Louisiana Bred Libertyrun Becomes Runhappy’s First Winner

Louisiana-bred Libertyrun became the first winner for Runhappy, the champion sprinter of 2015,  July 8 at Indiana Grand. Owned and bred by Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale Libertyrun drew away for a 6 1/4-length victory in his debut in a $31,000 maiden special weight.

Breaking from the far outside in a field of 12, the juvenile colt pressed the early pace under Miguel Mena, took the lead leaving the turn, and extended his advantage to the wire. He completed 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.63 on a fast track.

“He’s not a very big horse, but he is very professional,” Mena said. “He came out of the gate great. When we got to the stretch, he had his ears pricked, and I hit him once and he took off running. I hit him one more time and he continued on again. I think he is a very nice horse.”

Multiple G1 winner Runhappy stood at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., this year for a fee of $25,000. Like Libertyrun, he was a first-out winner. A son of Super Saver, Runhappy went on to capture the NYRA.com King’s Bishop Stakes (G1), the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G3), the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), and the Malibu Stakes (G1) in his 3-year-old campaign.

McIngvale’s sister-in-law Laura Wohlers who trains Libertyrun, said of the colt, “He ran big, and (that) was a bad post to draw into. I didn’t expect him to win, so a great day.”

She and other family members oversee McIngvale’s racing operation.

Libertyrun will likely be pointed to a stakes race for Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds though the $100,000 RUNHAPPY Juvenile Stakes Aug. 9 at Ellis Park is a possibility.

Out of the unraced Came Home mare Slews Return, Libertyrun is the seventh winner for his dam.

Garcia, Amoss Dead Heat for Leading Trainer at Indiana

Trainers Tom Amoss and Genaro Garcia concluded Indiana Grand’s 120-day run Nov. 7 with 45 wins a piece, sharing the title of co-leading trainers of the 2018 season. Garcia earned his second straight title at Indiana Grand, also picking up the honor in 2017. A native of Mexico, Garcia had 297 starters and maintained a 41 percent in the money average. Horses from the Garcia Stable earned in excess of $905,580.

“I’m really happy to have won the title this year and I want to say thank you to the owners and Indiana Grand,” said Garcia. “All of my two-year-olds did really well this year, and I was so glad to see that. It was exciting to see how they went through the whole process from breaking them to seeing them get to the track and race so well this year.”

Joining Garcia atop the trainer standings is Amoss, who picked up his sixth leading trainer title in the past eight years. A native of Louisiana, Amoss won titles from 2011-2014 and was back on top of the standings in 2016. Horses from his barn in 2018 were tough, winning 45 of 136 starts for a 33 percent win average and a 61 percent top three average.

“Winning a title is an honor for the stable and a reflection on all the people who work with us, especially the owners who entrust us with their horses,” said Amoss. “I’m not there as often as I’d like, but every time I go, the casual fans are so nice and enthusiastic. Indiana Grand is always a breath of fresh air when I visit.”