‘It Just Gives Me Goosebumps’: Co-Owner Of Vekoma Recounts Big Win

Owner Randy Hill was still on cloud nine Sunday morning, the day after Vekoma went gate-to-wire in the Grade 1, $500,000 Runhappy Met Mile at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

“What a horse,” an emphatic Hill said. “I’ll never own another horse like this. I’ve watched the race about 20 times and it just gives me goosebumps. I really wish I could have been there, but I’d rather win than be there and lose them.”

Owned by Hill in partnership with Gatsas Stables, Vekoma’s win earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. Vekoma controlled the pace before being confronted around the far turn. He shook off his competition when asked by Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano and drew off to a 1 1/4-length score, keeping his record as a 4-year-old unblemished in three starts for trainer George Weaver.

Prior to the Runhappy Met Mile, Vekoma won the Sir Shackleton at Gulfstream Park in his 2020 debut before an impressive 7 1/4-length win in the Grade 1 Runhappy Carter on June 6 at Belmont Park, netting a 110 Beyer.

The Grade 1, $300,000 Forego presented by America’s Best Racing on August 29 at Saratoga Race Course could be the next start for Vekoma, Hill said.

Hill also mentioned the possibility of Vekoma training up to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course.

Vekoma has earned an automatic entry into both the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile when taking the Runhappy Carter and Runhappy Met Mile, which are both Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” events.

“I think he’s the best older horse in the country,” Hill said. “George is thinking about the Forego or training right up to the Breeders’ Cup and we leave all of that up to him. The horse will tell us. He’s such a warrior.”

Blair Golen, who oversees Weaver’s Belmont string, reported that the Runhappy Met Mile hero emerged from Saturday’s triumph in good shape.

“He came out of it in good order,” Golen said. “What impressed me last time and this time was that he wasn’t that tired. When he ran here at seven furlongs, he recovered fast and was really on the muscle, and it was the same again this time too.”

Bred in Kentucky by Alpha Delta Stables, Vekoma is by multiple-champion producing stallion Candy Ride out of the Speightstown broodmare Mona de Momma who, like Vekoma, also was a Grade 1-winner going seven furlongs.

The post ‘It Just Gives Me Goosebumps’: Co-Owner Of Vekoma Recounts Big Win appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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