained duo of 'TDN Rising Star' SMILE HAPPY (Runhappy) and CREATIVE MINISTER (Creative Cause) kick off their 4-year-old seasons at Oaklawn Park Thursday. Smile Happy, winner of the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. at two and runner-up as the favorite in last year's GI Toyota Blue Grass S., makes his first start since finishing eighth in the GI Kentucky Derby. The 2-1 morning-line favorite gets first-time Lasix while facing seven rivals here. Creative Minister, a respectable third in last...

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