Runnymede-breds Laughing Lashes and Archbishop will seek to gain prestigious stakes victories this week in England when they compete in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) and the Acomb Stakes (G3), respectively, at York Racecourse.
Archbishop, a juvenile colt who runs for Runnymede Chairman Catesby W. Clay, will be making his second career start after a promising debut win on July 27 over the Acomb distance of seven furlongs.
Trainer Brian Meehan issued an optimistic bulletin on his website as he looks forward to saddling Archbishop against a dozen rivals in the Acomb on August 17.
“Classy son of Arch made an imposing winning debut over the trip at Sandown last month. Most observers will deduce that he is likely to develop into a smart performer, as that is often the case when our juveniles win first time on the big tracks, and we believe and hope that it is. Great chance of a follow-up, albeit in face of potentially smart opponents,” Meehan said.
Archbishop will again be ridden by Martin Dwyer and the duo was listed at 10-1 in early betting.
His competition will include prerace favorite Furner’s Green, a son of Dylan Thomas and one of three entries from Ballydoyle and trainer Aidan O’Brien. Furner’s Green is rated at 7-2 following an easy win at Tipperary on July 9.
Offered by Runnymede at the 2010 Tattersalls October yearling sale, Archbishop was bred by Runnymede in partnership with James E. Clay II and farm General Manager Martin O’Dowd. The colt is out of the Carson City mare Avaricity, who currently is in foal to Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Big Brown.
Laughing Lashes joins a top-notch field of nine in the 1 ½-mile Yorkshire Oaks on August 18, when she will once again face Godolphin’s English 1000 Guineas (G1) and Irish Oaks (G1) winner Blue Bunting.
When her jockey, Fran Berry, dropped his whip deep in the stretch of the Irish Oaks, Laughing Lashes lost some momentum but still finished just a half-length behind Blue Bunting while fourth. The runner-up and third-place finisher from that race, multiple Group 2 winner Banimpire and Wonder of Wonders, also will be in the Yorkshire Oaks field, as will be 2010 international champion and dual classic winner Snow Fairy, who is the early favorite.
Jessica Harrington, who trains Laughing Lashes in Ireland, noted the toughness of the competition.
“It's almost a re-run of the Curragh,” Harrington said. “It's exciting and with a bit of luck we might reverse form with a few of them, but if we are in the shake-up I'll be delighted.”
Winner of the Keeneland Debutante Stakes (G2) and second in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) last year and third in the Irish 1000 Guineas (G1) this year, Laughing Lashes was bred by Runnymede in partnership with Robert P. Levy. The gray filly is by Mr. Greeley out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Adventure and was sold for $100,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Adventure foaled a gray colt by champion Dalakhani in Ireland this year.
Betty Moran of Brushwood Stable campaigns Laughing Lashes, who is listed at 8-1 in the early betting on the Yorkshire Oaks.