11/12/2016 4:45PM

Runhappy retired, will stand at Claiborne Farm

Barbara D. Livingston
Runhappy will stand for a $25,000 fee in his first season as a stallion.

Runhappy, the champion sprinter of 2015, has been retired from racing and will debut at stud in 2017 at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., for an advertised fee of $25,000.

A 4-year-old son of Super Saver, Runhappy finished his career with 7 wins in 10 starts for earnings of $1,496,250 racing for owner Jim McIngvale.

Runhappy’s 2015 campaign was highlighted by a win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland, in which he lowered the track record at six furlongs to 1:08.58. That season also included wins in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes and Malibu Stakes, as well as the Grade 3 Phoenix Stakes. In addition to being named champion sprinter, he was also an Eclipse Award finalist for champion 3-year-old male and Horse of the Year.

Runhappy was under consideration for the 2017 Pegasus World Cup after McIngvale purchased a slot in the $12 million race, but his final start came in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita, where he finished out of the money.

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“The decision to retire Runhappy was both difficult and easy,” McIngvale said. “On one hand, we wish he could run forever. This is by far the most incredible horse we’ve ever owned and he’s brought so much joy to our family and his fans. But on the other hand, we’ve always pledged to do what’s best for the health and happiness of Runhappy. For that reason, we put our strong emotional attachments aside and decided to retire him from racing.

“Now we’re filled with gratitude and enthusiasm watching Runhappy move into the same stall occupied by Secretariat, Unbridled, Easy Goer, and Bold Ruler to begin his stud career at the world-renowned Claiborne Farm.”

Bred in Kentucky by Wayne, Gray, and Bryan Lyster, Runhappy is the first foal out of the winning Broken Vow mare Bella Jolie, who is the dam of two winners from three runners.

Runhappy’s extended family includes Mexican Group 1 winner Antares, Grade 2 winner Mindy Gayle, and Grade 3 winner Puntrooskie.

“We are thrilled and honored to welcome Runhappy to Claiborne,” said Claiborne Farm representative Bernie Sams. “He came out of his last race healthy and sound, but everyone felt the timing was right. He is one of the most impressive racehorses I have ever seen and when you start to dig into his pedigree, it’s no surprise why he was so successful. We obviously have a great deal of confidence that he’ll pass his tremendous speed onto his progeny.”