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.