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Runnymede-bred juveniles shine on Experimental Handicap

Runnymede-bred juveniles shine on Experimental Handicap

In further recognition of Runnymede’s unique year of achievement with its juveniles of 2010, the farm has been cited as being the co-leading breeder of colts rated as the best in the United States on the Experimental Free Handicap.

Runnymede joined seven other breeders, including seven-time Eclipse Award winner Adena Springs, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider and Eclipse Award-winning WinStar Farm in breeding two male runners ranked on the Experimental. Claiborne Farm, individually, had another runner ranked on the list as well.

Of all the top breeders, Runnymede’s colts ranked the highest, with Grade 1 winner Jaycito earning a 120-pound assignment, or co-sixth best among all American juvenile males last year. Rogue Romance, who finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and won the Bourbon Stakes (G3) for Runnymede Chairman Catesby W. Clay, was assigned a 116 rating, or co-eleventh best.

WinStar-bred Grade 1 winner J P’s Gusto at 120 and Glint, 105, were the next highest rated pair.

The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually by The Jockey Club since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s leading two-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. This year’s weighting committee of racing secretaries was composed of Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs, P. J. Campo of the New York Racing Association and Tom Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, who weighted a total of 99 males and 92 fillies.

Eligible for weighting were all two-year-olds of 2010 that finished among the top four in graded or listed stakes races run in the continental United States.

In addition to Jaycito and Rogue Romance, Runnymede-bred Pinch Pie was rated in the filly section, gaining a 100-pound assessment and giving Runnymede a landmark distinction with three top runners out of the 191 best young American racehorses.
To put this accomplishment in further perspective, the total U.S. foal crop for 2008 is estimated at 33,550 by The Jockey Club. Runnymede maintains a broodmare band of only about 30 mares.

To add further glory to the 2010 group of juveniles bred by Runnymede, the filly Laughing Lashes won a Group 2 stakes in Ireland and was a solid runner-up to Irish Free Handicap highweighted juvenile filly Misty  For Me in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1).

Altogether, Laughing Lashes, Jaycito, Rogue Romance and Pinch Pie were judged to be among the very best in the U.S. and Europe, and all were offered by Runnymede at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale. Thus, of the 26 yearlings Runnymede offered at Keeneland that year, 15.4% have been rated among the most outstanding of their generation, a remarkable testament to the farm’s breeding program.

Together the four were sold for a combined total of $340,000 or an average of $85,000.

With Rogue Romance and Jaycito on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail and Laughing Lashes aimed at the Irish classics, their best days could be ahead of them. Already the quartet has earned $687,125.