FRANKLIN, KY – Jim and Susan Hill’s Totally Boss closely tracked the pacesetter before taking charge late and inching away to win Saturday’s $700,000 Runhappy Turf Sprint Stakes (G3) at Kentucky Downs.
The Runhappy Turf Sprint is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Totally Boss receiving an automatic berth in the Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking cleanly from the far outside post 10 under Florent Geroux at 4/1 odds, Totally Boss was able to clear most of his inner foes and tracked closely off of Smart Remark, who broke sharpest of all from post 4. Still within a length inside the 1/4 pole, Totally Boss responded alertly to Geroux’s cues and began to draw up alongside Smart Remark.
Putting his head in front at the 1/8 pole, Smart Remark gradually drew away from the field to win going away late. The Rusty Arnold trainee crossed 1 1/4 lengths ahead in a final time of 1:09.21 for the 6-furlong sprint over the firm turf course. He was only 0.06 seconds away from tying Hold the Salt’s track-record time of 1:09.15, set in 2008.
“He was loaded today,” Geroux said. “He broke sharp. Actually, to be honest, there was not a lot of speed in the race. When he broke sharp, I just took it from there. He put me closer to normal, but he was traveling great. And when I asked him turning for home, he gave me his usual kick. He’s a nice horse, and I think Rusty has him near the top of his form right now.”
Though caught inside the final furlong, Smart Remark held onto second by 1 1/2 lengths. A three-way photo finish for third went to Leinster by a nose over the 2/1 favorite Imprimis, who couldn’t find room to break through until it was too late.
The two-time defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) champion Stormy Liberal was a neck behind them in fifth. Undrafted was sixth by a neck over Wet Your Whistle, with White Flag surrendering a neck back to eighth. Cautious Giant and Jazzy Times completed the order of finish.
Totally Boss’ win was his first at the graded level and his fourth in five starts, with his lone loss coming three back by just a nose. The 4-year-old gelded son of Street Boss now carries a record of 15-6-1-1 with $666,658 earned.
“We thought his race at Churchill showed he belonged, the race where he got beat,” Arnold said. “His first two were condition allowance races, but when he got beat in that race, that was a good field. We thought at that point he was a good horse.”
Totally Boss returned $10.80 to win, $6.40 to place, and $4.40 to show. Smart Remark brought back $48.40 to place and $16.80 to show, while Leinster paid $4.60 to show.