Three fillies from Runnymede’s fabulous 2008 crop, which already has yielded five stakes winners, are set to compete in Grade/Group 1 races on both coasts of the United States and in England over a three-day period beginning on August 18.
The trio includes Bizzy Caroline, an Afleet Alex filly out of the Saint Ballado mare Sacre Coeur who races for Runnymede and farm Chairman Catesby W. Clay. Winner of the Regret Stakes (G3) in June at Churchill Downs, Bizzy Caroline will take on nine rivals in the $250,000 Del Mar Oaks (G1) over 1 1/8 miles on turf on August 20.
In her most recent effort, Bizzy Caroline finished just a half-length behind dead-heat winners Nereid and Cambina in the American Oaks (G1) at Hollywood Park even though she was fifth in the photo-finish charge to the wire. Both Nereid and Cambina will return for the Del Mar Oaks.
Manny Cruz, who rode Bizzy Caroline to victory in the Regret, will be back in the saddle and the pair will break from post four.
On the same day at Saratoga Race Course, Runnymede-bred Pinch Pie will face five outstanding fillies in the $500,000 Alabama Stakes (G1) over 1 ¼ miles on dirt. The daughter of Victory Gallop out of the Olympio mare Romp and Stomp won the Desert Vixen Stakes on the turf at Monmouth Park in her most recent start, which followed a win on the Delaware Park grass.
John Velazquez gets the call on Pinch Pie, who will break from post two. Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Plum Pretty will start to her immediate outside, with multiple Grade 1 winner It’s Tricky, who is seeking to sweep the Triple Tiara after earlier wins in the Acorn Stakes (G1) and Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), in post four as the 9-5 early favorite.
Inglorious, who won Canada’s classic Queen’s Plate over males, will break from the far outside.
Tony Dutrow, who bought Pinch Pie from Runnymede’s 2009 Keeneland September sale consignment for $65,000 and trains her for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and The Elkstone Group, acknowledged that the Alabama is a very tough assignment. Yet he noted that Pinch Pie could be fresher than It’s Tricky and Plum Pretty.
“The distance is unknown for (It’s Tricky and Plum Pretty). But those two fillies went at it pretty hard (in the Coaching Club American Oaks), and they’re coming back on relatively short rest, going another eighth of a mile … maybe they won’t come back and run as well. Maybe they will, I don’t know. But that had something to do with my thought process.”
Two days before Pinch Pie and Bizzy Caroline race, Laughing Lashes will line up to face seven top European-raced fillies in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (G1) over 1 ½ miles at York. Champion Snow Fairy, who had been an early favorite, was scratched due to soft ground.
Runnymede sold Laughing Lashes—a daughter of Mr. Greeley out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Adventure bred in partnership with Robert P. Levy—for $100,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September sale. The gray filly races for Betty Moran and is trained by Jessica Harrington.