Two fillies born at Runnymede in 2008 will run for Grade/Group 1 Oaks laurels this weekend as the farm’s own Bizzy Caroline takes on five challengers in the $250,000 American Oaks (G1) and Laughing Lashes competes in the €425,000Irish Oaks (G1).
Entering the 1 ¼-mile American Oaks on a three-race win streak, Bizzy Caroline has been made the 2-1 morning line favorite and will be ridden in the July 16 Hollywood Park feature by top jockey Rafael Bejarano.
“She has always acted like a good filly,” trainer Ken McPeek told Daily Racing Form about the versatile Bizzy Caroline, a daughter of Afleet Alex out of Runnymede’s Saint Ballado mare Sacre Coeur. “We’re really excited about her.”
Bizzy Caroline has won races on the lead and from off the pace, giving Bejarano options as she runs for the first time following a strong victory in the Regret Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on June 18. Bred by Runnymede in partnership with farm Chairman Catesby W. Clay, the filly races for the farm and Clay.
Runnymede has a yearling colt by Elusive Quality out of Sacre Coeur that has been entered in the Keeneland September yearling sale.
Meanwhile, Laughing Lashes is coming off a rallying third-place effort in the Irish 1000 Guineas (G1) at the Curragh, also home of the 1 ½-mile Oaks, which has drawn a field of nine and will be run on July 17.
Bred by Runnymede in partnership with Robert P. Levy, Laughing Lashes was a Group 2 stakes winner and finished second in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) as a juvenile last year. The daughter of Mr. Greeley out of Runnymede’s Unbridled’s Song mare Adventure will be reunited with jockey Fran Berry in the Oaks, for which she was listed as a 12-1 chance and will break from post four.
“She ran really well and was staying on in the Irish 1000 Guineas. The plan was always to go straight for the Oaks after that,” said trainer Jessica Harrington. “She's a very big filly and that's why she hasn't had much racing this year, with a view of her hopefully staying well and having a nice autumn campaign. She's in great form.”
Among those Laughing Lashes will face in the Oaks are English 1000 Guineas (G1) winner Blue Bunting and Epsom Oaks (G1) winner Dancing Rain as well as Epsom runner-up Wonder of Wonders.
Runnymede sold Laughing Lashes for $100,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale. The gray filly initially raced for a partnership but was sold after her juvenile campaign to Betty Moran.
Laughing Lashes’ dam foaled a colt by champion Dalakhani this year while boarded at the Irish National Stud.