Runnymede may be a relatively small commercial Thoroughbred nursery, but the horses bred and raised by the farm are having an impact all over the world.
From the 27 yearlings Runnymede offered last year at the Keeneland September yearling sale and three consigned the previous year as foals in Japan, there already have been winners in five different countries on three continents.
“Runnymede has used the slogan ‘The Runnymede-breds love to win around the world—and it shows’ and that has never been more true than this year with the two-year-olds we have out running now,” said General Manager Martin O’Dowd, who just completed overseeing Runnymede’s consignment of 11 yearlings at the 2010 Keeneland September sale.
This year’s juvenile winners are led by Laughing Lashes, winner of the Keeneland Debutante Stakes (G2) at the Curragh and recently second in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1). Laughing Lashes is by Mr. Greeley out of Adventure, by Unbridled’s Song, and was sold last year at Keeneland to Ben McElroy for $100,000. During the September 13 session at Keeneland, Runnymede sold her half sister by First Samurai for $450,000.
Although second in both his starts to date, Runnymede-bred colt Jaycito, a son of Victory Gallop, finished strongly in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) on September 8 to indicate he could be one of the best juveniles in North America. He was sold for $110,000 to Zayat Stables at Keeneland last year.
The performances of Laughing Lashes and Jaycito in Grade/Group 1 competition mean that, to date, 10.5% of the yearlings sold by Runnymede at Keeneland in 2009 have earned black type at the highest level, more than 30 times the overall rate the sale has produced. The statistic is extraordinary in that Runnymede maintains a broodmare band of only about 25 to 30.
The other juvenile winners so far this year include Deep Sound, a flashy colt from the first crop of Japanese Triple Crown winner Deep Impact, who won impressively after setting all the pace in a $113,740 maiden race at Nakayama Racecourse in Japan on September 11. Bred by Runnymede in Japan from the Danehill mare Josette, one of a select group of mares boarded at Shadai Farm, Deep Sound was sold as a foal to Yuichi Masuda for $319,047 at the 2008 Japan Racing Horse Association select sale in Hokkaido.
Rogue Romance, a colt by Smarty Jones offered by Runnymede at Keeneland last September and acquired by Clay to run in his own silks, triumphed in a $51,000 maiden special weight race over the Saratoga Race Course turf on September 6. Trained by Ken McPeek, Rogue Romance was making his second start after a promising effort at Saratoga in his debut.
Blue ’Em Away, a colt by Bluegrass Cat that Runnymede bred in Ireland from the European branch of its unique breeding program, triumphed in Canada on August 14 and already is stakes-placed. Le Pax, a colt by Hold That Tiger, cruised to a 5 ¾-length win over 1,100 meters in his debut at Hipodromo Presidente Remon in Panama on September 12, defeating six other American-breds.