Flashing a determined will to win, Runnymede-bred and –raised juvenile Rogue Romance pressed the early pace before drawing off with authority to win a $51,000 maiden special weight race over the Saratoga Race Course turf on September 6.
The handsome chestnut son of Smarty Jones out of Lovington, by Afleet, crossed the finish line in snappy 1:41.52 for the 1 1/16 miles on going rated firm. He finished 2 ¾ lengths clear of dead-heat runners-up Pervis and Associate, with favored Perregaux, a son of Distorted Humor, another neck back in fourth in the ten-horse field.
Offered by Runnymede at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale, Rogue Romance races in the green and black silks of farm Chairman Catesby W. Clay, who co-bred the colt. Rogue Romance was making only his second career start after a promising fourth-place finish in his debut over the same course and distance on August 13.
Julien Leparoux steered Rogue Romance to the victory. Ken McPeek, who sent out Runnymede-bred Tejano Run to a second-place effort in the 1995 Kentucky Derby (G1) on his way to career earnings of $1,166,842, trains Rogue Romance.
The colt’s dam quickly made her mark as one of Runnymede’s successful stakes producers after a strong racing career in which she recorded three wins and earned $86,545. Lovington produced her first foal in 1998, the A.P. Indy filly Indy Mood for Luv, who was twice stakes-placed in New York and earned $134,365.
Savorthetime, a filly by Gilded Time, was Lovington’s second foal and she proved to be an exceptional racehorse. Winning 11 times from ages three through six, Savorthetime captured six stakes events including the 2005 First Lady Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream Park and the Valid Expectations Stakes at Lone Star Park in which she set a track record of 1:07.82 for six furlongs.
Overall, Savorthetime earned $605,356.
Lovington next produced the winners Sip Sip, by Siphon, and Guiseppe Verdi, by Sky Classic, and the latter captured five races in England. In 2005, Lovington foaled Tizbig, a son of Tiznow who would go on to finish second in the 2008 Dwyer Stakes (G2) and in the 2009 Skip Away Stakes (G3) in addition to winning at two and three.
Rogue Romance is Lovington’s sixth winner from six foals to race. When the 17-year-old mare, who was produced by a half sister to Grade 1 winner and sire Ogygian and to the dam of Metropolitan Handicap (G1) winner and sire Honour and Glory, passed away earlier this summer from complications of laminitis, her loss was keenly felt by everyone at Runnymede. In addition to her outstanding produce record, she was a very kind and attractive individual.
Lovington’s final foal is an outstanding filly by Medaglia d’Oro, born on April 14. The filly has thrived after being placed with a nurse mare.