Runhappy returns as title sponsor of G1 Travers, G1 Met Mile
by NYRA Press Office
Champion sprinter named title sponsor of G1 Hopeful and presenting sponsor of 2019 FOX Sports/NYRA Live Shows
The New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) today announced that Gallery Racing’s champion sprinter Runhappy, currently standing at Claiborne Farm, will return in 2019 as title sponsor of the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers, as well as the Grade 1 $1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap, in addition to sponsoring FOX Sports’ year-round national television coverage of NYRA.
In 2018, Runhappy became the title sponsor of the Travers, and will serve that role again for the 150th edition of the Mid-Summer Derby on Saturday, August 24 at historic Saratoga Race Course. The Runhappy Travers, contested at 1 ¼ miles, was first held in 1864 and features the top 3-year-olds in the country.
The Runhappy Travers will be one of six Grade 1 stakes on Travers Day, which will also feature the Grade 1, $1 million Sword Dancer, the Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign, the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego, the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens presented by Runhappy and the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina.
Additionally, at Saratoga, Runhappy will be the title sponsor in 2019 of the Grade 1, $250,000 Hopeful for 2-year-olds. The Runhappy Hopeful, which is the traditional closing G1 of the Saratoga meet, will be run on Labor Day, September 2.
Runhappy will again be the title sponsor of the 127th running of the Metropolitan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day, June 8, at Belmont Park. The Runhappy Met Mile is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November at Santa Anita Park and will be one of eight Grade 1 races on the blockbuster Belmont Stakes Day 2019 card.
“Team Runhappy considers it an honor and privilege to sponsor these prestigious and storied races”, said James McIngvale, Gallery Racing. “It is also our pleasure to support the expansion of the outstanding television programming as we continue to extoll the virtues of the living legend, Runhappy.”
The 2019 Belmont Park spring/summer meet will see the second running of the $150,000 Runhappy Stakes, a six-furlong sprint run to be contested on Saturday, May 11.
Additionally, Runhappy is a 2019 presenting sponsor for the FOX Sports/NYRA live shows. The year-round national television home for NYRA racing from Saratoga Race Course and Belmont Park, FOX Sports is scheduled to televise 500 hours of NYRA racing, including coverage of nearly every race day at Belmont and Saratoga in 2019. The broadcast schedule will then expand to over 600 hours annually in 2020.
“Jim McIngvale is a visionary thinker who is committed to seeing horse racing thrive and grow,” said Tony Allevato, President of NYRA Bets & Executive Producer for NYRA TV. “Runhappy made an indelible mark on New York racing fans during his outstanding career and NYRA is thrilled to continue this partnership around our 2019 live TV shows as well as some of the most important races in the world, including a historic running of the Runhappy Travers.”
Runhappy, by Super Saver, stands at Claiborne Farm for $25,000. Undefeated in sprint competition, the 2015 Eclipse Award winner captured seven of his 10 career starts from 2014-16, all without Lasix, including the 2015 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint against older horses. He also captured that year's Grade 1 King's Bishop (now known as the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial) by four lengths in an 11-horse field at Saratoga Race Course, finishing seven furlongs in 1:20.54 for the fastest running in the race's history.
Runhappy's progeny will race as 2-year olds in 2020.